CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS P3 THE ROYAL OUI P6 CORNER GAS STAR IN MONSANTO PLAY P6 REC CLASS SAMPLER P7 WHO IS JACKSON CHEN? P2 Speaking OUT On CIRCUMCISION P4 JANUARY 20, 2013 | VoLuME XcV| IssuE XXXIV AMERICAN FOOT SPORTS since 1918
SCHOLARS IN THE NIGHTCLUB How UBC students strike a balance between academics and nightlife — and why
BREWERY ON BALLOT T-BIRDS TAKE THE BOOT Voted down by AMS council, the possibility of After a 17-year drought, men’s rugby beats the University of P3 Victoria for the Wightman Boot trophy a campus brewery now rests with students P8
Monday, January 20, 2014 |
YOUR GUIDE TO UBC EVENTS + PEOPLE
this week, may we suggest...
ONE ON ONE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UBC
MONDAY 20 SCIENCE WEEK KICK-OFF PARTY
11 A.M–1 P.M. @ ABDUL LAHDA
Wear blue and get free food and ice cream, plus a special appearance by the Vancouver Aquarium. Events run all week: http://scienceweek.ca Free
FAMILIAR ICONS EXHIBIT OPENING
4 p.m.–6:45 P.M. @ LIU INSTITUTE
Come for a reception and conversation on relationships and diaspora. The gallery features portraits by Afuwa, an artist and Liu visiting fellow. Free PHOTO CARTER BRUNDAGE/The Ubyssey
Jackson Chen says Irving K. Barber is one of his favourite places on campus.
WEDNESDAY 22 ARTS CAREER XPLORATION
4 P.m.–9 P.M. @ SUB BALLROOM
Is the future getting you down? Think BA stands for barista? This event features panels from Arts alumni who will explain how to turn your BA into a real job. $10 at the door
Any opportunity to bring beer to a shoot is a golden opportunity. It was nice to have a shoot with some time to put together the concept and work towards a polished end product. Did I mention beer? Photo Illustration by Mackenzie Walker.
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JANUARY 20, 2014 | Volume XCV| Issue XXXIV
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UBC a second home for Jackson Chen Ming Wong Managing Editor, Print
Jackson Chen almost cried. It was at one of those info sessions where university recruiters come and show videos promoting what their school has to offer. Cheery, racially diverse faces, lots of scenery, probably a shot of Wreck Beach at some point. When Chen saw that video, he was taken aback. He knew then that the offers to the London School of Economics, the University of Toronto and all the others wouldn’t match up to UBC. “My experience is better than I imagined,” said the second-year psychology and economics double major. Better than the brochures, even if he feels slightly cheated by the rain that wasn’t advertised. In the one and a half years he’s been here, Chen has found friends, God, a girlfriend and himself. Back in high school in Shanghai, he considered himself to be a pretty shy guy. Since arriving in Vancouver in September 2012, he found himself faced with two difficulties: trying to overcome that shyness and learning to speak English. “I found out that my English is pretty broken and I couldn’t make friends very easily when I first came here,” he said. He credits Jumpstart, the international student orientation program, and Tandem, a buddy-system language-learning program, for making him feel welcome and giving him a chance to practice his speaking skills. And he’s practiced his English in the most unexpected places. In the first month of his new life in Vancouver, he began selling Vector Marketing knives door-to-door in Richmond and West Van
to learn to talk to strangers. Later, he moved on to selling Lexuses. He didn’t sell the required 10 in one month to graduate from his intern status, but he did sell two — albeit to family friends. Now, campaigning to be AMS president has been another step in Chen’s path to break out of his comfort zone. It’s not big in Chinese culture to tell people how great you are and why you should vote for them, said Chen, who opted not to go for the rigorous Chinese university exams and instead went for the chance to study in a “developed country.” “No matter if I win or lose, I will just accept it and be happy with it.” He said the campaign process — meeting interesting people, doing classroom announcements — has been valuable enough. Chen’s positive outlook stems from a revelation he had here. “I found out my biggest happiness ... is becoming a better self.” It has been tough being thrust in new surroundings and mastering a different language, but Chen said the difficulties are what shaped him today. “I love this place, and the Canadian accent is pretty beautiful, and that’s one [of the] biggest motivations why I want to change [my accent].” He says it’s analogous to singing a song better. All in all, for Chen, the diversity at UBC isn’t just another glossy brochure cliché, but a reality he has embraced. His home is still Shanghai, because that’s where his parents are, but right now, Vancouver is a close second. “It just feels like this place is right for me.” U This is the first of four profiles on the AMS presidential candidates.
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Monday, January 20, 2014 |
EDItoRs WILL MCDOnALD + SARAH BIgAM
AMS ELECTIONS >>
Four candidates commit campaign violations
Photo cARtER BRUNDAgE/thE UBYssEY
Presidential hopeful Jackson chen is one of four candidates with violations.
Sarah Bigam + Will McDonald news Editors
Photo coURtEsY BRANDoN PARkER/BRUBc
Jon Pinkhasik, VP operations of brUBc, holds the successful petition results.
Fate of campus brewery in voters’ hands Andrew Liang Contributor
After four years of uncertainty, the fate of the campus microbrewery will be left up to students. A question asking students if they want to pay for a campus microbrewery will appear on the AMS elections referendum after all, after the AMS brewery committee and brUBC collected more than the 1,000 signatures required to force a referendum question. Both groups were pleased with the result. “We want[ed] to get as many as possible,” said Kerry Dyson, president of brUBC, “[but] we really didn’t have that much time. We were given a week to get those signatures, so we were shooting as high as we could.”
