OPENING A KETTLE OF FISH SINCE 1918
SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 | VOLUME XCIV| ISSUE VI
AΔΦ KΣ A E Π All B Θ Π Greek? ΔKE P8
Frazzled by frats? Stumped by sororities? Check out our guide to UBC’s Greek system on
ΦΔΘ ΦΓΔ ΨY ΣΧ
Students and staff aren’t happy with UBC’s decision to move the music library to IKB P3
Last waltz? The king and her
Theatre at UBC takes on the tale of Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII in The Duchess P9
We dive into UBC’s club culture on Page 6
Fill ’er up!
UBC is installing 10 electric vehicle charging stations P3
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 |
YOUR GUIDE TO UBC EVENTS + PEOPLE
What’s on Tue 1220
THIS WEEK, MAY WE SUGGEST...
ONE ON ONE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UBC
Kimberly Voll is UBC’s indie video game maven Undergraduate Student Orientation to the Library: 1 p.m. @ Koerner Library
Don’t know where to look to do research on your social sciences paper? Koerner Library is offering a free tour of the library, along with demonstrations of essential online services that can get you off to a good start on your stack of papers. Meet outside the Koerner Library entrance. Tue 1221
The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson: 7:30 p.m. @ Telus Studio Theatre Looking for some historical drama with a twist? Theatre at UBC presents The Duchess. It explores the scandalous relationship between an American divorcee and King Edward VIII. Student tickets $10 at the door. Tue 1223
The Ubyssey Production: 11 a.m.–8 p.m. @ SUB Room 24 Want to get the behind-thescenes scoop on next week’s issue? Come volunteer for your twice-weekly student newspaper. Free dinner is provided! Tue 1224
UBC Farm Market: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. @ The UBC Farm Tons of local vendors and fresh produce is for sale this Saturday at the UBC Farm. Stop by and get the freshest seasonal ingredients.
Understanding How the Brain Creates the Mind: 8 p.m. @ Green College Want to know how the brain plays a psychological and physiological role in our body? Keith Lohse, a UBC kinesiology professor, will present an engaging and informative model for understanding how the brain creates the mind.
Got an event you’d like to see on this page? Send your event and your best pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video content Make sure to check out the Ubyssey Weekly Show, airing now at ubyssey. ca/video
U THE UBYSSEY EDITORIAL
Senior Lifestyle Writer STAFF Zafira Rajan Bryce Warnes, Josh Curran, email@example.com
Coordinating Editor Jonny Wakefield firstname.lastname@example.org Features Editor Natalya Kautz email@example.com Managing Editor, Print Jeff Aschkinasi Video Editor firstname.lastname@example.org David Marino email@example.com Managing Editor, Print Andrew Bates Copy Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Karina Palmitesta News Editors Will McDonald + Laura Rodgers email@example.com
Senior News Writer Ming Wong firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphics Assistant Indiana Joel email@example.com
Culture Editor Anna Zoria firstname.lastname@example.org
Layout Artist Collyn Chan email@example.com
Senior Culture Writer Rhys Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org
Videographer Soo Min Park email@example.com
Sports + Rec Editor CJ Pentland firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster Riley Tomasek email@example.com
Art Director Kai Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Wojnar, Anthony Poon, Veronika Bondarenko, Yara De Jong, Lu Zhang, Ginny Monaco, Arno Rosenfeld
SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 | VOLUME XCIV| ISSUE VI BUSINESS
Business Manager Fernie Pereira email@example.com
Editorial Office: SUB 24 604.822.2301
Web Ad Sales Ben Chen firstname.lastname@example.org Print Ad Sales Sifat Hasan email@example.com
LEGAL The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of British Columbia. It is published every Monday and Thursday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous, democratically run student organization, and all students are encouraged to participate. Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and art-
Accounts Tom Tang firstname.lastname@example.org work contained herein cannot be reproduced without the expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey Publications Society. The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP’s guiding principles. Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your phone number, student number and signature (not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone. The Ubyssey reserves the right to edit sub-
Business Office: SUB 23 604.822.6681 Student Union Building 6138 SUB Boulevard Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Online: ubyssey.ca Twitter: @ubyssey missions 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.
Matt Meuse Contributor
Kimberly Voll has been a gamer since the first time she watched her dad and uncle play Parsec on a TI-99/4A in the early 1980s. “It had this synthesizer add-on, which at the time was mind-blowing technology, but it would talk! It would say things like, ‘Nice shot, pilot, time to refuel,’” she said. She was two or three years old. “My little head was just blown away by this. I just could not get enough of it. “It started this deep-seated love of video games and video game-related technology, and I started playing basically then, and never stopped.” Years later, Voll is still just as enthusiastic about video games and other interactive media. After six years as a computer science faculty member at UBC, she now teaches at the Centre for Digital Media, a master’s program powered by a collaboration between UBC, SFU, the Emily Carr Institute and BCIT. “[Students] get a lot of practical experience,” she said. “They’re really functioning for part of that time as almost like their own little company.” In addition to student-pitched projects, the program gives students hands-on experience through partnerships with a number of Vancouver video game developers, a scene that Voll is very active in herself. In January 2012, she organized and ran the Vancouver Global Game Jam, an event where teams create games over a 48-hour period. The event drew about 150 participants, including both students and professionals. “Ours is one of the largest [game jams] in the world,” she said. “It’s a really awesome opportunity for students who want to know a little bit more about the development process to work really closely with industry veterans on real projects.” But the benefit isn’t just in networking, it’s also practical experience. “I mean, they’re producing real games,” she said. “They actually get games done in that weekend.” Voll describes Vancouver as a hub of the video game industry, particularly for indie developers. While larger “triple-A” companies like Ubisoft may be leaving, the city is teeming with smaller studios eager to make <em>
HOGAN WONG PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
Kimberly Voll is helping to redefine the role of women in the gaming industry.
