Finding love while fully clothed and totally sober SINCE 1918
May 14, 2012 | SUMMER Vol. XXIX Iss. I
BC Liberal Party returns contentious donation from physics lab after Ubyssey investigation. P3
the ubyssey PLAN
ACTION Public consultation on future housing shapes up
FESTIVAL CLOTHES Dress to impress this festival season
CLASS OF CONSTRUCTION P6 Incoming UBC students will live and study around more construction than ever before.
BEACH P5 TIME
2 | Page 2 | 05.14.2012
What’s on 14 MON
This week, may we suggest...
One on one with the people who make UBC
UBC Rec Shopping Week: May 14–17
UBC Rec’s instructional and fitness programs are free to try out all this week. Here’s your chance to see if you’d enjoy martial arts, yoga, pilates or dance classes before you commit to paying for them. Check out www.rec. ubc.ca for more information and schedules.
Intro to cheesemaking: 6–9:45pm @ UBC Farm Centre Learn to make paneer, Camembert and yogurt cheese in your own kitchen. The $42 fee includes instruction and materials. Bring your own containers to take home some fresh cheese.
UBC Poetry Slam: 7:30– 9:30pm @ Simply French Café, 10th Avenue and Alma Street Poets go head-to-head as rhyme schemes, iambic pentameter, alliteration and metaphors fly. $2 cover.
Work Your BA: 9:30am– 4:30pm @ Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Graduating with an Arts degree? Feeling a vague sense of despair about finding employment? Work Your BA offers job search and career development advice, including resumé workshops and interview practice sessions. $15.
GEOFF LISTER/The Ubyssey
Vancouver Craft Beer Week: 5–10pm @ Roundhouse Community Centre For $55, you get light food and the chance to sample your way through Vancouver Craft Beer Week, from the Belgian showcase and beer cocktail competition to local brewers like Russell, Driftwood and Central City.
Got an event you’d like to see on this page? Send your event and your best pitch to email@example.com.
The Ubyssey May 14, 2012, Summer Volume XXIX, Issue I
Coordinating Editor Jonny Wakefield
Managing Editor, Print Jeff Aschkinasi
Video Editor David Marino
Webmaster Riley Tomasek
Business Manager Fernie Pereira
Business Office: Room 23 Editorial Office: Room 24 Student Union Building 6138 Student Union Blvd Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 tel: 604.822.2301 web: www.ubyssey.ca
Ad Sales Ben Chen
Accounts Sifat Hasan
Managing Editor, Web Andrew Bates
Sports+Rec Editor CJ Pentland firstname.lastname@example.org
Features Editor Natalya Kautz
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News Editors Will McDonald + Laura Rodgers Culture Editor Anna Zoria
Chris Cochrane, a runner who is his father’s son
Bryce Warnes, Catherine Guan, David Elop, Jon Chiang, Josh Curran, Tara Martellaro, Virginie Menard, Scott MacDonald, Peter Wojnar, Tanner Bokor, Dominic Lai, Mark-Andre Gessaroli, RJ Reid, Colin Chia, Ming Wong, Collyn Chan, Anthony Poon, Vinicius Cid, Veronika Bondarenko, Yara De Jong, Evan Brow, Zafira Rajan, Lu Zhang
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of British Columbia. It is published every Monday and Thursday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous, democratically run student organization, and all students are encouraged to participate. Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey Publications Society. The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP’s guiding principles. Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your
Yara De Jong
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.
Colin Chia Staff Writer
If you’ve got running a marathon on your bucket list, you can look up to third-year integrated science student Chris Cochrane for inspiration. He completed his first marathon at only 17 years of age when he ran the 2008 Okanagan Marathon in Kelowna. That was just the beginning of his career in making the lazy feel inadequate, which continued at the Vancouver Marathon this month. Cochrane grew up in Penticton, BC, a town that has hosted the Ironman Canada race every summer since 1986. One of the more gruelling tests of endurance to be devised, the Ironman triathlon begins with a lengthy 3.8-kilometre swim and is followed by 180 kilometres on a bike, which in comparison is a bit longer than the distance between Vancouver and Hope, BC. To cap the race off, the participants run a full 42 kilometres, the equivalent of a marathon. Cochrane completed the Ironman race for the first time when he was 18, and acknowledges that his father Brad played a big role in helping him. “My dad is really big into Ironman as well, having done quite a few of them,” said Cochrane. “We trained a lot together for that when I was growing up, and we just enjoyed each other’s company.” Last summer, Cochrane completed the Ironman for a second time, and this time he and his
UBC integrated science student Chris Cochrane ran his first marathon at age 17.
father finished side by side. “He’s the stronger biker, but I caught him on the run and we ran together for the last 18 miles and finished together for that one. It was quite motivating, really.” No matter what other exercise a runner might do, Cochrane said that a marathon is still a formidable challenge that requires months of preparation. “A marathon is different. I think you have to push a lot harder just because it is a single event, versus in a triathlon...I feel it hurts more, to be honest. It’s a tough event no matter what.” Cochrane added that properly pacing yourself during the marathon is the hardest part. “Holding back in the beginning so that you don’t hurt too much in the end, that’s always a really big challenge. [The beginning] feels really easy, but if you’re going too fast it’ll hurt you in the end.” After coming to UBC, Cochrane has completed more races around the Lower Mainland. He took part in the Dirty Duo race in March, running 50 kilometres through the hills of North Vancouver and finishing fourth out of 36 competitors. Most recently, he ran the Vancouver Marathon on May 6 with his father. He completed the “amazingly beautiful” course, which passed through UBC, in just over three and a
half hours. “It was pretty good. It was a little bit difficult because it was right after exams and I didn’t get the chance to train as much as I wanted to.” Cochrane is in his third year of a integrated science program in physiology, physics and biomechanics, and hopes to apply to medical school and study to become an orthopedic surgeon. As for running, he plans to once again run the Okanagan Marathon in October with his girlfriend. There is no slowing down Chris Cochrane. U
Chris Cochrane Hometown Penticton, BC Area of study Integrated Science On getting his start “My dad is really big into Ironman as well, having done quite a few of them. We trained a lot together for that when I was growing up, and we just enjoyed each other’s company.” Most gruelling test The Ironman Canada, which Cochrane completed at age 18. Career aspirations Orthopedic surgeon
Editors: Will McDonald + Laura Rodgers
Student loans >>
UBC warns US students of potential loan interest rate increase Jonny Wakefield Coordinating Editor
American students may have been surprised to see the name Barack Obama in an email from UBC. Late last month, UBC sent a broadcast email to US students informing them that interest rates on their government loans could double without congressional action. The email warned students that the 2007 College Cost Reduction Act is set to expire on June 30, 2012, raising the interest rate on student
loans from 3.4 to 6.8 per cent. UBC wanted to ensure American students were aware that the cost of repaying their student loans could increase, said Anne Dewolfe, director of Student Financial Assistance and Awards. According to Dewolfe, the cost of paying off the average student loan could increase by $1000 if new legislation is not passed. Emma Thompson, a Sauder student from Colorado, said she took out close to $5000 this year in government-subsidized Stafford loans.