AuS hosts inaugural conference the Arts Undergraduate society (AUs) held its first humanities and social sciences conference on Jan. 18 to highlight undergraduate research. Daniel Munro, AUs VP academic, said the goal of the conference was to encourage students to think about research outside the classroom. “other faculties have events like this that are for science or what have you, but we’ve never had anything like this [for Arts],” said Munro. the conference presented research Arts students wouldn’t necessarily encounter in the classroom. “there was a kind of malaise with the arts and humanities education. I think this initiative is a real counterpoint to that,” said Lloyd Axworthy, closing keynote speaker. omassi and Munro hope to expand the event to an annual canada-wide conference. Senate and BOG candidate receives $40,000 research award senate and Board of governors candidate Philip Edgcumbe is one of five PhD students across canada for receive a $40,000 research grant from Prostate cancer canada. to help reduce post-operative complications in patients with prostate cancer, Edgcumbe is proposing to develop a navigation aid that will provide surgeons with a real-time ultrasound display of blood vessels, nerves and tumours beneath the surface during surgery. U
After AMS council voted down the brewery project, the AMS brewery committee and brUBC were given a deadline of Friday, Jan. 17 to get the required number of student signatures. Over the past week, they gathered about 1,700 signatures on a petition asking if students supported the AMS establishing a fee to finance the construction and outfitting of an AMS microbrewery. If the proposal passes in late January, a new student fee will be introduced. The fee would be $2.50 for the first two years, $5.00 for following two years, and $7 for the fifth year, chained to inflation after that. “Just like anything, students would be able to opt out,” said Jon Pinkhasik, VP operations for
brUBC. “That was actually written on the petition form.” While the proposed brewery is expected to be built on the UBC Farm, Pinkhasik said its location will not be mentioned in the referendum, in case this changes. “[The farm] really is a safety net for us. It is most likely going to be at the farm, but we don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot saying the farm, [if ] for whatever reason it can’t happen,” Pinkhasik said. The AMS brewery committee and brUBC will now be mounting a campaign to spread awareness and support for the brewery. Aaron Bailey of the AMS brewery committee said a brewery would bring the community together and provide educational opportunities in science and mar-
keting. This, as well as the groups’ collective passion for beer, are the main reasons they are pushing so hard for the brewery, according to Bailey. Bailey said that according to a 2011 study, if the brewery were built at the farm, it could expect to produce about 800 hectolitres in the first year. After the first year, they brewery could scale up to producing as much as 1,600 hectolitres, which both groups hope would satisfy demand on campus and produce a profit to both finance the operational costs of the brewery and return some money to the AMS. In order for the brewery to be created, the referendum question must receive affirmative votes from eight per cent of the student body, or 4,663 people. U
Support for lower tuition fees added to elections ballot Nikos Wright Staﬀ Writer
This year’s AMS elections ballot will include a referendum question asking if students want the society to lobby for lower tuition. The referendum question came from the Social Justice Centre, one of UBC’s six resource groups. In less than a week and a half, the SJC managed to collect the 1,000 signatures required to push a question to the AMS elections ballot. “Everybody should be allowed to pursue education at whatever level, no matter their financial means,” said Gabriel D’Astous, a third-year SJC member double majoring in history and political science, and the one who led the petition initiative. “Accessibility to university should only be based on your capacities as a student ... so in that sense tuition does present a financial barrier to some people,” he added. According to AMS VP external affairs Tanner Bokor, the SJC petition came as a bit of a surprise to the AMS, which already has a policy of a similar nature on tuition affordability. The AMS’s current policy regarding tuition reduction, according to Bokor, states that “the AMS will advocate for lower tuition when that tuition decrease is met with non-student funding.” This non-stu-
FILE Photo gEoFF LIstER/thE UBYssEY
the January referendum will have a question asking the AMs to lobby for lower tuition.
dent funding can come in the form of increased government funds or external donations. The AMS’s current policy also affirms education as a right. Acknowledging that the resource groups and the AMS executives seldom interact, Bokor said the AMS and SJC may have different strategies on lowering tuition, with the AMS perhaps having a long-term goal that seeks to balance academic quality with attempts to lower tuition. “I don’t think our [strategies are] that different,” D’Astous said. “I don’t think the SJC is taking a short-term strategy, or that we’re neglecting academic quality.” AMS council has not yet decided whether to support the referendum or not. Nonetheless, Bokor said he believes a no vote would be the worst outcome for the referendum. “Regardless of our potential differences in strategy for how
we should be advocating for these issues, it’s important that we continue to talk about [them],” he said. “The goal of the question is definitely [to] start taking steps toward reduced tuition, but obviously ... if the referendum passes, we won’t have reduced tuition [automatically],” he said. D’Astous also said that the goal of the referendum is to reinforce the AMS’s preexisting mandate of seeking to lower tuition, as well as to bring awareness to student debt. If the petition succeeds, the result will be taken to the university and external relations committee and AMS council for a decision on how to develop its policy to reflect the referendum decision. The SJC currently has no concrete plans on how to reduce tuition fees, but they plan to collaborate with the AMS if the referendum succeeds. U
Four candidates have been added to the elections penalty box for campaign violations. Presidential candidate Jackson Chen had his campaign budget reduced by $50 for posting an unapproved website. His website also lacked the required AMS elections logo and listed the wrong dates for voting. Chen said he forgot to have the AMS check his website, and thought he didn’t have to include the exact AMS elections logo. “I though I could put it in another way ... which looked better because we don’t like the designing by the AMS,” said Chen. Chen’s campaign budget has been reduced from $350 to $300, and the maximum reimbursement he can receive has been cut from $200 to $150. “[My campaign] is all run by volunteers, my friends, so it’s OK for my campaign to be reduced by $50. It’s fine for me,” said Chen. VP external candidate Jon Snow had his maximum spending limit reduced from $350 to $200 and his maximum reimbursement cut from $200 to $100 for mass emailing before the campaign period. Over the Christmas holidays, Snow — real name Philip He — sent out emails to all the clubs listed on the AMS website informing members that he was running in the upcoming election, and asking to meet up to discuss his platform. Snow, who sent the emails through a personal account, said he did not consider this mass mailing. “I did personalize them to some degree,” he said. Snow said in the emails he wrote he was running “as a candidate”; he would not confirm whether he wrote that he was running as a real or a joke candidate. Elections administrator Roddy Lai said Snow’s status as a joke candidate wouldn’t have made any difference in the penalty given. “Joke candidate aside, they are treated like any candidate,” said Lai. “They have to follow the rules. If they do anything that violates the rules, they will be punished.” “I don’t mind,” Snow said. “It kind of goes with my role as an outcast as Jon Snow.” As well, VP finance candidate Joaquin Acevedo and VP administration candidate Ava Nasiri both received warnings for minor campaign violations. Lai said Acevedo received a warning for accidentally posting his campaign website before the elections committee approved it. According to Lai, Acevedo is using the same website he used last year, and it automatically went live when Acevedo renewed the domain. Nasiri received a warning after some of her campaign volunteers put more than one campaign poster on a single bulletin board. U
4 | News |
Monday, January 20, 2014
Cutting performance uncovers hard debate Richard Sterndale-Bennett Contributor
It’s a rare thing to meet an activist who manages to remain persuasive and credible when naked from the waist down. Judging by the audience’s reaction to children’s rights activist Glen Callender’s presentation at UBC on Friday, he pulled it off. The talk, hosted by UBC Freethinkers in the Buchanan building, was part of a larger effort founded by Callender, the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project, or CAN-FAP. Its purpose is to advocate for the right of male, female and intersex children to grow up with intact genitals. Along with videos of real circumcisions on infant boys, the talk — described on the event’s Facebook page as an “X-rated sex-ed-comedyhorror show” — included footage of the presenter masturbating and video from a live show where he counted how many grapes he could fit in his foreskin — 11. “That’s one of the reasons I get in the news and why things happen,” said Callender. “It’s because I’m difficult to ignore, and I do things that are controversial. And that’s my niche — and I’m not claiming to be, you know, the right guy for everybody, maybe not even most people.”
photo Carter Brundage/the ubyssey
Children’s rights activist Glen Callender says that no one should be circumcised except consent-giving adults.