their mark, as events like the Global Game Jam demonstrate. Voll is part of one such endeavour herself, moonlighting as the lead developer for the Vancouver-based PepperDev Studios. Their first game, an iOS title called Hungry Fins , is currently in the works after a Kickstarter campaign successfully raised $8,000 to fund its development. “We’re working on this sort of as a second and in some cases third job, [and] it became obvious that we weren’t really well-positioned to spend all of the time that is required to do a lot of the other funding routes, like [venture capital] funding,” she said. “The Kickstarter made that possible.” Crowdsourced funding tools like Kickstarter have become a popular way for game developers to attract funding, particularly after the success of Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure in early 2012, but that popularity can be a double-edged sword for smaller studios. “In some ways, that [makes] it a lot harder for us, because we’re not a big sexy project, we’re this little game company that nobody has heard of making this little thing,” she said. “But it’s a really neat way to focus your project, because you have to do so much thinking and so much planning.” Indie games may lack the multi-million dollar pizzazz of big-name blockbusters like <em>
Borderlands 2, a game Voll is particularly excited for. But Voll argues that indie games with smaller budgets, like Mark of the Ninja, can be just as enthralling. “I think there’s something more fundamental to what makes a successful game,” she said. “You see the love and the passion that goes into the production of these [indie] games, and it’s phenomenal. These are life opuses.” In case there was any doubt, Voll is a gamer through and through, and she makes no bones about it. But it isn’t always easy. “I just like games. I am a gamer, and I identify as a gamer, not some weird category, not somebody who likes somebody else’s games,” she said. “I don’t want to be identified — and I find this happens a lot — as a ‘girl gamer,’” she said, making air quotes with her fingers. “I feel like I get shoved into one of two categories: I’m either a gamer who likes girly games, or I’m a girl gamer who happens to like guys’ games.” Voll wants to erase the distinction between the two. “Since when do guys own these games?” she said. “What we need is an environment where women feel welcome. And that’s not creating artificial environments, that’s just: you’re welcome to be a gamer, to love what you love. “We’re all just gamers.” U <em>
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 |
EDITORS WILL MCDONALD + LAURA RODGERS
Electric vehicle charging stations coming to campus
ANDREW HOOD PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
Veronika Bondarenko Staff Writer
The UBC music library is currently located in the Music Building, but the the university wants to relocate it to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.
kai jacobson PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
Music library move debated at town hall
Ming Wong Senior News Writer
“The theme of the presentation is ‘Libraries are changing’; the subtitle could easily have been, ‘But budgets are not growing,’” said Melody Burton, deputy university librarian, at the town hall meeting. Burton said the move is necessary to avoid a reduction of overall services and cuts across the board, such as shortened library hours. “By operating fewer spaces, we can actually have better operating hours for them.” One of the biggest concerns for music students is the convenience of having the library within their own faculty building. “The quality of the program or the dynamism of what we do here is directly related to the ease of access,” said Richard Kurth, director of the School of Music. “It’s not about it being a luxury. It’s about it being really efficient and effective.” Leonara Crema, assistant university librarian, cited the fact that from 1998 to 2012, the number of items
UBC’s music library may move to a new home, and some members of the School of Music aren’t happy about it. UBC plans to merge the music library into the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in order to save money and space, but the School of Music community thinks the move will harm their program’s quality and reputation. Music students, faculty and alumni packed the Roy Barnett Recital Hall on September 18 for a town hall meeting to voice their objections to the change. UBC plans to move the entire music library collection, which currently sits on the fourth floor of the Music Building, to the thirdfloor book stacks of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. UBC also plans to reduce the number of music librarians by half, from six librarians down to three.
NEWS BRIEFS Pedestrian hit by her mother’s car on campus RCMP responded to a call that a pedestrian was hit by a car driven by her own mother. According to RCMP Staff Sergeant Kevin Jones, the incident occurred at West Mall and Memorial Road at 12:14 p.m. on September 18. According to Jones, the mother and daughter left the scene under their own power and no serious injuries were sustained. Jones could not confirm the name of the mother, the daughter, or if the daughter was a UBC student. UBC to offer free online courses Beginning next spring, UBC will offer free online courses through the company Coursera. UBC will offer three free online courses: “Useful Genetics,” “Computer Science Problem Design” and “Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Conversations.” The courses will not for any academic credit. New Pharmacy Building opens The new $133 million UBC Pharmacy Building opened on Tuesday, September 18. The 246,000-square-foot building will allow the pharmacy graduating class to increase by 47 per cent by 2014. “The new Pharmaceutical Sciences Building is a remarkable achievement, and redefines the future of pharmacy education and practice in the province,” said UBC President Stephen Toope. U
on loan has dropped from 81,009 to 18,023. Students were quick to point out that the numbers do not account for music students who only access materials for in-library use. Speakers at the town hall also raised concerns that the move would impact the School of Music’s credibility, and even its future admission rates. “All our peer competitors in Canada — McGill, U of T and Western — all have their music libraries in their music buildings,” said Kurth. “To move our library will damage our profile.” Eileen Padgett, a second-year music composition student completing her doctorate of music arts, stressed the importance of quick accessibility. “Sheet music is one of our basic tools. It’s like our lab equipment,” she said. Students also see the library as a community space. “Students really feel at home here,” said Kurth. In order to house the collection
of music scores, CDs and books, the science collection will most likely move from Irving K. Barber to Woodward Library, leaving the art collection on the fourth floor. The move will create two floors of visual arts, music and possibly film and theatre, with options for controlled listening and viewing rooms specifically for music students. Discussions for the relocation began in May at the library town hall. The target date for relocation is May 2013. “I know this is really hard. Who wants to lose their library?… But I’m really hopeful that the students can work with us and help create a space that will work for them,” said Burton. Recent cuts have impacted other UBC libraries, most notably the Robson Square library, which closed permanently on August 31. A “three-minute march” to protest the move is scheduled for September 25. U
BOARD OF GOVERNORS >>
Kelowna calls for UBC BoG
Vancouver Board members off to UBC-O for meeting Laura Rodgers News Editor
UBC’s Board of Governors—the university’s highest decision making body—is meeting on September 20 at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna. They’ll be debating a number of important things, and The Ubyssey will be there to cover it all. Agenda items relevent to UBC students include: <em>
Financial crunch UBC is facing a rather lean period for its operating budget. For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, they’re expecting to break even (on a budget of roughly $2 billion), a change from the $40 million surplus they encountered in 2011-2012. Provincial post-secondary funding is slated to take a one per cent hit across the board in the next B.C. budget, though UBC isn’t sure exactly how this will affect its finances. The spectre of an NDP provincial government in the future means uncertainty around tuition fees, so UBC is scrambling to find other, surer sources of cash: in other words, international students and specialized programs that escape the domestic tuition cap.