She said that an increase in interest rates would hurt, but that she would take on more debt in order to graduate. According to The New York Times, the average student with Stafford loans graduates with close to $13,000 in debt. “It wouldn’t be ideal, but if I had to pay for school, I would make that sacrifice,” she said. “But I’d really like to not pay double.” Thompson said she was happy that UBC was keeping students informed, especially during exam time. Dewolfe said the university
was concerned that exam-addled students might be blindsided by news of a rate increase. “If a bill does not pass, then we didn’t want to be criticized later as not having advised students,” said Dewolfe. “They could have taken some action if they wanted to. And if they don’t, that’s fine too.” According to Dewolfe, around 450 UBC students receive loans subsidized by the US government, and UBC processes and disperses almost $7 million per year in student loans from the US Department of
BC Libs return TRIUMF donations Laura Rodgers News Editor
After the issue was publicized by The Ubyssey, The BC Liberals will be returning TRIUMF’s donations. TRIUMF, the Canadian national physics laboratory located at UBC, donated a total of $1950 to the BC Liberal Party in the form of tickets to fundraising events in 2011. After these donations came under fire from critics, Elections BC has ruled that the full amount of the donations must be returned as TRIUMF is a charitable organization. “The purchase of fundraising function tickets by [TRIUMF] is a political contriubtion by virtue of section 182 of the [BC Elections Act] and such purchases by a charitable organization are therefore prohibited,” wrote Nola Western, deputy chief electoral officer with Elections BC, in a memo obtained by The Ubyssey. Chad Pederson, executive director of the BC Liberal Party, said, “Since it came to light that TRIUMF was charity status, we’ve been in the process of issuing a refund to them.” According to TRIUMF’s director, Nigel Lockyer, the donations were made so that he could attend a handful of BC Liberal fundraising receptions to speak with Liberal MLAs Moira Stillwell and Richard Lee, as well as BC Premier Christy Clark. Tim Meyer, TRIUMF head of strategic planning and communications, said that the laboratory would be updating its policies so that no similar donations could be made in the future. “We’ve learned a lot in the past week. We now realize that we have to interrupt our current practice,” said Meyer. “We suspect
Education. Last week, the Republicancontrolled House of Representatives passed a bill that would take $5.9 billion from Obama’s health care reform bill to maintain the 3.4 per cent interest rate. Obama has said he will veto the Republican proposal. “We certainly hope that Congress sorts this out and that the interest rate will stay low,” said Dewolfe. “Canadians enjoy a pretty good interest rate, and we’re just hopeful that the Americans will continue with the low rate they’ve had.” U honorary degrees >>
Ceremony set for interned JapaneseCanadian students
Mary Kitagawa Courtesy of don erhardt
Colin Chia Staff Writer
BC Liberals returned TRIUMF’s donations because they were prohibited by the BC Elections Act.
Photo courtesy UBC
we were ignorant of what was really required.” TRIUMF, which is a joint venture between 17 Canadian universities, is a registered non-profit charitable organization in Canada. This organization is also linked with TRIUMF Accelerators Inc., which holds the facility’s operating licence, and TRIUMF Technologies Inc., a for-profit technology commercialization arm. Lockyer stated that, although the lab does not receive any funding directly from the provincial government, he feels lobbying them is still important. “We want to be sure that if there’s a phone call from Ottawa to Victoria and they say, ‘We’d like to ask you about TRIUMF,’ they know what it is, and they say it’s an important laboratory for us,” he
said. “We have to be viewed as valuable to the province in order to get federal money.” In total, TRIUMF receives about $55 million per year in public funding from the federal government, according to Lockyer. Their commercial profits total roughly $1 million each year. TRIUMF CFO Henry Chen was adamant that no taxpayer dollars were used for the donations. “It’s not from taxpayer money, it’s other revenues that we generate,” he said. Dermod Travis, director of IntegrityBC, questioned whether the donations were even necessary in the first place. IntegrityBC is a provincial electoral-finance watchdog group, which initiated criticism of the donations. “In the case of Richard Lee, before he was
elected Burnaby-North MLA, he worked at TRIUMF...for 22 years,” said Travis. “It’s astounding that TRIUMF felt that the only way they could talk to Richard was to buy a fundraising ticket to a reception rather than just call him up as an old colleague.” BC NDP caucus chair Shane Simpson offerend similar criticism, saying, “It would be better if they just felt confident they could get to the government without having to pull out their chequebook to do it.” Meyer indicated that the TRIUMF Board of Directors would be implementing a new policy governing lobbying at their next meeting in July. “We thought we understood, and we thought we were abiding by the rules,” said Meyer. U
Five arrests made for Ximena Osegueda’s murder
UBC midwifery program doubles in size
UBC prof receives $260,000 to study bridges in BC
UBC researchers work towards a universal flu vaccine
Mexican police have made five arrests for the murder of UBC student Ximena Osegueda and her boyfriend Alejandro Honorio Santamaria. Police, who say the suspects are connected to organized crime, are currently searching for three more people who were allegedly involved. The suspects have been charged with homicide, theft and organized crime. Osegueda was doing research in Mexico as part of her PhD in Hispanic studies when she went missing on December 13, 2011. The bodies of Osegueda and Santamaria were found partially buried on a beach later that month.
UBC’s midwifery program will double in size over the next five years. The program will grow from 10 to 20 students thanks to a $1.914 million grant from the province and an $833,920 yearly increase in funding. “UBC’s midwifery education program is part of government’s commitment to educating health professionals in British Columbia,” said Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto. “This funding means more students can pursue their chosen field at UBC, and more midwives will graduate, helping to serve the needs of BC families.”
UBC engineering professor Shahria Alam has received $260,000 study bridges in the province for earthquake readiness. Alam said that BC is prone to seismic activity, but many of its bridges aren’t able to withstand an earthquake. “We are very fortunate in BC to have escaped serious infrastructure damage in the past,” Shahria said. “It is [therefore] critical to assess the seismic vulnerability of existing highway bridges in BC.” Shahria will lead a four-year study to measure the likelihood of BC bridges collapsing during an earthquake.