The show serves as a lighter entry point into what for many is a difficult and deeply personal issue. CAN-FAP’s primary objective is the legal protection of a child’s right to choose whether or not to be circumcised. Callender said that
female circumcision is particularly harmful because one can’t cut off as much of a boy’s genitals without restricting his ability to reproduce later in life. “We use the term ‘female genital mutilation’ to talk about what
Hempology 101 lives on Club awaits potential punishment for vape session in SUB Will McDonald News Editor
Hempology 101 is still an AMS club, but it might be facing sanctions after hosting a vaporizer session in the SUB. Hempology 101 treasurer Corbin Manson said potential repercussions for the club include suspension of their budget or loss of SUB booking privileges. “If our space is taken away from us then the lingering impression that everyone has of the AMS subsidiary Hempology 101 is that we’re a vaporizing club, and that’s not true,” said Manson. “Without the ability to book rooms, I think the AMS would be harming themselves.” Manson said the club has booked space in the SUB for a cannabis convention in March. The convention would feature hemp products and presentations from medical marijuana researchers. “We are able to function without room-booking privileges, but that’s the most vital function that we have coming up, and I really hope to keep that happening [at] UBC,” said Manson. According to Manson, AMS security is keeping an eye on the club, but neither Campus Security nor the RCMP are interested in the club’s activities. Manson said he regretted hosting the vaporizing session, but it has drawn more attention to the club, causing the readership of their newsletter to double. “The type of news that this produced doesn’t really align with our values. We want to promote legalization through education, not legalization through recreation,” said Manson. Manson said the club has indefinitely suspended recreational sessions.
people do to girls,” Callender said. “Circumcision is what we do to our children with their best interests in mind. Mutilation is what other people do to their children with bad intentions.” Callender thinks this is a double
standard — a claim not without its critics. In recent years, circumcision has been performed as a preventive health measure. For example, research conducted in South Africa published in 2005 and trials in Uganda and Kenya published in 2007 suggested that circumcision could reduce rates of female-to-male HIV transmission from heterosexual sex by approximately 60 per cent. This led to the World Health Organization’s 2007 endorsement of circumcision as a legitimate public health measure in parts of Africa. Callender, however, argued that the African studies were biased and methodologically flawed. He also said that circumcision, when conducted on a child, permanently changes a man’s physiological capacity for sensation without his consent. “There is a 2000-year body of Jewish writing and a 200-year body of medical writing that openly acknowledges that a primary purpose of infant circumcision is to permanently damage the penis so the boy, and the man he becomes, will never be able to fully enjoy sex,” said Callender. Callender’s next presentation will be at the Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show in Vancouver. U
New BoG members These new appointees are now three of the 11 members of the UBC Board of Governors who are appointed by the provincial government, currently headed by the BC Liberal party. The Board is the highest decision-making body of the university. Eight board members are elected by students, faculty and staff. The other two members are the chancellor and the president of UBC, totalling 21. —Sarah Bigam, News Editor
Who: Claim to fame:
Liberal Party ties:
David Sidoo Played football for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for five years; played football for the UBC Thunderbirds on a fouryear scholarship Private investment banker and UBC’s largest sports scholarship donor (Sidoo Family Giving Foundation) Founding shareholder, American Oil & Gas Inc., sold for +$600 million
Claim to fame:
First member of Musqueam Nation to sit on the BoG
Lawyer, specializing in economic development and governance of First Nations people.
Previous Member, Canadian Bar Aspositions: sociation; chair, Musqueam Land Code Committee (four years); member, First Nations Summit, Treaty Commission Education:
Gave $65,000 between 2005 and 2009, but donated $3,000 to the NDP in 2012
Bachelor of law, UBC; bachelor of arts (anthropology), UBC; master of constitutional law, Osgoode Hall Law School
hile photo carter brundage/the ubyssey
Hempology 101 hosted a vaporizer session in the SUB on Jan. 10.
“Once the education side of things in healthy and very active, then we can look into whether or not we want to resume recreational events, but I have no plans to do so right now and neither does the club,” said Manson. In a previous article, AMS President Caroline Wong said the club’s actions could be grounds for expulsion, but Manson said the event was blown out of proportion.
“It’s really interesting that the media chooses to focus on the negative there when there’s so many great things happening at our events,” said Manson. Hempology 101 was scheduled to meet with the AMS on Friday, Jan. 17 to determine any repercussions, but the meeting has been postponed. The AMS did not respond to requests for comment before press time. U <em>
BoG term ends:
Dec. 31, 2015
Claim to fame:
Christy Clark’s campaign manager
CEO of WhatsNexx, provider of cross-channel marketing automation software
BoG term ends:
Dec. 31, 2014
Executive VP at digital marketing firm Blast Radius Inc. (2000-2012)
Liberal Party ties:
Blast Radius gave $1,495 in the 2005 provincial elections, $800 during 2010
BoG term ends: Feb. 27, 2015
Monday, January 20, 2014 |
EDITOR Rhys Edwards
Hedonism & higher learning How UBC students promote clubs and manage their leisure By Rachel Levy-McLaughlin
ontrary to what we’re told in high school, you can still party, drink and have whatever grades you want — even As. Clubbing is a part of many university experiences. But for some students, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle; they get poor grades, become unhealthy or fail out entirely. Educational institutions and organizations such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism associate partying with poor grades in university, and the results of the Core 1996 alcohol and drug survey demonstrated a strong correlation between drinking and lower academic success. There are some students, however, who defy this correlation. They have adapted their schedules to allow for partying up to three times a week, while still retaining decent grades. But who are they, and how do they do it?
Striking a balance Eddie Spitz, a fourth-year economics major with a minor in commerce, holds a position as a UBC fraternity president while working as a promoter for the Donnelly Group — all while maintaining a B+ average. He is also a frequent nightclubber. “You get better at it. There’s no way I could have done any of this in first year,” he said. “You learn how to manage your time, learn to study better and more efficiently, [and] then you don’t need to study as much.” Students like Spitz have discovered how they study best and learned to adapt their schedules appropriately, rather than throwing academia out the window. “The key for me was creative alternatives,” said Margaret Lindsay, a recent UBC psychology grad, who would go out often during her degree. “I’ve read chapters while working out at the gym, I turned one of my exams into a fortune spin wheel
game, and carried my cue cards in hand to whip out whenever I waited, whether it was Starbucks or the bus.... [Studying] in small chunks of time can add up to a lot.” Time management and prioritization are the most important ingredients in the fun-filled clubbing lifestyle. Karli Fahlman recently graduated from UBC with a degree in political science, and now does marketing and promotions at Blueprint. “The one thing that I ultimately learned from my studies at UBC was a large emphasis on time management,” she said, “[which] would dictate my work schedule, to make sure [I would] prioritize what’s important. [It’s important] to take that time and take care of yourself.” “I have a lot of self-discipline,” said Emma Van Daalen, a UBC exchange student in the medical program at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and a frequent clubber. “If I go out, I can say at two or three o’clock, ‘I have to get up at eight or nine, so I’m going to go home.’” Many student clubbers, like Kalen Stewart, a second-year psychology student who also goes out often, actually prioritize education far above everything else. “Partying’s not going to get me anywhere in life, so school is always my number one, but I [also] want the chance to do everything, and still live a little,” she said. For these students, “living a little” is best defined by spending a night out on the town with friends. “I always found myself rather restless when the weekend would come,” said Fahlman. “I always wanted to experience something new, and the weekends, after working really hard at UBC during the week, [was] my ticket to do so.” “[Going out] is an experience that can be ever-changing, and [it always has] something new and refreshing to offer,” she added — a point which those who do not go clubbing often overlook. Not all clubs are thumping bass
music and drunken hooligans bumping up against each other.
Is drinking necessary? Student clubbers are divided on the topic of drinking. While they agree that being “club drunk” (intoxicated to the point that stumbling is inevitable, and thus incorporated into one’s dance moves) is not necessary for a great time out, they disagree on whether or not being completely sober is still fun. “It’s not as much fun to be sober,” said Van Daalen, “because most people are drunk.” “Drinking is a big part of [going out]” agreed Spitz. “I don’t know anybody who goes to a club sober.” However, other students are able to have a good time without alcohol. “I still have fun [sober],” said Stewart. “I kind of almost prefer going sober.” “The only time I don’t have fun,” she added, “is if my friends are extremely intoxicated, because then I have to deal with them.” This is a widespread view; though it may be comical for a few minutes to watch drunken friends fall all over the place, few like to be the only sober person in a crowd. “I’ve gone out, hung out with friends, [and had] a glass of water at the bar. Sometimes I’ll just go out for an hour, be completely sober, just to make an appearance,” said Stewart.