The bachelor of international economics The Board is voting on tuition costs for this new program. UBC is pitching it as an elite program for students who are not content with a regular bachelor of arts. Tuition is set to cost $10,000 per year for domestic students and $29,000 for international students. UBC expects international students to make up half of the 80-person program’s enrolment. The program will start taking students by 2013. By the 2017 academic year, when all four years of the program are up and running, it is expected to contribute $1 million per year to UBC’s bottom line.
The UNA noise bylaw After three years of drafting, the University Neighbourhoods Association’s (UNA) bylaw for noise in campus residential neighbourhoods is set for Board approval. The bylaw doesn’t deal with noise in the rest of campus, though the Board could make rules about that, too, thanks to a quirk in the University Act. The fairly straightforward bylaw isn’t groundbreaking in
content. However, it is an excellent example of the problems created by a board that juggles the affairs of a multi-billion dollar university and the minutiae of municipal squabbles.
The Housing Action Plan UBC has acknowledged that the Vancouver housing crunch makes it tough to recruit faculty, staff and students. The Housing Action Plan, which the Board will vote on formally adopting, is fairly modest in scope. It asks the university to create some form of below-market home ownership option, but it will be only open to faculty in tenuretrack positions, which are increasingly hard to come by. The plan also says UBC should add 100 housing units for households with income under $64,000. A lot of these policies reaffirm projects that UBC already plans to do, like housing half of all undergrads on campus and building student housing in Gage South. The document recognizes that student loans don’t account for the current cost of housing in Vancouver, but despite the number of policies about student housing, none specifically address cost. U
Four hundred and fifty-four electric car charging stations are set to pop up across Vancouver in the next few months, and UBC will get 10 of them. The decision to install electric car charging stations across campus is part of an $800,000 city-wide pilot project to bring more electric car charging stations to Vancouver. UBC’s charging stations will be built outside the University Services building by March 2013. The stations will be used exclusively to recharge UBC Building Operations’ electric garbage trucks. UBC plans to ask the city for permission to install several electric charging stations for public use. If the application is approved, UBC could see its first batch of general-use charging stations arrive on campus in less than a year. The exact number and locations of the general-use stations are still up in the air, said Iain Evans, manager of strategic initiatives at the UBC Sustainability Initiative, but the project is expected to tie in with UBC’s goals to reduce greenhouse gases created by traffic on campus. As only a very small number of UBC students and faculty members currently own electric cars, it is unclear whether the costs of building such stations will be worth the expense. Still, Evans hopes that installing the stations across campus will create an incentive for people to look into more eco-friendly transportation options. “At the moment, there is still quite a nix of electric cars on campus,” said Evans. “But UBC is B.C.’s second-largest commuting location and there is a very large flow of traffic around the location. We hope that this decision will give students the opportunity to use what is currently the specific need on campus.” At the same time, not everyone believes that electric car charging stations are the solution for sustainable transportation. According to Justin Ritchie, AMS sustainability coordinator, making the gradual switch to electric cars is only a small part of establishing a more eco-friendly transportation strategy. “The advantage is that you’re getting much better fuel mileage with a hybrid, so there’s definitely savings, but if you’re thinking of going and replacing all of the cars in Canada, North America, the world, with electric cars, that’s an extremely ecologically intensive process,” said Ritchie. “Instead of thinking of the future as being electric cars, it’s better thinking of the future [with] as few cars as possible.” But Ritchie also acknowledges that the charging stations on campus could still prove to be a step in the right direction. “It’s not like we’re going to abandon our transportation infrastructure overnight and so it’d be much better to use electric than fuel-based cars,” said Ritchie. “But I would also want people to not get overly enthusiastic and think that we’re just going to take all our cars and convert them to electric cars.” U
4 | News |
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
Students could see drop in UBC coursepack prices Supreme Court copyright decision may eliminate licensing fees Arno Rosenfeld Staff Writer
A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision may mean that students will pay less for coursepacks as early as January. The decision in Alberta vs. Access Copyright greatly expanded the definition of fair dealing in classrooms across Canada. The court majority wrote that one cannot “[draw] a distinction between copies made by the teacher at the request of a student and copies made by the teacher without a prior request from a student.” The court rejected Access Copyright’s argument that fair dealing did not apply to works distributed by teachers to students because teachers were not facilitating independent student learning but rather had a separate motive of “instruction.” As a result of this decision, teachers may now photocopy and distribute the same materials that students can independently photocopy for personal use. UBC spent $570,000 licensing materials for coursepacks last year, said Allan Bell, UBC director for library digital initiatives. Total coursepack sales in the UBC Bookstore were approximately $1,000,000, according to Bookstore Managing Director Debbie Harvie. Harvie said the Bookstore does put a mark-up on coursepacks, and the price in part covers
three staff members who oversee coursepack production. University Counsel Hubert Lai said that if materials in coursepacks were to come under fair dealing, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, it would be illegal to profit off the sale of those materials. A decision on coursepacks will be made soon, said Lai, though it may not affect packs printed for second term due to the lag time in production. The Bookstore begins collecting materials for coursepacks from faculty beginning in October, though that process can go on for several months, said Harvie. The Supreme Court decision reinforced decisions made by the university beginning in 2011, when it declined to negotiate a new licence with Access Copyright, an organization that manages the copyrights of a large group of commercial publishers. At the end of 2010, the long-running licence Access Copyright had held with UBC expired. Access Copyright requested universities sign a much more expensive licence and give them the right to monitor copying activity and emails at the university, according to Lai. “All the universities looked at this and said, ‘Are you kidding?’” Lai said. “Not a single [large] university agreed to enter into one of these, what we considered,
ILLUSTRATION INDIANA JOEL/THE UBYSSEY
Works copied for academic instruction can be classified under fair dealing, which means they are exempt from copyright restrictions.