UBC researchers have made a step towards developing a universal flu vaccine. UBC, along with researchers from the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto, found that the swine flu vaccine triggers antibodies that protect against many other types of flu viruses. Canada research chair in immunology John Schrader said the research supports the idea that there is a way to develop universal flu vaccines which would eliminate the need for seasonal vaccines. Seasonal flu causes between 200,000 and 500,000 deaths per year. U
After the conclusion of a drawn-out dispute between the UBC Senate and the Japanese-Canadian community, UBC will hold a ceremony on May 30 to award honorary degrees to 76 Japanese-Canadian students interned during World War II. Alden Habacon, director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development at UBC, said the May 30 ceremony will proceed much like the usual honorary degree ceremonies UBC performs every year, but this one will have many more recipients. The ceremony itself will avoid dwelling too much on the tragic history of internment or the honorees’ ethnicity. “The students felt very Canadian and very mainstream...The whole problem is that the reason these students were removed and exiled is because they were Japanese and what everyone seems to keep forgetting is that they’re also just Canadian,” said Habacon. “We’ve tried very hard to keep the focus entirely on the students.” It will be the circumstances that are special, rather than the ceremony itself, Habacon said. “It’ll be such a once-in-a-lifetime moment of healing that I don’t know if we’ll get the chance to see this again.” Mary Kitagawa, a member of the Greater Vancouver JapaneseCanadian Citizens Association who led the campaign for the honorary degrees, said the reaction of the former students was overwhelmingly positive. Kitagawa said she is grateful that UBC has finally decided to do the right thing. “This was not about me, but everything to do with finding justice for the students of 1942,” she said. U The ceremony will take place at the Chan Centre at 4pm on May 30.
4 | News | 05.14.2012 UNdergraduate Societies >>
EUS wants to run student space
Worries over contract with UBC halt engineers’ incorporation plans
Harris given seat on Mayors’ Transit Council Laura Rodgers
Laura Rodgers News Editor
Incorporation may be off the table, but the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) still wants control of their student space. The EUS had planned to incorporate as a separate society from the AMS. This would have given them more control over the new student centre they plan to build in place of the decrepit “Cheeze” building. Facing mounting costs and a university unwilling to sign a building agreement, they’ve gone back to the drawing board—but it might not stop a policy that would give deans the final say on activities in faculty student spaces. “It became pretty evident from talks with the university that they wouldn’t be willing to sign with an incorporated party, as opposed to signing with the AMS on behalf of the EUS,” said EUS President Ian Campbell. Hubert Lai, university counsel for UBC, confirmed this. “If you’ve got a brand new student society with no track record, with no assets, the university would have to look at that very carefully and see if it was still an appropriate and prudent decision to enter into an agreement with them,” he said. The new Engineering Student Centre, a $5.2 million project, was set to be finished by spring 2013. Its funding comes primarily through student fees and alumni donations. Through incorporation, the EUS hoped to be able to hire their own building staff, reimburse students faster for EUS-related purchases and ensure that the students and alumni who funded the building would have control over what happened there. The engineers now fear that
The UBC region will now have an elected representative voting at the TransLink table. Legislation introduced by the provincial government on May 7 will give the director of Electoral Area A—a wide swath of unincorporated Vancouver land which includes all of UBC campus—a voting seat on the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation. The Council approves plans prepared by TransLink and appoints the transit authority’s commissioner and board of directors. Electoral Area A director Maria Harris said that she hopes to use the seat to push for more reliable transit to UBC, as well as more long-term funding for transit projects. “I think we’ve got gridlock in the region... Everybody agrees that we need to move forward,” said Harris. “If we can find good funding for it, probably light rail [to UBC] will be a good answer.” The voting members of the council include area mayors, as well as a representative from the Tsawwassen First Nation. Harris will be the first representative from an unincorporated area to be given a vote. AMS VP External Kyle Warwick was measured in his praise of the move, saying that while it does provide something of a voice for the area, a better local governance model is still needed to fully represent UBC residents. “As an interim bandaid solution, having representation from the UBC area does serve to mitigate the immediate democratic deficit,” he said. “What we need is a governance structure at UBC that represents all community members. “Currently the Electoral Area A representative isn’t sufficient for that purpose. We need a more broad system.” However, Warwick was optimistic about the potential of Harris’s seat. “[We’re] committed to working as closely as possible with Maria Harris to ensure that she is an effective voice on behalf of students,” he said. Likewise, the university has acknowledged that UBC residents will be gaining a voice through the seat. “However, UBC as an institution does not yet have a voice on TransLink’s Mayors’ Council–and it’s certainly something that the university hopes for,” wrote Stephen Owen, UBC VP External, Legal and Community Relations, in an email. “In the meantime, we are happy to work with the province on those issues.” UBC also asserted the necessity of new infrastructure for transit along the Broadway corridor. “TransLink decision-making needs to address the next level of transit service in the UBC Line corridor so we have the right transportation infrastructure to fulfill that potential,” Owen wrote. Harris said the creation of the voting seat was supported by current Mayors’ Council members and the University Neighbourhood Association (UNA). In a press release, the provincial government said the appointment would enhance participation by local government in the planning and decisionmaking process at TransLink, and that the Mayors’ Council, the director and the public requested the appointment. “I want to be there with a voice for our constituents,” said Harris. “I appreciate that very, very much.” U —with files from Andrew Bates
Yara de jong/The Ubyssey
The EUS wants control of their new student space, which would be impossible if UBC’s new policy on student spaces passes.
their new student space will be the first to entrench a formal policy in which final authority rests not with students and alumni donors, but with UBC. A new policy called “Key Concepts for the Governance of Faculty Student Social Spaces” was drafted in the wake of the EUS’s decision against incorporation. According to Campbell, UBC wants to make the policy mandatory for any undergraduate society that wants to operate its own building—like the Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre, operated by the Science Undergraduate Society. The policy stipulates that “no activities take place in the buildings without the university’s approval through the dean,” and Campbell is worried that this blanket rule will cause alumni donations to the new building to dry up.