Making friends Perhaps what distinguishes student clubbers above all else is their socialite attitude. “I really like to be with other people,” said Van Daalen. “That’s part of what makes me want to go out more. I like meeting new people and having a good time with friends.” “I always like being a social butterfly,” said Stewart. “I put myself out there, and do lots of different things to meet people. I like having friends.” Being social butterflies, most
clubbers party in large groups of people, with both friends and strangers. “Usually our group is like 20 to 25,” said Spitz, “so when we go to a club, basically we know everybody [there], which is a lot more fun than walking in by yourself or with one friend and chilling with them on the side.” Clubbing alone or with one other is not much fun if watching on the sidelines is the game plan, but some, like Stewart, enjoy smaller groups. “I prefer if it’s just me and a girlfriend hanging out and meeting other people there, just because then you have your buddy you’re with, and you stick together. I find that if you’re in a big group, with lots of people you know around, everyone kind of separates.”
Students and promotion Because of the keen interest in being with lots of other people, word of mouth typically dictates where a group will go for the night. Club promotion companies (Blueprint, Crew Entertainment, the Donnelly Group and Formula Events, to name a few) have harnessed word-of-mouth promotion by hiring students as promoters or giving them door shifts. The promoters begin the process, and are paid to do so. According to Stewart, who works as a promoter for Formula Events, promoting “is basically just advertising for that night,” — letting people know that you will be there, so friends should come as well. “I advertise it on Facebook ... and I have my own guest list, so people text me or send me messages asking to get on [it].” “It benefits everybody,” said Spitz, who worked as a promoter at Crew Entertainment for a portion of the past semester, and now works for the Donnelly Group, “because I get paid when [my friends] come, but when they come on my guest list, they get half cover or free cover.”
In this way, there is a symbiotic relationship between the club, the promoter and the guests who go out for the night. It’s a system of benefit; the club gets more guests, the promoters get paid for bringing the guests, and the guests get discounted cover — and often free drink tickets as well. It’s a winwin-win situation. For their friends, students who work as promoters tend to become the face of a good time; Fahlman, for instance, knows what will be fun on any given night in the city, and can cater to whatever friends are looking for. “When it comes to going out,” she said, “[my friends] end up seeking me, essentially.”
The lifestyle Hedonism and socializing are the reasons student clubbers go out so often; for them, the two go hand in hand. Nightclubbing is their way to unwind, de-stress and have some fun with friends after a tiring week hitting the overpriced textbooks. These UBC students have not discarded academia, but they have adapted their schedules and lives to allow for socialization and clubbing. They are living proof that partying and academia are not mutually exclusive, but that the two can be enjoyed together — if you’re smart about it. “The balance between school and going out is ultimately up to the individual student,” said Fahlman. And as Stewart sees it, “I have my whole life to go out and be social, but school is only four years, and you only have four years to figure out what you’re doing with the rest of your life.” No pressure, though. U Photo by Mackenzie Walker Editor’s note: for some students, heavy drinking and drug use can be seriously harmful. Think carefully before choosing to indulge.
6 | CuLTuRE |
MONdAY, JANuARY 20, 2014
Eric Peterson plants the seeds of debate Marlee Laval Staﬀ Writer
Photo coURtEsY toM DEAcoN/PUsh FEstIVAL
Famed UBc graduate Eric Peterson plays Percy schmeiser in sEEDs, a play based on the real-life battle between canadian farmers and agricultural corporation Monsanto.
It’s not every day that a play asks more questions to its audience than it answers. When Montreal theatre company Porte Parole brings its docudrama SEEDS to UBC’s Frederic Wood Theatre for the PuSh festival this week, it hopes to challenge audiences to develop their own opinions and carry on the conversation offstage. SEEDS chronicles the true story of how Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser’s battle with agricultural giant Monsanto started a worldwide debate about the safety of the foods we eat and who owns the right to them. Starring Saskatchewan-born Canadian television icon Eric Peterson, known for his role as the hot-tempered elder Oscar on Corner Gas, the show is a platform for the fight between farmers and big businesses to reach audiences through a new medium. “I was intrigued by not just the themes, but the use of theatre in this matter,” said Peterson, who graduated from UBC’s theatre department in 1972. “It’s a differ-
ent approach to theatre, and it’s refreshing for me and for an audience to find something different.” What’s also refreshing about SEEDS is its authenticity to the real Schmeiser vs. Monsanto events, down to every spoken line. Playwright Annabel Soutar created the script entirely from interviews and documents she found while researching the story, making this piece of documentary theatre as accurate and genuine as it can be. “You get to see real people dealing with this and talking about [the issue],” Peterson said. “She’s not making up the dialogue and she’s not composing sentences.” SEEDS, however, is far from being a one-sided story. From the voice of the small town farmer to the mind of Monsanto, each perspective is thoroughly represented, creating room for thoughtful debate. “[Soutar] wanted to make sure that all points of view were there,” said director Chris Abraham. “The goal is to try to provide as complete of a fair view of this story as possible.” As Porte Parole performs SEEDS on the Vancouver stop of
their tour, the group hopes this prairie-based story will resonate with West Coast audiences. “[The show] reminds me and my fellow Canadians of the importance of chronicling what is happening in our country,” Abraham said. “As we perform for audiences, we find that they are grateful to have us open the door to this story, which happened in their own backyard.” All in all, Porte Parole wants to start a conversation. The company not only hopes to entertain its audience, but to spark interest in the ongoing debate and encourage them to learn more. “Form your own opinion, talk to others, read the paper,” said Peterson. “I’d like the audience to leave and say, ‘This is the beginning of my inquiries!’” “I hope that they take what they want to take from it,” Abraham said. “It opens the door to miraculous possibilities for change.” U SEEDS runs at 7:30 p.m from Jan. 2225 and at 2 p.m. from Jan. 2526 at the Frederic Wood Theatre. Tickets are $29-35 at the door. <em>
The Royal Oui bring class to the Vancouver indie scene
Rhys Edwards Culture Editor
Jan. 15 was a busy day for Vancouver indie folk duo the Royal Oui. The bulk of the day was spent shooting a music video for “True” — a track from their new self-titled album — at an abandoned Boy Scout campsite in North Vancouver. Then, it was off to the Gallery bar and lounge at UBC for the first stop on their latest tour, which will take them across Washington as well as the interior of B.C., followed up with an 8:30 p.m. live performance on CiTR Radio. But it’s all in a day’s work for Adrienne Pierce and Ari Shine, a husband-wife combo who have been contributing to each other’s solo albums for years. Shine, originally from Pennsylvania, says the video for “True” is a good introduction to the Royal Oui. “There’s something about it that kind of touches on all the things we do. It’s a little bit Americana, a little bit folky, it’s also a little bit dreamy, and it’s sort of a good introductory ‘welcome mat’ for the band.” Both members of the Royal Oui already have their own established
track records: as an art-pop folk artist, Pierce is known for her contributions to the soundtracks of Veronica Mars and Grey’s Anatomy, while Shine, whose roots derive from a power-pop metal sound, won the 2006 John Lennon song of the year award; and both of them received Grammy nominations in 2012. But their first full-length as an item represents a departure from their distinctive styles. “This band that we’re doing now is more the music that we actually both like and listen to, more so than even what we were doing in our solo projects,” said Pierce. Shine and Pierce cite diffuse influences for their work, ranging from Neil Young and Simon & Garfunkel to R.E.M. and Ryan (and Bryan) Adams. Recently, Ground Control magazine compared them to Stevie Nicks and Richard and Linda Thompson. Suffice it to say that as the Royal Oui, Shine and Pierce’s music simply plays like a conversation with a wizened elder, or more precisely, a graduate student in the arts who — somehow — has managed to avoid becoming cynical. They combine lilting harmonies with acoustic slide guitar and gentle, though not
Photo stEVEN RIchARDs/thE UBYssEY
Royal in name but subtle in style, Ari shine and Adrienne Richards play for unpretentious fans of Vancouver indie music.