extortionist licences.” UBC paid an interim tariff mandated by the Copyright Board for nine months, until September 2011, when the UBC Copyright Office took over the task of licensing all copyrighted work the university uses. This past spring, Access Copyright negotiated a new licence with the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada (AUCC) that was considered a compromise. Lai said while the deal was carefully considered, the only upside of signing the agreement would have
been to avoid Access Copyright taking legal action. UBC declined to enter into the new licence. Lai said that if the court decision had come earlier, it would have given UBC even more confidence about not signing the agreement in the spring. “This [decision] is good for universities,” he said. “Access Copyright is not happy with these decisions.... They clearly lost.” Even before the Supreme Court decision, UBC had its position bolstered by Bill C-11, the Copy-
right Modernization Act, which expanded fair dealing to explicitly include educational use. In public statements, Access Copyright has disputed that the court decision will cause any changes. On Monday they released a statement saying they had asked the Copyright Board to demand universities who have not entered licences with Access Copyright to answer a litany of questions about their copying practices. Lai said the university will not answer Access Copyright’s questions and that the AUCC will oppose Access Copyright’s request to the Copyright Board. “Access Copyright has no entitlement to require universities to undertake a massive interrogatory exercise,” Lai said. Lai speculated that the catalyst for Access Copyright pushing the new licensing fees significantly higher had to do with the new educational landscape. “I think there’s a view on [Access Copyright’s] part that the world is changing around them,” Lai explained, citing the use of the Internet and new media by students in university. “If people are using more digital materials, then Access Copyright’s old model, which was basically based on photocopying, becomes less and less relevant. Their revenue model starts to shrink significantly, and their very existence becomes threatened.” U
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 |
EDITOR C.J. PENTLAND
FIELD HOCKEY >>
UBC fencing stands en garde Justin Fleming Contributor
JOSH CURRAN PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
The 2012 T-Bird field hockey squad has the most complete roster in recent memory.
Road to gold
C.J. Pentland Sports + Rec Editor
Considering their nine straight Canada West titles and last year’s CIS gold medal, you might get the impression that victories come easy to the UBC women’s field hockey team. But make no mistake: winning the national championship again in 2012 will be no cakewalk. There are a number of unfortunate obstacles that the T-Birds will have to overcome in their upcoming season, which makes their road to gold a bit more challenging. On paper, UBC has one of the best rosters in the country, including some of the best players in CIS. In fact, eight Thunderbirds are currently in Guadalajara, Mexico to represent Canada at the 2012 Pan American Junior Championships, and just help the team qualify for the upcoming Women’s Junior World Cup in India. Five players from last year’s team — Bea Francisco, Sara McManus, Abigail Raye, Poonam Sandhu and Natalie Sourisseau — are playing along with newcomers Rahel Donohoe, Hannah Haughn and Lauren Logush in Mexico. They will miss the first weekend of regular season games, but head coach Hash Kanjee is more than happy that his players are off getting this valuable experience. “They’re representing Canada and they’re getting a lot of international experience,” said Kanjee, who is coming back for his 20 th year as coach of the ’Birds. “They’re playing against some of the best players in the world.… They’ll learn lots just being on the same pitch with them and watching them.” There are also a number of key returning players that aren’t playing in Mexico, but will be leading UBC in 2012. Caitlin Evans, Miranda Mann and Kaite Jameson will be back for their fourth year with the T-Birds and will help carry the load. The entire team has a good deal of international experience, as this summer saw the squad head to New Zealand to take on some of that country’s best teams. It was the latest instalment in a series of international trips that has seen UBC travel to places such as Argentina and Australia over the past several years. “We don’t have exposure to field hockey [in Canada] on the TV or on the field,… so when we
go to some of the other countries,… these players are some of the best in the world,” said Kanjee. “So we get exposed to kids the same age as our university kids, but their skill levels are considerably higher because they start at four, five, six, seven years of age. We do learn lots when we go to these things, so it’s a really, really good thing.” The experience will undoubtedly be a huge asset come the Canada West regular season, which consists of eight games. The conference only includes UBC, Calgary and Victoria this year, and the first-place team at the end of the regular season will be named champion. With such a talented squad and a short season, it’s easy to assume that the road to their tenth-straight Canada West championship and nationals won’t pose too much difficulty for the T-Birds. But Kanjee is hesitant to proclaim that success is guaranteed. “Victoria has been our traditional rival and they’ll be nothing short of that, so they’ll be good again, [and] Calgary has picked up a lot.… If they manage to get them pointed in the right direction, anything is possible.” UBC will also have to play their first home games at Tamanawis Secondary School in Surrey because their field on campus is currently under construction. Even if the ’Birds coast to nationals, there is a major hurdle that they must overcome if they want to knock off the other teams from across Canada. “My one concern is that the tournament is going to be held back in Ontario,… and they don’t have a proper field,” Kanjee said. “They have a field turf, and when you play on field turf, it is a great equalizer. If we were playing on a proper field like we have here at UBC, I’d say our chances would be very, very high. If we go to field turf, it’s more of a flip of a coin.” It will definitely be an interesting season for UBC, but also a promising one. “[We have] a very, very good side; I’m expecting everybody to partake in however well the team does,” said Kanjee. With a stacked roster, a legendary coach and international experience against some of the best teams in the world, the rest of Canada will be looking out for the T-Birds. U