“I think that if the alumni don’t feel that they and students have a reasonable degree of control over projects that they’re donating to, then it will strongly dissuade them from donating,” said Campbell. “We don’t want students to have full control of the building, because then there are no checks and balances,” Campbell explained, “but we also don’t want the faculty to have full control because we’d have the same problem, just on the other end.” Campbell said the EUS hoped that, rather than handing the faculty full control over the space, a management committee composed of students, alumni and faculty could hold authority over the building. In Lai’s opinion, although student engagement with running
student spaces is important, having the ultimate control rest with faculty allows for continuity. “Students, as you know, they come and they go, and alumni become engaged or less engaged [at] various times,” said Lai. “I think if you look at any of the existing situations where the dean does have final decision-making power, you’ll see that it has never been an issue, that the students’ voice has been heard, and that unless there are unwise recommendations coming out of the group, the dean has never had to intervene.” However, Campbell urged for a balance of power. “We want to actually see the stakeholders fully taking part in deciding what goes on in the building,” he said. “We don’t think that any one party should have absolute control of it.” U
Housing Action Plan consultation complete Veronika Bondarenko Staff Writer
As the cost of Vancouver real estate continues to rise, finding affordable housing on campus is becoming more and more difficult. Consultation has closed on the Housing Action Plan, which began in 2011 to ensure that more affordable and sustainable housing options are included in UBC’s future building plans. “The plan includes options for affordable housing for students, staff and faculty,” said Board of Governors (BoG) student rep Sumedha Sharma. “This plan was developed in great detail over the past year, and included public consultation as a key component.” UBC has drafted a discussion paper addressing campus housing concerns for students, faculty and staff. The Community Planning Task Group will present the results at the next BoG meeting. One of the main issues for students is the shortage of beds available on campus. Student Housing and Hospitality Services aims to add 2000 student beds on campus by 2016, up from the current 9000, according to the discussion paper. Sharma said that new student housing could take the form of undergraduate residences like Totem and Vanier, as well as other options for students with families. Students have also raised concerns about the price of housing in
Vancouver. Student loans currently allocate $573 per month for shelter, which is below the cost of most housing available for students. UBC plans to advocate to various levels of government in order to bridge the gap. Nassif Ghoussoub, chair of the BoG’s Community Planning Task Group, believes that housing reform is long overdue. “In my opinion, this initiative is urgently needed,” said Ghoussoub, who is currently overseeing the development of the Housing Action Plan. “Vancouver is an expensive city and the lack of affordable housing on or near campus is significantly impacting our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest minds.” After traveling around North America to see how universities in other expensive cities are dealing with a similar type of concern, Ghoussoub is confident that the Housing Action Plan will bring UBC one step closer to providing appropriate housing options for the UBC community. “The plan will support the university’s goals of retaining and recruiting high-calibre faculty, staff and students and building a vibrant, sustainable community on campus,” said Ghoussoub. At the same time, Ghoussoub believes that resolving Vancouver’s general lack of affordable housing cannot be left entirely up to the
KAI JACOBSON/The Ubyssey
The Ponderosa Commons hub will add 1100 of UBC’s proposed 2000 new beds by 2016.
university. “Housing affordability is not something UBC can address on its own. What we can do is find ways to work with [the] government to better support students with the most need.” University Neighbourhoods Association chair Prod Laquian said that while the Housing Action Plan will improve the housing situation at UBC, it is not a perfect solution. “Yes, I think the Housing Action Plan will help,” said Laquian.
“However, it cannot really solve the whole problem because the Greater Vancouver housing market encourages very high prices because Vancouver is a very desirable place to live in, especially for immigrants.” According to Laquian, possible housing solutions include increasing the amount of high-rise and other ground-oriented buildings, designing smaller housing units, and using cross-subsidies to fund the construction of affordable housing from the profits of luxury homes. U
Editor: CJ Pentland
Women’s golf heading to NAIA nationals
RICH LAM/UBC ATHLETICS
CJ Pentland Sports+Rec Editor
JEFF ASCHKINASI/The Ubyssey
Wreck Beach is one of several beaches around UBC where students can enjoy a day in the sun.
Vancouver beaches for dummies Henry Lebard Contributor
or our geographically challenged readers, UBC is located at the tip of Point Grey, right next to the Pacific Ocean. What does that mean for outdoorsy folk? Beaches galore. And with the sun starting to shine and summer right around the corner, those beaches will be great places for UBC students to spend a day. From Wreck Beach to Kits Beach and everything in between, here’s a look at the best sandy and not-so-sandy shorelines near UBC. Kits Beach This is the hotspot come sunny summer weekends. If there is a spot along the shorelines of Vancouver where all walks of life are accepted, this is it. Yuppies, students, geezers and bachelors come here regularly to get their beach on. It’s also one of the best locations in terms of accessibility from both downtown and UBC. Along with its perfect view of summer sunsets, Kits Beach is the spot to be.
Jericho Beach Located between the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Jericho Sailing Club, this relatively short beach offers decent views of North Vancouver’s mountains and the sunset. With expansive playing fields and
a pond behind the beach, there’s a diverse range of activities for visitors. That being said, it’s not the best beach in Vancouver’s Westside. The best one? That honour goes to...
KAI JACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
Locarno Beach and Spanish Banks This double-headed monster of a beach offers beach volleyball courts, low-tide mud flats, burger stands and park tables for weekend barbecues. With a distant view of the high peaks of the Tantalus and Tetrahedron mountain ranges, along with views of downtown and North Vancouver, this beach is legit. There’s even a waterside path for walkers, runners and bikers, meaning there isn’t much that this mega-beach doesn’t offer. Wreck Beach If you haven’t visited Wreck yet, now is the time to go. Just as the sun creeps out from behind winter rainclouds and the temperature rises, Vancouver’s tannest hippies make their way to this clothing-optional beach. Strip down, eliminate tan lines and take in the beauty of the human form. Wreck Beach offers the best swimming waters of any Vancouver beach due to its lack of seaweed, but feel free to walk north along the shorelines, where fermenting blackberries overpower all smells in the late summer. Latenight campfires are also a regular occurrence at Wreck, so be ready to stay late into the evening. U
KAI JACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
The UBC women’s golf team feels that they are physically ready to succeed at the upcoming NAIA women’s golf national championships; if they can mentally prepare themselves as well, expect big things from them this week. An impressive win at the Association of Independent Institutions (AII) women’s golf championships in April earned them a berth in the upcoming NAIA national championships. The tournament runs from May 15–19 at the Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tennessee. It will be the biggest tournament of the year for the team, but the ‘Birds aren’t scared of the strong competition. “I don’t think they’ll feel more pressure than they’ve felt all year,” said head coach Chris MacDonald. “They’ve played against teams that are some of the best teams in the NAIA. We know what we’re up against.” The success of the team is due to their well-rounded five-player roster. Third-year Kylie Barros is the only golfer who has played Link Hills before, winning the 2011 NAIA individual title there. Fifth-year Alyssa Human also has national experience, helping the T-Birds win the NAIA Nationals in 2010. Along with first-year Stephanie Wong, Human and Barros have played key leadership roles on the team. Second-years Reagan Wilson and Casara Hong both complement their teammates in different ways and help bolster the squad. “Casara brings some distance to us, and she’s shot some underpar scores for us this year, so she’s another valuable player for us,” MacDonald said. “Reagan has been steady; she shot a couple of 77s at the AII Tournament, and she’s really committed to playing well. She’s a really good competitor.” It’s been a long year of preparation leading up to the nationals, with the team putting in many hours of work not only on the course, but also in the gym and in sports psychology appointments. In the past few weeks, though, they are slightly changing their approach in hopes of becoming as mentally prepared as possible. “We’re trying to create more scenario-type practices,” said MacDonald. “It’s less hitting balls and more hitting one specific ball at a target with a specific focus on that shot. “We just keep working to be ready for being calm in that moment.” With focused preparation, a well-rounded roster and a vast amount of experience, UBC will be a tough team to stop as they vie for their second NAIA women’s golf
6 | Feature | 05.14.2012 Cover Story >>
1 Work begins on the new SUB, the first of six development proje
2 A tree protected at the site, where construction caused the rem
3 Fences block off both students and the Goddess of Democrac
UBC has just begun an unprecedented round of construction in the centre of campus, and it’s the incoming cohort of students who will feel the strain. Natalya Kautz Features Editor
Come September, the prospect of a peaceful, open campus centre will be difficult to imagine. Orange cones, rusty blue fences and the drone of heavy machinery—none of these are unusual on an evolving campus like UBC. But for the class of 2016, these sights may come to define their degree like never before. “There’s no more signature thing to a current student, this cohort of students, than construction on campus,” said AMS President Matt Parson. He isn’t being hyperbolic.