superficial, lyrics; indeed, their synergy is reflected not only in their art, but in their conversations. Pierce and Shine can, literally, finish each other’s sentences. As Pierce put it: “The way we write for the Royal Oui, a lot of the music starts with Ari, and then I start singing stuff —” “— and we collaborate from there and sort of add a harmony
or we change something to suit the key that fits both of our voices best,” concluded Shine. Despite their years of close affinity, however, the Royal Oui still haven’t got used to working officially as a single entity. “It’s very different,” said Pierce, a Vancouver native who graduated from UBC with a BA in psychology in 1990. “It’s a little bit more excit-
ing because I really have somebody to share it with. Because it really feels like it’s all on you when it’s solo, even if other people are involved in some way.” The promotion tour for the album is still being booked; Shine and Pierce expect to play well into the summer, planning to stop in Ontario, California and New York. But they’re already halfway done on their second album; in fact, Shine and Pierce haven’t stopped playing and writing for the Royal Oui since they collaborated on their first EP, the aptly titled Forecast, since March of last year. Though they lack the ostentation of some of Vancouver’s other indie outfits, the Royal Oui make music their vocation. “If I weren’t a musician, I think I would need to get my theatrical yayas out there somewhere,” said Shine. “I would have been an actor or maybe a writer of some kind ... but at a certain point, I realized this is what I’m meant to do.” U The Royal Oui’s debut album will be released on Feb. 11 on Vinyl District Records; their release party will take place at the Prophouse Cafe on Feb. 15. <em>
Monday, January 20, 2014 |
EDItoR nATALIE SCADDEn
Shopping week: a look at classes oﬀered by UBC REC At the beginning of each term, UBc REc hosts what’s known as “shopping week,” where students can try fitness, boot camp, cycle fit, martial arts, dance, yoga, pilates, aquatics, skating and even learn-to-play hockey classes for free. with such a wide variety and over 100 different time slots to choose from, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy that fits your schedule. But in case you missed the freebies this past week, we sampled four classes that we thought looked interesting. Don’t worry — it’s not too late to register, and each class runs throughout the term.
kraV maGa Krav maga is renowned across the world as the official self-defense combat technique of the Israel Defense Force. Unlike other martial arts available at the Student Rec Centre, krav maga is, strictly speaking, oriented towards self-defense in the purest sense of the word. You can’t really use it in competition, since the objective of krav maga is to destroy your opponent’s ability to hurt you as soon as possible — by any means necessary. The eyes and groin are not out-of-bounds territory. The krav maga course available through UBC REC is an introduction to self-defense in real-life situations. There’s no talk of honour or internal “energy,” nor are students required to wear a gi or learn traditional forms. Instead, you'll learn practical techniques, like how to disarm someone armed with a gun or a knife, break a chokehold if you’re attacked from behind, and generally inflict the largest amount of pain on an opponent in the shortest time possible. Note that this is not a workout-intensive class; you won't lose weight or gain muscle by attending it, since the focus is predominantly on learning. Sessions are fun and accessible to anyone, regardless of gender (there is both a male and female instructor), experience or physical agility. <em>
CyCle BOOt CamP For shopping week, I decided it would be a good idea to check out the 7 a.m. cycle boot camp. I can’t quite tell you what I was thinking with that decision. When I stumbled in, coffee still in hand, everyone else had brought over weights from the dance studio. A girl beside me pointed to the cupboard on my left, and said that since I was late I could just use the weights in there. It was stacked with pink, two-pound weights, the sight of which apparently scared all the men out of the class, since there were none there. Easy, I thought. Ha. After taking those tiny weights through 40 minutes of bicep, tricep, shoulder, chest and back sets, they felt much larger. I also learned some tips about cyc-
ling — possibly obvious, but still things I didn’t know beforehand. For example, you’re not supposed to be putting much weight on the handlebars, and it’s easier on your knees if you keep them in close to the bike. After 45 minutes in the bike room, we went into the dance studio for the ab set, where we did — ironically — bicycles. I’d recommend taking it later in the day, but all in all, it’s a good class. And boys, check it out too. This shit is tough. <em>
kiCk-it I was up well before sunrise Wednesday morning, and decided to take advantage of Kick-It, one of UBC REC’s free classes during shopping week. With a 7:30 a.m. start, the convenience of having the fitness studio in Ponderosa Commons, my residence, was a plus; the benefit of a threeminute commute and not having to venture outside may inspire my regular attendance. We were a smaller group of early birds, eight of us, who were led through a martial arts-inspired cardio fitness class. The class accommodated a broad spectrum of experience and abilities. From correct breathing to punching and kicking technique, our instructor put us through our paces. The hour-long session passed very quickly, and soon we were cooling down and stretching. Upon conclusion, our instructor promised our day would unfold just “a little more smoothly”; indeed, I headed to my 9 a.m. class much more awake than usual, and rode that momentum through my academic day. Ultimately, I learned that some early-morning exercise trumps even the strongest cup (or three) of coffee, and though we are all busy, there is time in the day to invest in wellness. Find it, commit to it, and smile as you navigate your schedule just “a little more smoothly." <em>
mixeD martial arts “I’m going to, for lack of a better term, violently drive my hips up into him.”
Photo JoANNE tsENg/UBc REc
UBc REc offers a wide variety of classes, many of which were free during shopping week, Jan. 13-19.