Whether you’re looking for an exercise routine, a new mental workout, a place to meet fellow students or a chance to blow off steam in a good-old-fashioned duel, the UBC Fencing Club has a spot for you. “It’s the only club that you can poke people without having to apologize!” said Stephanie Chiu, former president of the club. Chiu joined back in 2002 as an undergrad studying food science, despite never having picked up a sword in her life. “I started fencing when I came to UBC. Before then, I didn’t know there were fencing clubs available in B.C., but when I walked around on Clubs Days and saw fencing, I thought I’d try it. I’ve been part of the club ever since.” Recreational fencing has been available on campus since the 1930s, but the Fencing Club itself has been an official AMS club for about 50 years. The club formed a competitive team just over 10 years ago, and three members are
currently D-ranked fencers on the international point system. The club also hosts the annual Stephen Lazar Memorial Tournament, which has over 30 years of history and attracts fencers from across the province and over the border. Ten years ago, the Fencing Club’s membership sat between 20 and 30 fencers, but in recent years those numbers have grown to around 50 or 60. Current club president, Eloi Mercier, predicts an increased interest this year thanks to the publicity that fencing received at the Summer Olympics. Mercier noted that many people were talking about the Olympics at the UBC Fencing Club booth on Imagine Day. While Canada has never taken home a medal in fencing, Mercier is sure that if it were to happen, it would get even more people interested. “We want to promote the club, advertise tournaments,... promote fencing as a recreational sport, a new sport just to keep [people] fit and to increase our competitive team,” Mercier said. The club is currently offering a
The UBC Fencing Club has crossed swords on campus since the 1960s.
promotion and encouraging anyone on the fence to come out and give it a try. They boast the lowest fees in B.C., with the first lesson and all the equipment supplied for free. All that prospective fencers need to do is drop into a practice. All skill levels are welcome, from experienced duelists to intrigued beginners. “What makes fencing fun is that you don’t always have to be fit, you don’t always have to be young,” said Chiu. “I’ve seen 50-year-old fencers beat a teenager, even though the teenager has more energy; a lot of it’s just strategy.” Members can learn and work within their own comfort zone, but everyone is given the option to try competing, said Mercier. “We like to organize tournaments for beginners so they can get a real tournament experience.” “It keeps you fit,” said Karl Maibauer, a second-year club member majoring in philosophy and economics. “...You strengthen yourself intellectually; there’s camaraderie. If you’re in first year and you want to do something fun and active, fencing is perfect.” U
JOSH CURRAN PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
6 | feature |
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
1 The Fashion Club, new to campus this year, hopes to promote fashion in a “non-exclusive” way. 2 The infamous Ski and Board Club brings the snow to the Knoll. 3 The CVC in their comically small club space. 4 The Green Party Club is back to promote grassroots environmentalism. 5 The UBC Exchange Students Club hopes to connect international and exchange students to the rest of campus.
By offering students the opportunity to organize and get involved, UBC’s many clubs continue to shape the culture on campus. Though over 300 clubs exist at UBC, here’s our selective look at some fresh faces and established players.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
| feature | 7
Skiing and boarding out of bounds Lauren Dixon Contributor
“Ask your roommate, ask your parents, ask the RCMP: who has the most fun at UBC? You’ll get the same answer: the Ski and Snowboard Club!” So promises the UBC Ski and Board Club’s website. This club must have some special quality that draws in the student body. As of last year, its 677 members made it the largest club on campus. “It’s a good place for everyone who is interested in skiing and snowboarding and that sort of community to come together at UBC,” said club president Braden Parker. Though founded on the basis of athleticism, the Ski and Board Club has evolved into a social-athletic hybrid that is now responsible for some of the wildest parties on campus. The club’s origins can be found in the Varsity Outdoors Club (VOC). As the VOC began the construction of their Whistler cabin in
the mid-1960s, they realized that their philosophies clashed with the highly commercialized world of Whistler. As a result, downhill skiing became less important within the VOC. The VOC believed the cabin could be put to better use by a separate group of alpine skiers, and since no club of this sort existed, the UBC Ski Club was founded in 1974. Twenty-two years later, the UBC Snowboarding Club made its debut, but was taken over by the UBC Ski Club almost immediately after its inception. The resulting club was re-named the UBC Ski and Board Club. For some, the club’s success can be attributed to the natural geography of the West Coast. “One of the great things about Vancouver is how close we are to the mountains. I think that probably helps attract a lot of students who are interested naturally in those activities,” said former AMS VP Administration Crystal Hon, whose duties previously included overseeing UBC’s many clubs.