05.14.2012 | Feature | 7
UBC’s aggressive transformation The ground-breaking for the new SUB this past February heralded the beginning of an extensive redevelopment of the university’s centre. Five other major projects are slated to follow, with construction on campus set to span the next four years at least. Unlike the development projects of the past few years, the central location means construction will be all but unavoidable. Students on campus Source: UBC Campus and Community planning will be especially impacted by the construction, and the intensive development has also raised concerns over accessibility and sustainability.
Start May 2012 Finish Aug. 2014
Diesel bus terminal/ new MacInnes Field
Start Feb. 2015 | Finish Jan. 2016
Start Fall 2012 Finish Aug. 2013
Start Spring 2013 | Finish Jan. 2015
Student housing on current bus loop
Beyond Jan. 2016
Start May 2013 Finish Jan. 2015
ects in the campus centre.
moval of 60 trees.
cy from the work zone.
The first day all those fences went up, I had no clue...I sent a note to the transportation office and said, ‘If I can’t find my way through here, other people aren’t going to be able to either.’ Dean Gregory UBC’s landscape architect
Just watching these trees come down the other day, people were walking by and shaking their heads. Chris Sherwood UBC lab manager
ast February, the groundbreaking for the new SUB marked the first of six major construction projects planned to span at least the next four years—all in the heart of campus. This means that this September’s incoming students will find it especially hard to escape construction during their degree. The new SUB won’t be finished until August 2014. During this time, the Bookstore will be expanded and fully renovated. And located between these two sites, construction on a new Alumni Centre is also projected to span two years. Joe Stott, director of Campus and Community Planning, said incoming UBC students would acquire a very different impression of campus. “Someone starting their undergraduate years here in September will witness quite a transformation on campus, and it will be ongoing throughout their four years.” A few metres east of the SUB, three additional development projects are set to begin in 2013. Work on the new Aquatic Centre is slated for the following 20 months. Then just a month after its completion, further construction will begin on a diesel bus terminal and new MacInnes Field, spanning a further year. Finally, student housing is planned at the current bus loop after 2016. According to Stott, campus construction has stayed fairly consistent in recent years. Buildings with the most capital investment—big-dollar projects like the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, the Beatty Biodiversity Museum and the Henry Angus building—were, for the most part, completed three years ago. “[Construction has] been fairly consistent over the last six years, it just depends on what part of campus you’re familiar with,” explained Stott. However, construction has mainly stayed outside the campus centre: the area around Gage, the bus loop and the SUB. “It tends to be on the periphery, and unless you go to that part
of campus, people may not be that aware.” Such blissful ignorance will soon be a thing of the past. Aside from work on the University Boulevard bus loop, the core of campus has been mostly quiet since the completion of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in 2002. “It will be more disruptive than it has been,” said Stott. “Now we’re going to be right in everyone’s face because everyone comes to the hub of campus. That’s why most people will perceive there’s more activity.” Opinions on the construction process aren’t always positive. In the two weeks since fences were erected around the new SUB construction site, AMS President Matt Parson has heard a number of complaints. “I’ve gotten a few emails already of, ‘I’m having difficulties getting into the SUB.’ Just frustrations from people.” The prospect of reduced traffic in the SUB is concerning for a society that relies on its businesses for revenue. In an effort to secure business in the SUB, Parson explained that the AMS has hired a consultant who will be managing its “disruptive marketing campaign.” Starting in September, the campaign will focus on wayfinding into and around the SUB. “It’s more to help people navigate their way around the current SUB, making sure that they’re still able to come in and find their way to the Gallery or the Pit.” “It might be a more annoying time to navigate around the centre of campus, but…through our messaging efforts, people won’t be lost among the fences.” *** As UBC’s landscape architect, Dean Gregory makes his living re-imagining campus and navigating construction. Gregory said even he initially had trouble navigating around the SUB construction site. “You’ve got this immediate impediment as soon as you get off the bus. In fact, the first day all those fences went up, I had no clue. I was very frustrated and I sent a note to
the transportation office and said, ‘If I can’t find my way through here, other people aren’t going to be able to either.’ “I think [the AMS has] tried to address it…but it’s going to be like that for several years.” Gregory said anticipating the impact of construction can be difficult. “It’s hard to know all the people who are going to a certain place, and we maybe don’t know until we get the call. Then we try to address it.” He noted students with disabilities can face particular hardship. Come its September renovation, the Bookstore will face similar concerns. In an effort to remain accessible, it plans to open additional entrances. Gregory is responsible for implementing the Public Realm Plan, the project currently focused on reshaping Main Mall and University Boulevard. Both are set to finish by September 2012, but eight additional Public Realm projects are planned for the next few years. “[There is] lots of development on campus. It’s probably unprecedented. It’s distressing, I think, when people are here and looking around and just seeing all this change. It’s understandably difficult for people to absorb it,” said Gregory. Gregory is not the only one concerned about the visual impact of the construction sites. Parson and the AMS are also concerned about the unsightliness of construction. To reduce the visual impression on students, the marketing campaign will include beautification, such as scrims on the fences surrounding the site. The start of construction on the new SUB has also raised further controversy. The natural landscape of any location is necessarily disturbed by construction. In the case of the new SUB, this meant demolishing 60 trees on the site. “Just watching these trees come down the other day, people were walking by and shaking their heads,” said Chris Sherwood. A UBC lab manager, Sherwood has been conscious of the environment
J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D
for the 29 years he has worked on campus. After he witnessed the tree removal for the new SUB, Sherwood spoke out against the university in an article in the Vancouver Courier. Sherwood believes the planned construction shows UBC’s negligence of the campus environment. “Those trees out there were bird habitats, and you used to get all sorts of exotic birds.” Gregory said that, as a landscape architect, the decision to save or remove trees is a difficult one. Though he agreed that the removal of trees was unfortunate, Gregory argued that UBC strived to keep or move as many trees as possible. “We do try. But you cannot move all trees, [some] are just too big. “The environmental value and the aesthetic value of the trees was really high. The monetary value of the trees was not really that high.” Given the financial estimates from the tree mover, he said it “didn’t seem rational” to keep the trees. Stott agreed, adding that moving trees posed too much of a gamble. “[There is no] guarantee of success when you replant. There’s too much money at risk.” For those involved, these problems seem inherent at a time of extensive development and change at UBC. “We can’t do it all at once, although for some people it will appear to be all at once,” said Stott. “This is in the heart of the campus, there’s going to be quite a transformation.” For students, this transformation process will be inescapable for the next few years. Parson hopes efforts by the AMS will relieve the burden. “Hopefully through some things like phasing, it won’t be too disruptive to a particular cohort in a particular area for a drawn-out period of time,” he said. But with the ambitious plans set for the heart of campus, Parson admits students will still feel the strain. “It’s tough. This university is growing and a part of that is the growing pains,” said Parson. “It’s just one of those unfortunate realities that a current UBC student has had to deal with.” U