Welcome to Dan Slobodin’s Intro to MMA, the second-tolast class of UBC REC’s shopping week. Slobodin has been teaching at UBC REC for four of his six years as a martial arts instructor. He also teaches Brazilian jujitsu at Gracie Barra Vancouver Martial Arts School. The class began with five minutes of warm-up jogging, shuffling and pushups before moving into basic striking and guard positions. Techniques like “small packaging” were demonstrated by Slobodin, and the intro class was a wide variety of basic techniques. My own mixed martial arts experience is limited to watching Georges St-Pierre in the UFC octagon, so fortunately for me, my grappling partner, fourthyear kinesiology student Susanna Reid, was one of five other females in the class of 23 students, and roughly my size. The best way to learn technique is to train with those who are better than you. Still, when Slobodin took over for Reid to demonstrate a shoulder lock submission on me, my heart started racing. Apparently my shoulders are “more flexible than most people,” so I tapped out later than normal. Well, that’s something. After finishing the class with four minutes of grappling — which seems short until you do it — and stretching, Slobodin had some simple hygiene reminders for the remaining 12 classes. “Put on deodorant, brush your teeth and clip your fingernails and toenails.” Those who ignore the rules will be relegated to the corner doing pushups. Many of the students test-driving the class were sold, and promptly headed to the desk to sign up after the packed two hours, while I left with a deep appreciation for the details of mixed martial arts. U <em>
8 | SPORTS + REC |
MONdAY, JANuARY 20, 2014
UBC pummels UVic to reclaim Wightman’s Boot Thunderbirds take 2-game series 51-24, ending Vikes’ 17-year reign Natalie Scadden Sports + rec Editor
“Guys, thank your sidelines,” said UBC head coach Spence McTavish moments before handing his team the Boot. Indeed, several hundred fans braved a cold Saturday afternoon to watch the UBC men’s rugby team take on the University of Victoria Vikes in the 43rd annual Wightman’s Boot series. Having won the first leg of the series by a 29-16 margin on Nov. 9, UBC needed to either win the game or lose by 12 points or fewer to reclaim the Boot for the first time since 1997. However, the Thunderbirds never gave the Vikes a chance to cover the differential, as they came out in front of their home crowd at Wolfson Field and pummeled the Vikes by 14 points, taking the game 22-8 and an aggregate score of 51-24. “UVic has pretty much owned this trophy now for 17 years, so it’s nice to have it back with us,” said McTavish. Last year, UVic took the Boot series 93-43. Two years ago, they totaled 82 points and allowed the Thunderbirds zilch. But this year’s UBC squad is older, stronger and wiser. “In the past, probably one of our biggest problems was that we used to give quite a few penalties away,” said McTavish. “But today we were a lot more disciplined. [Victoria] didn’t get the opportunities to kick some goals, and we were on our front foot the whole day today.” UBC took an early 5-0 lead with a try by Francois du Toit, but quickly committed one of
Women’s volleyball (15-1) Friday vs. Brandon: 3-1 L saturday vs. Brandon: 3-0 W Men’s volleyball (11-5) Friday vs. Brandon: 3-1 W saturday vs. Brandon: 3-0 W Women’s hockey (16-5-1) Friday @ ALB: 6-3 L saturday @ ALB: 3-0 L Men’s hockey (7-12-1) Friday vs. ALB: 4-3 L saturday vs. sAsk: 5-2 L Women’s basketball l (9-5) Friday @ MRU: 67-55 W saturday @ MRU: 67-59 W
UBc powered past Victoria on saturday afternoon for a 22-8 victory in front of their home crowd.
those penalties, allowing UVic to put their first three points on the board. The Thunderbirds responded quickly, as Erik Hunter-James ran 60 yards for a try and Quinton Willms made the conversion to give UBC a 12-3 advantage. UVic then managed to score with a maul, collectively pushing their player holding the ball into the try zone for another five points, which would prove to be their last. UBC continued to put the pressure on before the end of the first half. Willms scored a try in the far corner and then converted it him-
self, giving his team a sizable 19-8 lead after 40 minutes. “We were consistent today," said McTavish. "It was a very good defensive effort, and we did some good things offensively too.” In the second half, it looked like the Thunderbirds had scored again after the ball bounced around near the try zone. However, the ref deemed it a knock-on, and the Vikes regained possession. With both sides noticeably slowing down and becoming less organized, a penalty kick put through by Willms later on were the only
Photo stEVEN RIchARDs/thE UBYssEY
three points to come in the final 40 minutes. With the clock winding down, some very aggressive tackles were made. With a Vikes player down and requiring medical attention, the game relocated to an adjacent field for the last seven or eight minutes of play, but neither side came close to scoring again. Saturday’s win not only brings an end to UBC’s 17-year Wightman’s Boot drought, but it keeps their perfect 11-0 record this season intact. “These guys will be over the moon, and all the alumni
Men’s basketball (6-8) Friday @ MRU: 76-55 W saturday @ MRU: 78-74 L will be extremely happy,” McTavish said. The Thunderbirds will play their next league game Feb. 1 at Richmond. More importantly, they begin their World Cup series against the University of California Golden Bears on Feb. 15 in Berkeley. “If we can reduce penalties, keep the continuity of pressure on and that, we’ll be good,” McTavish said. “We’ve got some talented guys here. It’s a long season, there’s a little bit of luck involved, but if we can keep people healthy all the time, we’ll have a good season.” U
MONdAY, JANuARY 20, 2014
| SPORTS + REC | 9
UBC suﬀers ﬁrst regular season loss since October 2012 FRI
1-3 3 sAt -0 Joseph Ssettuba Contributor
In a battle between the two best women’s volleyball teams in the country, UBC fell in a stunning 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 23-25, 24-26) loss to the CIS No. 2 University of Brandon Bobcats Friday night at War Memorial Gym. UBC’s Lisa Barclay had 15 kills on a .189 hitting ratio, and Rosie Schlagintweit had 15 kills of her own at .135, but their efforts were not enough. The usually composed Thunderbirds let huge leads go in the third and fourth sets, and it eventually cost them with their first regular season loss since Oct. 27, 2012. The Thunderbirds jumped out to an early one-set-to-none lead, proving their credentials as the top team in the nation. Barclay and Schlagintweit led the way with their
hitting, and the two combined with Abbey Keeping, Mariah Bruinsma and Alissa Coulter with a good effort in blocking. The final three sets would be their undoing, though, as inconsistent play, coupled with Brandon’s refusal to give up, eventually brought them down. In the second set, the Thunderbirds were down by as much as 8-13 and 14-20 before a string of stellar serves by Keeping cut the deficit to 18-20. It was symptomatic of how the rest of the night would turn out, as self-inflicted errors such as mistimed hits and inconsistent net play blocks got the best of the ’Birds. The third set saw UBC race out to a huge lead. They were up by 16-8 before a technical timeout, which helped the Bobcats regain their composure. Brandon fought back for nine straight points, taking a 23-22 lead and capturing the set 25-23. The fourth set went much the same way as the third. The two teams traded points, leading to a 9-8 Thunderbird lead before breaking the set open. With UBC up 16-11, a technical timeout was called, and
once again, it served to inspire the Bobcats. They fought back with a mix of good attacking and serving, pulling even to 20-20. They then took a 23-21 lead, but the Thunderbirds momentarily bounced back to 24-23. Brandon’s Vaovai Aiono, who led the Bobcats all night in the upset, hit a booming ace to tie it up again. She then made a kill to give the Bobcats a match point opportunity, which they capitalized on, taking the final set 26-24. UBC regained their dominant form in Saturday’s rematch, taking the victory in straight sets (25-17, 2513 and 25-13) and clinching a playoff berth. With the weekend series split, UBC moves to 15-1 and remains atop the Canada West leader board with six regular season games remaining. Brandon is tied for second at 12-4. The Bobcats will head to Winnipeg (6-10) for their next games, while the Thunderbirds will fly to Calgary to face Mount Royal University (5-11). UBC will return home to War Memorial Gym on Jan. 31 to take on the University of Saskatchewan. U
Photo gEoFF LIstER/thE UBYssEY
Lisa Barclary had 15 kills in Friday’s loss to the Brandon Bobcats. UBc responded with a straight-sets win on saturday.