“[It] makes it a no-brainer to join a club like the Ski and Board Club.” The club offers ski and board excursions throughout the winter season, bringing an average of 40 students per trip. “There is a life outside of academics and there are so many more hours in your day, so you are going to want to find something that you enjoy,” said Hon. However, the club has many pursuits outside skiing and boarding. And in recent years, its nightlife has been known to spark some controversy. In 2003, the club was prohibited from hosting beer gardens due to unsavoury practices, including intoxicated bartenders and free beer for partygoers. This ban was later repealed, but restrictions and close observation ensued. Then in February of 2012, the club was again in the midst of scandal due a widely distributed poster advertising their “Cavesluts and Dinowhores” party. After complaints, the posters were deemed offensive by the AMS and the club
was forced to take them down across campus. “After what it caused, it is definitely something that I think we need to think more about, but we are also going to always kind of be pushing those boundaries and we don’t always feel like we need to follow the rules,” said Parker. “When any students from UBC screw up and any of us are in leadership positions, I think it is so important to remember that we are all just trying to figure it out too. We are all 20-year-olds,” said Hon. Parker admitted that drinking and partying is part of the club’s allure, but pointed out that the club provides a much-needed break from academic life. “Whether you’re skiing and snowboarding, whether you’re just coming and having fun with us at parties, whether you’re using our discounts to save a few bucks, we’re just out there to help make UBC a better and more fun place,” he said. U
CVC on embracing the banana Pavla Tan Contributor
With 82 years under its belt, the Chinese Varsity Club has an impressive history on UBC campus. Though it started out as a simple sports club for a small group of Chinese students, the club has grown steadily. Last year it clocked 596 members, making it the second-largest club at the university. “It’s really transformed and changed as something really big on campus,” said Kevin Zhang, the current club president. The club’s explicitly cultural name is a remnant from a different time. “A lot of other clubs really did not welcome non-whites and Chinese [students]. So the Chinese Varsity Club really began as a small club for those who were Chinese and sometimes not welcomed in fraternities and other kinds of social clubs,” said Henry Yu, a UBC professor who specializes in Chinese-Canadian history. Twenty-five years ago, Yu himself was a member of the Chinese Varsity Club. He felt its endurance can be attributed to the social opportunities it offers students.
“It’s been successful, you can say, as it endured a long time, because it’s primarily a social club [where] people meet each other, socialize, dance. “My primary interaction as an undergraduate was at its regular dances.” The club offers many first-years a chance to get involved, relying on an 80-person executive team that works behind the scenes. Notable events include their annual ski trip, which rivals even the Ski and Board Club for participants. “What has glued the CVC together for most of the years is people who have grown up in Canada in very similar circumstances,” said Yu. Zhang recalled seeing this community in action. “[When] our signs were put up, one of the other clubs literally vandalized them and knocked them down. We put them all back up [and the dad] of the vice-president, on the first night, was patrolling the highways.… Things like that just really stand out.” With such distinct origins, the goal of cultivating diversity might not seem obvious. However, Zhang felt the club’s cultural purpose was changing.
Fashion Club takes the guesswork out of lookin’ good Annie Ju Contributor
This fall, UBC became a little more stylish. The University Fashion Club was founded this month, establishing the first club of its kind, not only at UBC, but also in the Greater Vancouver area. It doesn’t matter if you don’t wear luxury brand clothes or consider yourself fashionable, said Claudia Lau, club president and co-founder. She emphasized that the club is open to anyone. “I want to create an open, non-exclusive place for members to network and share their interests in fashion,” she said.
Lau admitted that people tend to be intimidated by the idea of fashion, which is often associated with svelte models and ice-cold magazine editors. Her goal for the first year of the club is to destroy this misconception. The club has collaborated with a local Gastown store, Oak + Fort, for their first event: an outdoor fashion show to be held outside the Bookstore from September 24-26. There will be model recruitment booths on campus on September 20 to find UBC students willing to strut the runways. Lau feels that as a new club, a steep learning curve is inevitable. “It’s a huge learning process
because we’re just starting up. I know not to try and make it all perfect.” She hopes new members will help overcome the learning process. “I want our members to have a large, active role within the club,” she said. To this end, the club plans to let the members organize the last event of the year this spring. With the remainder of the club budget, members will have a chance to design a fashion event on campus. “I just hope everyone keeps an open mind about us, and nobody will be intimidated or closed off like people generally are about fashion.” U
“You can tell that it’s transformed, but we still keep our roots because we keep the original name. “Now we’re just very dynamic and multicultural. [We’re] trying to instill our multiculturalism within our club and it’s just evolved over the years.” But the club is not without its share of controversy. Four years ago, the club released a short video in the style of the popular “Mac vs. PC” advertisements, which portrayed the Chinese Varsity Club and a fictional “Typical Honger Club” as racial stereotypes: a Canadian-born Chinese student and a recent immigrant, respectively. “It’s always a touchy subject to talk about,” explained Zhang, though he felt such behaviour was mainly in the past. “Over the years, like Vancouver, [the club] has evolved into a different, multicultural community. The maturity of the club has just changed. It’s learning from [its] mistakes.” The club makes no attempts to distance itself from its cultural origins, and its banana logo and mascot remain recognizable. Zhang quoted a former club member to explain the banana’s racial connotations. “Like our club,
a banana is yellow on the outside. So that [symbolizes] sticking to our origin, our past. But inside, it’s a blank canvas where you can paint anything for your university experience.” Professor Yu gave historical insight to the banana symbolism, saying it is embedded in being Chinese-Canadian. “Banana is a very interesting metaphor for people who don’t feel very ‘Chinese,’ even though they are identified by everyone else as Chinese because of the way they look. It’s a lingering way in which race does matter still in Canada. “When banana is meaningless, then I think you’ve got a real change from the past. I think that’s what is interesting about why the CVC still exists and why a metaphor like banana still resonates with the people in the CVC.” Through many changes on campus, a blend of tradition and diversity has been the formula for the Chinese Varsity Club’s long-lasting success. Though the club is more popular than ever, Zhang has great expectations for the future. “I wouldn’t say that there’s a peak, but continuity in the club [is] what I want to see.” U
Green Party club pushes environmental responsibility
federal political party founded in 1983 on a platform of environmental consciousness and non-violence. Elizabeth May, who made history as the first elected Green MP, is scheduled to visit UBC within the coming months and will be hosted by the Green Party club. “Although many of our founding members are actually members of the Green Party, we welcome anyone who is interested in learning about the Green Party and green politics,” said interim president Regan-Heng Zhang. “One of the main things we are concerned about is not just specific issues but the political engagement of students.” To this end, the club plans to host regular film screenings and environmental volunteer opportunities. “It’s all evidence-based,” said Zheng. “I feel like it’s a natural fit for UBC and the West Coast.” U