Editor: Anna Zoria
Mercy Years takes a break from the daily grind Rebekah Ho Contributor
Mercy Years, a band founded on Craigslist and JJ Bean, held a CD release show and kicked off their tour of Western Canada on May 3. “Adam and I met via Craigslist post. [He] was a lonely Englishman looking for friends in Vancouver,” said Nick Russell, one of the band’s guitarists. “This incarnation of the band has only been around for about a year and a half.” The band consists of seven members, and five of them work at local café chain JJ Bean. “It’s hilarious because getting time off for shows and tours is just a nightmare,” said Ben Mott, another guitarist in the band. Mercy Years’ five-track, selftitled EP was officially released on May 4, but they gave away free copies the night before at their release show. “Finally today is the day that we can play it for people,” said Mott. “It’s taken a long time to record, to practice, to get songs up to the level where we’re comfortable playing them, because we’re all total perfectionists.” “I think the sound of this album is definitely a very pop-y sound… We like to keep it eclectic with the guitars and multiple vocalists,” said Russell. “I think at heart, we all love a good melody, and that’s what the band is built around.” Mott added, “We started releasing song by song, every five days or so, in the lead-up to our full album releasing. A lot of people said that this would be great to drive to in the summer on a road trip.” An audience member at the show agreed. “They have a very summery tone,” she said. “Easy on the ears.” Their show took place at The Cobalt, a low-lit, intimate venue. Despite the fact that it was a Thursday night, the place was packed. With three guitars and seven people up on stage, the instrumentals were occasionally overpowering, but Mercy Years’ catchy riffs and solid harmonies shone through. There is always something charming about Canadian bands and lead singers with British accents. The audience was a split between dancers up in the front and headbobbers in the back. Regardless, everybody, especially the band, was obviously having a good time. Aside from being a rock star, Russell studied psychology at UBC. “The campus is beautiful. I took so many great classes,” he said. “It was a little frustrating, because it was easy to get lost in the crowd. But I feel like you get out of it what you put in.” Russell also talked about previously playing at SHiNDiG, the annual battle of the bands hosted by CiTR, UBC’s student-run radio station. “I already knew a few of the bands who were playing with us at the show, because they play at UBC or on the radio,” he said. “UBC is great in terms of promoting the music of students who go there.” The band is currently on tour, making their way from Vancouver to Regina and back. “We’re all excited to get on the road,” said Mott. “It’s been a long time coming for this group of people.” U
KAI JACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
A collection of outfits worn by music lovers at the Sasquatch Music Festival in 2010.
Dress for the fest: a guide to music festival apparel
Sunny Thorne Contributor
From Coachella to Electric Daisy Carnival to Sasquatch and more, outdoor music festivals are one of the best parts of summer. With non-stop music, parties, camping and drinking (and other, less legal forms of escapism), there is really no better place to see the most fabulous and questionable expressions of personal style. In anticipation of a festival-filled summer with great music and hopefully better fashion, here is a brief list of festival fashion do’s and don’ts. DO connect with your vintage roots. Music festivals evoke an oldschool feeling that can be expressed through a variety of great style choices. Here’s an opportunity to wear that awesome retro band shirt you found at an overpriced vintage store or that hippie fringe vest you stole from your mom’s closet. There is probably no better occasion to let your hair down and express your
inner flower child or rock and roll god/goddess. After all, when else will you have the excuse to sport hippie head bands, flower crowns and fanny packs all at the same time? DON’T advertise your love of acid trips through your choice of chapeau. For the love of all things aesthetically pleasing, can we please address the SpiritHood?! These handmade, faux-fur hat/scarf combos (available in wild roadkill varieties such as hawk, leopard, wolf…and yes, panda bear) are a fashion choice that cause even the most style-blind individuals to stare in confusion. If the ridiculousness of a stuffed animal resting on your head doesn’t deter you, perhaps the problematic marketing of the “Navajo spirit” should raise some alarms. Not only are these hats offensive to the eyes, they are actually offensive to the cultures they claim to express. You will not embody the spirit of the owl. You are not a wolf. You are just
a fool who shelled out $150 to look like a hybrid teddy bear. DO try something funky in denim. Music festivals are a perfectly appropriate environment to shed your everyday jeans and don a pair of cutoff shorts instead. Denim allows you to express your inner wild child, so channel some Nirvana or Courtney Love. Whether you shred them, embroider them or stud them, you can’t go wrong; 90s grunge, in the form of oversized denim jackets and acid washed jeans, is definitely making a comeback. Paired with flip-flops for the California surfer look, or with combat boots for a more punkrock twist, denim is a versatile and incredibly comfortable style choice for those long, hazy festival days. DON’T dress like a glowstick. Avoid the highlighter tees and the sunglasses at night. This is not A Night at the Roxbury and you are
not fooling anyone, “bro.” While those who enjoy their hallucinogens might express their inner National Geographic , festival “bros” seeking heavy basslines and techno anthems stick out like a sore...jaw? And ladies, never ever get caught in a photo with a pacifier. The 90s are over, and so is your infancy. Let the raves RIP. DON’T get a Skrillex haircut. This “techno-mullet” is not only passé, but really quite hideous. The fact that you like the sound of robots copulating with the occasional T. rex shriek followed by a “siiiick bass drop” does not need to be advertised on your head. In fact, all that your patchy scalp brings to mind is the hair-clipper prank in Jackass . Don’t cut it off…Just cut it out. Armed with these fashion guidelines, you can now go dance your heart out in the sunshine, confident that you look as great as you feel. Let the festival fun begin! U
05.14.2012 | Culture | 9 UBC Farm >>
Film highlights the perilous position of pollinators Cynthia Chou Contributor
CHRIS BORCHERT/THE UBYSSEY
Bond with your date by twisting into sweaty, contorted poses and breathing rhythmically.
Summer date ideas that won’t break the bank is finally upon us and love is in the air! Those of you staying in Vancouver for the summer will know that it’s a haven for summer romances. With the ocean and mountains surrounding the city, Vancouver is a charming place for relationships—new and old. At the same time, most students live on a Stightummer budget. Summer months can entice you into many days and nights of expensive patio drinking and outdoor activities. Not to worry; we’ve compiled a list of cheap summer date ideas so that you and your significant other can maximize your love while minimizing your spending.