Chow’s return gets UBC back on track with weekend sweep FRI
3-1 3 sAt -0 Nick Adams Staﬀ Writer
Photo MAtt MEUsE/thE UBYssEY
After sitting out last weekend due to injury, Ben chow had 17 kills and 8 digs on Friday night to lead UBc over Brandon, the reigning canada west champions.
Crushing the University of Brandon Bobcats in Saturday’s last set 25-17, the men’s volleyball Thunderbirds swept the weekend doubleheader by a total of six sets to one. Friday night saw the two teams come out with the same agenda: to set themselves up for a dominating weekend. And although the Bobcats looked like they were going to take a commanding lead after the first set, their inability to execute ultimately led to their defeat. After winning the first set 25-21, they went on to lose the next three, and then the following three again in Saturday night’s game.
A school with a thirteenth of the enrolment of UBC, Brandon, last year’s Canada West champs, put up a good fight. When it comes down to it though, the Thunderbirds got lucky in the second game. They were barely able to keep in front of the Bobcats in kills and, had the the Bobcats been able to convert some of their 20 errors — most from serves — it would have been a completely different game. In the last set, though, UBC proved why they are two seats above Brandon in the CIS rankings. Closing out the game quickly, the eight-point lead to end it was in large part thanks to a UBC side that finally came together and, kill after kill, was also able to force Brandon into more errors. For coach Richard Schick, the last set was a welcome scene after his reactions to Friday’s game. “We did a decent job but just didn’t step
up at times,” Schick said. He noted that the Thunderbirds’ aggression and offense is one of their key assets, and that they need to utilize it more often and effectively. Ben Chow and Quentin Schmidt stood out from the rest of their team in the final game. Combining for 28 kills, they stepped up and performed as per their coaches wishes. Third- and fourth-year students, respectively, the two are helping lead the team toward the top — after Saturday's game, the Thunderbirds (11-5) sit in a three-way tie for second place in Canada West. Their competitors, the University of Alberta and Thompson Rivers University, hold equal records but seem not to have the wind at their backs. While Alberta has looked shaky lately and Thompson Rivers are in a lull after a mid-season run, UBC’s much more consistent record shows them to be on a roll with the last two games in their pocket. U
uBC ﬁghts tough, but falls to CIS no. 2 alberta Golden Bears FRI
4-3 5 sAt -2 Jack Hauen Staﬀ Writer
After the University of Alberta Golden Bears men’s hockey team ended the UBC Thunderbirds’ six-game winning streak on Friday with a slim 4-3 victory, the ’Birds dropped the second game in a row against the same team Saturday night by a score of 5-2. The game began with early Alberta pressure that translated into a goal just two minutes into the opening frame: Levko Koper snuck one in after a small scrum in front of the T-Bird net to put the Bears up 1-0. The game’s flow became a bit more even for a while after the goal, with UBC pulling a few almost-oddman rushes that the Bears’ defence always managed to break up as soon as they began to look threatening.
The ’Birds had trouble finding the net, though, and the shots began to pile up in favour of Alberta by the halfway point of the first. By the 13-minute mark, it seemed that any pressure that existed was thoroughly concentrated in the UBC zone. This momentum shift again translated into an Alberta goal, this one coming at 13:52 after a scramble in front of ’Birds goaltender Matt Hewitt popped the puck loose, which was then promptly chipped in over his shoulder by Alberta’s Brett Ferguson: 2-0 Bears. This time, the momentum didn’t even out after the goal. Almost three minutes later, Golden Bear Jordan Rowley took a wicked slapper from the point, beating Hewitt cleanly to put the visitors up 3-0. The Thunderbirds managed to finish the period on a good note, as Cole Wilson potted his 10th goal of the season with a hard wrister from the right side boards at 17:32, cutting the Alberta lead to two. The frame ended with
Alberta tripling UBC’s shot total, 18-6. The T-Birds started the second period with more energy, pressuring Alberta’s zone from the opening faceoff. Hits, passes and shots began to connect for the home team, and the ice slowly began to tilt in favour of the ’Birds. Perhaps out of frustration, Alberta’s Travis Toomey took a slapshot well after an offside whistle, earning him, strangely enough, a slashing penalty — we won’t argue. UBC maintained some pressure in the offensive zone, but the best chance of the powerplay went to the shorthanded Bears — a flat-out breakaway denied by a simply gorgeous last-second back check from UBC forward Nick Buonassisi. The ’Birds survived a shorthanded two minutes of their own as the game approached its halfway mark, and the kill sparked them back to their early-period form. A small misjudgement in their own zone, however, gave the Bears a glorious
cross-crease chance, but a monster stop from Hewitt kept the lead to two. A few minutes later, UBC head coach Milan Dragicevic decided his team needed a breather and took a timeout. The ’Birds pulled within one at 16:40 in the second frame as Brad Hoban streaked down the slot and took a stellar feed from teammate Anthony Bardaro. One more Thunderbird powerplay and a few chances later, the period ended with the Bears leading 3-2. UBC held the visitors to less shots in the second than the first, but the Golden Bears still held the overall edge 30-16. Though it looked like the Thunderbirds just might fight themselves back into the game, the final period began much the way the opening frame did: Alberta pressure with a few glimmers of hope from UBC sprinkled in. Again, much like the first period, this momentum translated into an Alberta goal. At 4:33, Hewitt made another
spectacular save, but his teammates were unable to clear. The puck sat limply in front of the net, and when Alberta’s Johnny Lazo hacked it over Hewitt’s shoulder, he was unable to stop it, his magic apparently exhausted from the previous save. The teams traded powerplays in the following minutes, but both failed to capitalize. Thunderbird Luke Lockhart came close to pulling his team within one, but his slick toe drag couldn’t put the puck past Bears goalie Luke Siemens. Alberta added one more for good measure at 17:07 as Torrie Dyck capitalized on a textbook two-onone, taking the pass cleanly and wristing one high and hard over a sprawling Hewitt to make the final score 5-2. With the loss, the Thunderbirds drop to 7-12-1 on the season, while the Bears improve to 17-3. U UBC will host the University of Calgary Dinos on Friday at Thunderbird Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. <em>
Monday, January 20, 2014 |
student voice. Community reach.
‘Education is not a right’ ignores taxation system OP-ED
ILLUSTRATION jethro au/the ubyssey
As the AMS penalizes candidates for petty campaign violations, Christy Clark is busy appoint David Sidoo and other party boosters to UBC’s board.
PArting shots and snap judgments from The ubyssey editorial board
Premier makes sleazy BOG appointment
Punny pun puns
Two of the three newest appointees to the Board of Governors are major supporters of the BC Liberal party, whose leader picks half the BoG members. David Sidoo, one new appointee, has donated $65,000 to the party over the years, and Alan Shuster recently worked as Christy Clark’s campaign manager. So much for merit and ability. Sidoo’s appointment, at least, makes some sense, given his long athletics history at UBC. Heck, we even named a field after him. But Shuster doesn’t seem to have any sort of history at our university and the company of which he is the CEO — WhatsNexx, a digital marketing company — doesn’t even have an office in Vancouver. To their credit, at least they’re honest about this blatantly corrupt process: Clark’s office quickly confirmed that Shuster was in fact her campaign manager, and all political contributions can be found in an online database. Still, there’s no way the only competent candidates out there just happened to have given a significant amount of their time and money to the BC Liberals. Here’s to hoping, if pointlessly, that the province takes a wider look during their next selection process.