After a brief hiatus, UBC’s Green Party club is back and looking for students of all political affiliations to participate in green gatherings and events. “There are a lot of other clubs that have activities that fall under the green umbrella,” said Francoise Raunat, one of the founding members of the club. “It’s more about making them aware of us as a political party and letting them know that we’re on the same page when it comes to the struggles of the 21st century.” The Green Party club was cancelled last year due to lack of AMS funding, and is currently being managed by interim executives in anticipation of their upcoming annual general meeting, where elections will be open to new members. The club follows the doctrine of the Green Party of Canada, a
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 |
EDITOR ANNA ZORIA
FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES >>
UBC grads create art gallery from bottom up Alexis Sogi Contributor
INDIANA JOEL ILLUSTRATION/THE UBYSSEY
Read before you rush
A look inside UBC’s oft-misunderstood Greek system Zafira Rajan Senior Lifestyle Writer
You’ve read pamphlets and posters about their values, their social causes, their mottos — but you’re probably still wondering what’s beneath the surface of it all. What on earth does it really mean to be in a sorority or fraternity? Do the typical stereotypes hold up, or do they only exist in movies? “A lot of people have predetermined notions of what they think sororities are,” said Raveena Rai, president of the UBC Pan-Hellenic council. “But when you meet [sorority sisters], they are very genuine, down-to-earth, relatable people. The only difference is these women are students and yet so well-rounded. Those are the kind of people we attract.” Rai explained her own reasons for joining a sorority in the first place. “I came from a small town to this huge, overwhelming campus and I didn’t really know anyone.… I just wanted to find a smaller community within campus to guide and develop me.” The feeling of being drowned in UBC’s huge student population is not uncommon; it can be difficult to find your place when you don’t even know where to look. For some like Rai, Greek life is a stepping stone into a smaller, more tight-knit community. Sigma Chi member and Arts Undergraduate Society president Harsev Ohsan could relate. “I was looking for a sense of belonging or family. I’m a long way from home,” he said. “I got super involved in my first year, but then in second year I felt lost. I’d never thought about rushing before, but the good thing about it is that you get to just give it a shot. “I saw a lot of inspirational individuals who motivate each other to achieve their goals. Being in a fraternity means you have a special bond, and your values unite all of
you.” But prospective members may balk at the price tag of joining Greek life — and the possibility of being judged for “buying friends.” The financial commitment for sorority sisters is $800-1100 in first year, and for fraternities, usually maximum $800. These costs decrease after first year. “The price [is] for your dues – the house, the sports.… What you pay for that is less than what an actual first-year would spend in their year doing the same thing,” Rai claimed. “You get the whole package. They have payment plans and scholarships to offer.… Payments aren’t an issue.” “I was treasurer and I knew exactly where the funds went,” said Gene Polovy, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council. “It goes to formals, socials, events, upkeep of the house and international chapters. You pay for what you get.” Other students may think that joining a fraternity or sorority is nothing more than a few years of hard partying and racking up connections. But can you do those things just as easily without being part of the Greek system? “I think sororities and fraternities provide fantastic networking opportunities,” said third-year Aisha Uduman. “… But at the same time, I believe that a person who is motivated enough can network on their own without doing it as part of a larger organization.” Ohsan in particular was adamant about rushing for the right reasons. “You’ll have 100-400 men coming through the doors of your frat house, and see if they believe in the same set of values that your frat holds,” he said. “If they don’t believe in it, then there’s no reason for them to join because they won’t get along with the brothers.” Ohsan checked off bad reasons to rush: “Just because you have a friend in one who can help you out or you just want to party are really
bad reasons. Three months down the line, if they join a frat only for a friend and don’t get along with everyone, they won’t add any value to the frat and they’re not getting anything either. And fraternities have so much more to offer than just the parties.” Polovy said that fraternities have methods for weeding out rushees only interested in beer. “Recently, we had a closed party and we only let people in who came out to first rush, which was a completely dry event,” he said. “We don’t want to be taking people in who are just there to party.” Clearly, the fraternities are much more than a good time. But what about the sororities? “We aren’t even allowed to hold parties,” Rai said. “We have our own international rules and high GPA standards to uphold. The only event we do is Greek Week.” Polovy admitted that the sororities are governed quite differently from the fraternities. “The sororities have much stricter rules than we do,” he said. “There’s even a new bylaw now that says they aren’t even allowed to help with recruitment.… But I don’t see so many differences other than that. We hang out with each other for a reason: we’re similar people.” The rush process for sororities is not much different from the fraternities’, either. “It’s just an open house,” Rai explained. “You want to see what you’re getting into. There’s three rounds, and you find your best fit. We have a first day called tours, where you spend a little bit of time with the sororities; you go to each one and find which one your personality fits in with. We aim for high numbers, but graduating numbers can cause fluctuations. This year, we’re hoping for 400.” So what does it really mean to be in a fraternity or sorority? The presidents had similar things to say. “If you’re not good at balancing your social life and other commitments,
then you’ll have a problem,” said Polovy. “But that’s really a personal thing and can happen in any situation. It’s just that in a frat, you have many, many social events and you may want to attend more of them than you would otherwise. “From a social aspect, if I want to go and do something, I call up one of the guys and someone’s going to be able to do it,” Polovy continued. “From a networking point of view, I met a lot of people and made a lot of connections that’s made my life much easier in many ways.” Rai agreed that several opportunities in the past few years wouldn’t have come her way without her sorority connections. But further than that, Greek life had an impact on her as a person. “I’m such a different person from what I was in my first year,” she said. “I’m much more confident. When I came in, I saw all these powerful women with jobs, internships, high academic standing and so involved on campus. They were leaders and I just wanted to be a part of that.” The bottom line is that Greek life offers more than meets the eye. It may not be for everyone: the price tag and certain social preconceptions will always raise eyebrows. But at the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to judge for him or herself. If there’s one thing both Rai and Polovy brought up again and again, it’s this: while being part of Greek life is extremely beneficial, it’s only for those who know how to balance it with their own lives and academic pursuits. U The Greek Village formal rush is September 23.