YARA DE JONG/THE UBYSSEY
CHRIS BORCHERT/THE UBYSSEY
—Compiled by Annie Ju
KAI JACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
Trattoria Pasta Tuesday Are you trying to impress your date with a fancy Italian dinner but don’t have the big bucks? Head to Trattoria Italian Kitchen on Tuesday nights, when you can get a pasta dish for $10. See the stunned look on their face when you order a Kobe meatball spaghetti. Reservations are recommended. 1850 West 4th Avenue
Bowling at Varsity Ridge Varsity Ridge in the Arbutus Village offers glow-in-the-dark bowling every Wednesday at 4pm for $8 per person. Should you ever get tired of the summer heat, head indoors and score some strikes. 2120 West 15th Avenue Free tennis courts If you’re looking for some one-on-one action with your significant other, grab your tennis rackets and head to one of the 183 free tennis courts in Vancouver. What could be better than indulging in the sun while serving some balls? Don’t worry if the courts are full; the maximum wait time is 30 minutes, according to park rules. Free yoga classes at Lululemon Need to work off that hangover? Get hot and sweaty with your special someone and try downward dog or wide-legged forward bend...with clothes on, for a change. All Lululemon locations in Vancouver offer free yoga classes every Sunday morning at 8:45am. Burnaby Mountain If you’re a true romantic, take your lover up to Burnaby Mountain. It offers the best view of Burrard Inlet and it’s the perfect spot for watching the sun rise. Stroll around the totem poles and explore the park’s natural beauty. Not an early riser? Catch a sunset as you look far ahead to the downtown skyline.
The Comedy Mix One of the best ways to bond is through laughter. If you’re not funny, someone else will be at the Comedy Mix. Take your significant other on a weeknight and let out a guffaw together. Tickets range from $7–$12 and shows start at 8:30pm. 1015 Burrard Street
Warehouse Feeling casual? Try relaxing over a Lazy Boy Lager on tap or select one of Warehouse’s many unique shooters. The best part: any food on the menu is $4.99 every day! Rock out to Mick Jagger or people-watch on their patio on Granville Street. 989 Granville Street Noodle Box If you’re a fan of Southeast Asian cuisine, visit the Noodle Box for a wide selection of noodle and rice dishes. Their shrimp sauces and teriyaki beef are to die for. Get more bang for your buck by dining in instead of taking out: you will be served significantly larger portions. Don’t forget to present your student card to receive $1 off your meal. 1867 West 4th Avenue
The Backstage Lounge If live bands and cheap beer are your thing, grab your partner and head to The Backstage Lounge on Granville Island. With a ninepiece live funk band playing all night, you’ll have a hard time leaving the dance floor. The exception may be walking over to the bar to grab their $1.50 beers on tap. Don’t forget to cool off by the windows and enjoy the amazing view of downtown Vancouver. 1585 Johnston Street Vancouver Art Gallery Step into the world of art together at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesdays. All year, the VAG puts on renowned exhibitions that will give you and your partner plenty to talk about. Entrance is by donation every Tuesday from 5–9pm. 750 Hornby Street U
In the opening scene of Queen of the Sun , a woman, naked from the waist up, is covered in bees. They form a beard around her face as she dances by herself in the sunshine, flowers in her hair. While this behaviour might fall victim to hippie jokes, the issue of bees is no laughing matter. Taggart Siegel’s Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?, shown by the UBC Farm as part of an evening of discussions on the issue, is a documentary exploring the recent mass disappearance of bee populations, a phenomenon termed “colony collapse disorder.” Siegel’s award-winning film guides viewers through the ecological and philosophical significance of these insects, and what their disappearance would mean for humans. Back in 2007, reports by Time magazine and BBC News expressed panic at the large number of bee deaths sweeping across North America. Today, an estimated third of world bee populations has disappeared. Even if you are not a fan of these fuzzy winged insects, their absence should seriously concern you: without these pollinators, human food supplies will be substantially compromised. Carlo Petrini, founder and president of the International Slow Food Movement, issues a dire warning: “If we kill all the bees, there will be no agriculture.” So what exactly is causing colony collapse disorder? Those interviewed in the film have different opinions on the main culprit. But most agree that colony collapse can be attributed to the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops. Amanda Van Haga is a researcher at UBC’s CHiBi lab, working on understanding honey bee pathology and its role in colony collapse. Her research has obtained $6 million in funding from the government’s Genome Canada Grant. Van Haga believes that natural alternatives to pesticides are more effective in the long run in protecting bee populations, as man-made chemicals designed to kill parasites are instead strengthening parasites’ resistance and survival rates. The wiser approach, Van Haga states, is to allow natural selection to breed bees that are genetically resistant to mites. The film argues for natural, local and organic approaches to agriculture. The sweeping disappearance of bee populations is clearly telling us that human disregard for nature is ultimately self-destructive. “You realize bees are a picture of harmony and coherence according to exact and precise environmental situations,” said microbiologist Johannes Wirz. Bee sanctuaries and urban beekeeping have become more popular in recent years. Local beekeeping is legal in the city of Vancouver, and the BC Bee Breeders Association holds workshops on how to get started with your own hive. UBC is doing its part as well: the Pollinator Program at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems is restoring and sustaining bee populations at the UBC Farm. If beekeeping isn’t your thing, supporting local and organic farming is as effective as starting your own hive. U
Editor: Jonny Wakefield
UBC line will come with growing pains Perspective
Kyle Warwick, VP External
Parting shots and snap judgments on today’s issues Bizarre scheduling detracts from summer semester sunshine If your first contact with UBC was through the university’s website or a marketing brochure, you saw the campus in all its verdant summer glory. But now that you’re here, you’ve realized that for most of the school year, the campus is a big pile of rainy, dirty muck. Taking a summer term class is the only real way to experience the campus as it was originally sold to us; too bad it’s just about impossible to schedule a term’s worth of classes during the summer in a way that makes any sense. Courses run for odd lengths of time, with start and end dates chosen seemingly at random—a course is listed as running within the “first term” of the summer if it starts in mid-June. There’s no clear way of sorting courses on the Student Service Centre according to when they actually run, which is probably most students’ first priority when registering for a class. There are a whole host of reasons for studying during the summer, so you’d think signing up for a summer course at UBC would be an easy process. We aren’t saying that more than one Ubyssey editor accidentally showed up on May 7 for a course that starts in June (okay, maybe we are), but we can’t be the only ones frustrated by this system. It’s summertime in Van-fuckin’-couver! Congratulations! If you’re reading this, that means you’re privy to one of Vancouver’s greatest secrets: it doesn’t suck in the summer! It’s that time of year when this city goes from “fuckin’ Vancouver”—the drizzly, anonymous city of glass and depression—to “Van-fuckin’-couver!” In Van-fuckin’-couver!, everyone dresses in loose-fitting silk shirts and drinks on patios and doesn’t care that they’re paying a bajillion dollars in rent. Fact: Van-fuckin’couver is the only city in the world with a transit system that runs