We at The Ubyssey would like to endorse the Royal Oui, the indie band who recently performed at UBC, in their appropriation of the linguistic pronoun known as the Royal We. But the Royal We, otherwise termed “the majestic plural,” is also what we use here in the opinions section of The Ubyssey. We realize that by making this opinion known, we would be damaging our journalistic integrity; for in endorsing the Royal Oui’s appropriation of the Royal We, we ourselves are suggesting that the Royal We is a subject worthy of linguistic mockery. If the Royal Oui’s appropriation of the Royal We suggests that the Royal We is something worthy of linguistic mockery, this must mean we ourselves believe that the Royal We is a phrase devoid of semantic sincerity. If we believe that the Royal We is a phrase devoid of semantic sincerity, we must stop using the Royal We. But if we stop using the Royal We, we will no longer be able to refer to ourselves in the plural first person here at The Ubyssey. Thus, the Royal Oui’s appropriation of the Royal We means we can no longer call ourselves “we,” and
if we can’t do that, then what will we be? In the linguistic sense, we at The Ubyssey will no longer be a Royal We, and if we are no longer a Royal We, we cannot write as the collective editorial board of The Ubyssey. And if we cannot write as the editorial board of The Ubyssey, we cannot make assertions about the issues that affect UBC, such as indie band the Royal Oui’s appropriation of the Royal We — you see? Thus we cannot commit to any endorsement of the Royal Oui, and instead remain subject to the Royal We, out of necessity. Oui oui!
Carter Brarx Our photo editor is fuming because his courses do not apply a strong enough Marxist analysis to their content. While he attributes part of this to the fact the Land and Food Systems curriculum is focused on more tangible realities than passionate attacks on the capitalist system, he nonetheless sees opportunity for improvement. While The Ubyssey would like to remain neutral on the subject of Marxism, we believe professors should embrace to the extent reasonable the desires of their students. In other words, give Carter his Marx! U
A sincere thank you and a geographic complaint Letters To the female student who, despite my repeated protests, insisted on paying for my lunch today in the SUB Deli when the credit card machines were down and I had no cash on me: Your generosity moved me deeply and I will never forget it. You don’t know me at all and yet you reached out with such spontaneous kindness. You even refused to write down your name so I could repay you. I hope you read this and get in contact with me so that I can try again. Thank you for reminding me of the goodness that surrounds us. I will certainly pay it forward! Barbara Miles Vice-President, Development and Alumni Engagement, UBC
When UBC recruited me three years ago, I was sold on glass towers and state-of-the-art facilities. Unfortunately, I'm a Geography student. The faculty of Geography inhabits a “temporary” building built before WWII. Dilapidated, I told myself, but cozy. We made that insulting little building our own. Yet now they have taken even that from us. After a recent seismic assessment failed to realize that it was rife with rotten timbers, mold and asbestos, the administration spent nearly a million dollars making urgent repairs with all of the sincerity of a child beginning his homework minutes before it is due. They subjected us to four months of classes interrupted by heavy machinery renovating the building during our lessons and powerwashing classroom windows in the middle of lectures. It is impossible to discern whether this treatment reflects a contempt for our department, sheer incompetence
or simple greed. Take a look at where the new construction is happening and our university's priorities are clear: they lavish new classrooms on students of business, law and economics, topped with extra floors of offices built solely to sell the naming rights. (A helpful tip for any students looking for a warm place to sleep undetected.) UBC is Vancouver's sneakiest real estate developer and its most unapologetic slumlord. That says a lot. They only keep the school running well enough to attract new students, planning construction around recruiting season. We were promised a future. But they've sold us a used car. A used car gets you where you need to go, but costs a lot more than you bargained for along the way. The same can be true of UBC. I just hope I make it to graduation before it completely breaks down. Ian Majoribanks, Arts IV
Although Michael Sullivan won a John H. McDonald award for his article “Education is not a right” (Jan. 13), it appears his victory was solely based on his eloquence, as his actual argument is clearly lacking. Sullivan attempts to make the case that students should advocate for increased tuition. Sullivan argues there is no empirical evidence that high tuition fees are an obstacle to education. He adds that high tuition fees would allow universities to take more money from wealthy students which could be redistributed to lower-income students through grants, or reinvested in the university. High tuition is fair, according to Sullivan, because students are “the prime beneficiaries of their own educations,” and therefore society should not pay for it. First, students are not the primary beneficiaries of their education, as Sullivan argues. A highly educated population creates substantial collective benefits. Notably, university graduates are more likely to actively participate in their communities, tend to be healthier both physically and mentally (reducing the burden on our healthcare system), and play crucial roles in knowledge creation and innovation — both of which are key for the economy. Furthermore, while Sullivan is correct that university graduates on average make more money than non-graduates, he overlooks a key aspect of society: progressive taxation. University graduates will make more money, and thus will contribute more revenue to their government — the same people who fund the university system in Canada. Recent research demonstrates that male university graduates contribute on average $159,000 more in taxes to the state than a male worker with a high school diploma; for women, the contribution is $106,000 more. The average costs of a four year diploma is $50,630. Students already pay 40 per cent of that in tuition fees, and will pay it again on average two to three times over during the course of their life through taxes. Sullivan’s claim that it is unfair for society to pay for student’s education is outrageously fallacious. Students will more than pay back what society invests in their education. Further, I must add that those who advocate for free tuition do not believe students should not pay for their education, simply that they should be asked to pay in a fair way — through taxes later in life, once they have the means to do so. Sullivan’s claim that “there is no empirical evidence to support”
high tuition reducing accessibility is itself devoid of empirical evidence. A 2007 study in New Brunswick found that 29 per cent of people who decided not to pursue a university education cited financial issues, specifically concern over acquiring student debt. These findings are echoed in a 2008 study done at Staffordshire where 59 per cent of students who did not enroll in university cited student debt as a factor that “had ‘much’ or ‘very much’ affected their decision.” A study published by London South Bank University demonstrates that “the lower-income group were more debt averse than those in the middle and upper classes.”
Students are not the primary beneficiaries of their education. A highly educated population creates substantial collective benefits. Finally, in the early 1990s, Quebec increased its tuition fees, and the ministry noted a five per cent decrease in enrollment between 1992–93 and 1997–98. Comparatively, enrollment steadily increased while tuition fees were frozen in the province. In other words, student debt, clearly linked to high tuition fees, plays an important role in determining if one will go to university. Sullivan also claims high tuition fees would allow universities to take more from rich students in order to reinvest it in the university and in aid programs. Here again Sullivan seems to have forgotten that we already have an efficient way to take proportionately more from the wealthy to redistribute it: progressive taxation. Further, I must warn my readers that increased tuition fees are often paired with a decrease of government funding, and therefore the university does not get that much more resources. In B.C., for example, government funding per full-time student has dropped by 26 per cent between 1993 and 2008, and tuition rose as a result. Finally, Sullivan feels obliged to end by saying that “the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights does not compel signatories to axe tuition.” I will answer by simply quoting article 13:2(c) of said covenant: “Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education.” Enough said. U Gabriel D’Astous is a member of UBC Social Justice Centre.
file photo Horia Andrei VARLAN/Flickr
While Michael Sullivan argued higher tuition would force rich students to pay more, this writer argues the rich already contribute more to higher education funding through their taxes.
MONdAY, JANuARY 20, 2014
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