entirely on high-fives! So put this paper down right now, and get outside. Better yet, bring it to your next clam bake and burn it on a pyre of sustainably harvested forest products while some dude plays Neil Young covers on an acoustic git-box. It’s summer 2012. Let’s not make good decisions, let’s make great decisions. UBC wrong to play hardball on student- and alumni-funded spaces UBC wants veto power over what goes on in student buildings, but students can be trusted to run their own space—especially when they foot the bill. A byproduct of the tussle between UBC and the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) over the future Engineering Student Centre is a proposed policy that would give deans final authority over everything that happens in a faculty student space—even if students and alumni pay for it. Essentially, the university doesn’t think it can trust students to run a building long-term, due to turnover and changing levels of engagement. That’s why they wouldn’t sign a lease with the EUS if they were separate from the AMS, and why they now want authority over student spaces. But there already is an oversight system for the undergraduate societies; the AMS has financial and legal responsibility for them, and Council can change their constitution and bylaws or disband them altogether. There is a long history of students operating buildings at UBC, and the administration shouldn’t casually give themselves authority on the assumption that students can’t be trusted to run it themselves. If they can pay for it, they should be able to run it. UBC seat on transit council good news, but don’t overblow it UBC residents finally have a vote at the TransLink table. Maria Harris, the director of Electoral
Area A, was recently given a seat on the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation. That means UBC residents have an elected representative who can vote on the future of transit to campus. While students and administration alike have voiced support for increased service along the Broadway corridor and for a UBC rapid transit line, this seat should give the constituents of Electoral Area A real representation to push for UBC-centred transit issues. Of course, we say “should,” not “will.” The Electoral Area A director will be only one voice among many diverse concerns on the Council. Harris’s role on the Council will be to advocate for Electoral Area A residents, which doesn’t include UBC students, faculty or staff who live off campus. For the university, its lack of power in transit planning has been one of the few downsides of having almost complete dominion over its lands. In past years, the AMS and UBC have had little recourse with TransLink’s long-term planning decisions, besides the occasional advocacy campaign. While that changes nominally with this new seat, there are still plenty of obstacles in the way. Until a system of local representation is established, we don’t see this seat as an end to the frustration students, residents and administrators feel about UBC’s governance. U
Got opinions? We’d love to hear from you about issues going on at UBC.
There has been a heated debate in the local media over the funding of TransLink, especially the funding proposals in TransLink’s 2012 Moving Forward Plan. In a move that has generated some controversy, the TransLink Mayors’ Council asked the province to legislate new funding sources for transit expansion. These include an adjusted fuel tax, congestion tolling or a regional carbon tax. It is clear that permanent solutions must be found to solve TransLink’s chronic funding problems, since these funding shortages will prevent the expansion of rapid transit in the Broadway corridor and throughout the Lower Mainland. This year, TransLink’s total debt will reach a record high of $2.5 billion. First of all, this means that TransLink is living beyond its means and requires new and sustainable sources of funding to expand transit. The second implication is that, while proposals for an audit of TransLink’s $1 billion annual operating budget may yield some additional revenues, they will not provide the funding needed to expand rapid transit throughout the Lower Mainland. The present debate over funding began in 2009, when TransLink identified a budget shortfall of $450 million. If TransLink is to achieve its long-term goals, including a rapid transit line to UBC, the agency will require substantial new annual revenues. For this reason, the AMS supports the request by the Mayors’ Council for new funding mechanisms. Other cities, including London, Singapore and Stockholm, have adopted similar policies and have had considerable success in
reducing peak-hour congestion and in creating significant new revenues for transit. Unfortunately, for the second time, the province has refused to consider new funding proposals, and, in response, the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation has removed the “default option” of increasing property taxes to fund the Moving Forward Plan. The AMS supports the Moving Forward Plan, because the new funding mechanisms will not only shape the demand for travel by discouraging congestion but will also make transit funding less of a political football between the Mayors’ Council and the province. My resolve in this matter is strengthened by the urgency of establishing a rapid transit line in the UBC-Broadway corridor. According to a recent report from the City of Vancouver, the B-Line is “the busiest diesel route in North America.” In fact, each day, more than 100,000 people board a bus in the UBC-Broadway corridor, which is comparable to the number of trips on the Canada Line each day. The buses in the corridor are chronically overcrowded and often fail to stop for passengers at designated stops. This overcrowding is making transit an impractical option for many UBC students and is undermining the goal of the U-Pass, which is “to create a transit generation.” The AMS is calling on all levels of government and all stakeholders to support the funding proposals in TransLink’s Moving Forward Plan in order to ensure the expansion of high quality transit in the Lower Mainland, especially in the Broadway corridor. —Warwick is the AMS VP External.
The class of 2016: UBC’s generation under construction Editor’s Notebook Jonny Wakefield This past March, we ran an NCAAstyle tournament bracket in hopes of teasing out the “Quintessential UBC Experience.” We started with 32 experiences—from taking a class just for the U-Pass to spending 24 hours in Irving K. Barber to getting kicked out of the Pit—and asked students to vote for the experience they thought best defined UBC. In the end, Storm the Wall won the day. But we were surprised by a sleeper that kept advancing round after round. Construction. Putting up with construction is part of being a UBC student. We realize that it’s needed—moving out of a Cold War-era student union building will be well worth a few years of headaches. Those who take the long view turn the other cheek, and accept that a university that’s on the up and up is going to need a few renovations. That said, it’s hard to argue that the never-ending construction isn’t negatively impacting the student experience. Students are ultimately the ones who get woken up by early morning jackhammering, who have classes interrupted by earth movers
and who have to navigate mazes of blue fencing. Next year, the heart of campus is going to be even more difficult to navigate. The Bookstore will be undergoing renovations to bring it up to ground level. In the area around the Knoll, work will be underway on the new SUB, with the new Alumni Centre slated for ground-breaking in spring of 2013. And the “Public Realms” beautification project will likely create delays along University Boulevard and the southern half of Main Mall. And that’s before the utter transformation of the Gage South area begins. If the administration wants to avoid embittering students—most of whom won’t be around to benefit from the new spaces—it will need to be proactive. That means communicating: informing students when detours arise via social media, or sending blast emails if the delays are expected to be major. And it also means listening. During construction at Totem Park, RAs who raised concerns about cold showers, noise and privacy issues were repeatedly brushed off by administrators. The university needs to say “We’re in this together,” and take steps to mitigate the impact of construction on the student body. But so far, it seems far more interested in ribbon cuttings and golden shovels. U
Pictures and words on your university experience
UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD Notorious for never-ending construction, the intersection of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall has had a number of traffic accidents over the years, including one that occurred last week on May 7. Many have blamed the increase in accidents on the (initially) temporary move of the diesel bus loop. The Ubyssey researched the data on the intersection over the last decade and compiled these results.
ACCIDENTS OVER 11 YEARS
DATA COURTESY OF ICBC
AVERAGE ACCIDENTS PER YEAR NEW BUS LOOP TO BE IN PLACE BY
12 | Games | 05.14.2012
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