MORE ONLINE Read the full breakdown on UBC’s Greek system @ ubyssey.ca/culture
Picture a seedy building in East Hastings. It looks abandoned, with the exception of the easily overlooked dollar store on the ground floor. A ﬂeet of artists rent out units there: painters, writers, musicians, even a burlesque dance troupe. And up in Unit 212, six recent UBC graduates are looking to make their mark on Vancouver’s art scene. It all started when Claire Sproule and Karen Tennant decided that what they really needed was a good dose of experience. Enough reading, writing and analyzing art from a distance; after their Friday art theory classes at UBC, they would, in their own words, become “art groupies” by visiting the good (and sometimes bad) exhibitions around town. Sproule said, “It was pretty lighthearted, but it was nice to just go out and kind of critique work outside of the university.” The self-inflicted art immersion eventually led the two friends to create their very own artist-run centre. The name of the gallery, TopDown BottomUp, originates from a psychology class about sensory perception that Sproule took to understand the nitty-gritty details of how we process body, vision and colour. There, Sproule learned how information enters the brain from the top and travels down, and how feelings are processed from the bottom up. “You know, in art, you just talk about something over and over again,” said Sproule. “You’re theorizing it. You talk about effect, body and vision and how we process colours, but this was the details, the neuroscience behind it.” Combined with the concept of “low” and “high” art and the playfully raunchy connotations of the words themselves, the name TopDown BottomUp seemed like a natural fit. In the next year, four more founders joined Sproule and Tennant: Annie Hong, Ann Lin, Kathryn Alder and Samson Tam. The group wanted to create a perpetual learning space that would serve not only the audience but also the founders and artists. “For the most part, it’s about the dialogue and viewing and learning experiences that the artist himself can take from a more casual space and what we can get from working with different artists,” said Sproule. Though the gallery is currently between shows, they are always searching for new artists to exhibit in their space. The balancing act of what art the group finds compelling versus what will draw in crowds is managed rather skillfully at TopDown BottomUp. And while commercial galleries and museums have to cater to public tastes, smaller galleries like TopDown have a little more room to play around. “We’re interested in all levels of artists,” stressed Sproule. “That’s something we’ve come to. It’s a bit because we’re not a big gallery. It’s a bit safer. It’s more of an experimental trial space.” When asked about what’s scheduled next for the gallery, the founders had two rather original answers: “CHAOS! ... AND ORDER.” What started as a joke, however, is probably the best way to describe what goes on in Unit 212. Sproule encouraged everyone to participate in what’s being created: “Get some people in here. Have a party. Maybe not.” U
| Culture | 9
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
“Wild, raunchy” Duchess heats up Telus Studio
Rebekah Ho Contributor
Theatre at UBC kicks off its season with The Duchess: a.k.a. Wallis Simpson , described by the actors as “ The King’s Speech on LSD.” “It is the story of Wallis Simpson’s life. She is the woman who Edward VIII abdicated from the throne to marry,” explained Pippa Johnstone, who plays the title role. “She’s a very scandalous historical character. Americans love her because she’s American. The British hate her because she stole the king.” “It’s storytelling from the grave,” added Kenton Klassen, who plays opposite Johnstone as Edward VIII. “Wallis relives the big moments of her life, and the play is that: her going back on her journey.” The play, however, is about so much more than the drama behind the protagonists’ lives. “It takes rumours in their lives, and expands them and fills them out,” Johnstone said. “It’s a historical piece, but it’s not a biopic. It’s like a twisted, sexy fairytale.” The visually stimulating show </em>
Hogan Wong PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
The Duchess presents an irreverent, fantastical take on the real-life relationship between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII.
is filled with surprising moments, dance and musical numbers, and fantastical sets and costumes. The Duchess is bound to shock and entertain the audience, but it is also centred on themes of sex, <em>
love, power and gender. “It’s interesting, because it’s a wild, raunchy, clown-esque kind of show.… It’s big and bold, and then there’s a very true love story in the middle of it,” said Klassen.
Escape the construction
Four quiet places for some peace of mind Emilie Warren Contributor
Right now, UBC looks like a battlefield; with all the noise, dust and wafts of manure coming from construction zones, it’s hard to find a place to sit down and enjoy some quiet time. Sure, there’s the beautiful Botanical Garden and Memorial Garden, but they’re far away. Luckily, there’s still some green pasture left to discover. We’ve scrutinized the campus for the best places to read a book, sit back and just enjoy the first crisp days of fall.
1. Little park beside Hawthorn Place residence
This beautiful little square of grass off Main Mall may be a bit out of the way, but it’s worth the trek. It’s bordered by a flower garden and waterfall, and nearby there’s a
coffee shop with a sunny terrace to sit and enjoy a drink.
2. Park next to the Forestry Building
Admire the work of your fellow students from the Faculty of Forestry when you visit this hidden gem. There are freshly planted trees and wooden beehives, plus a grassy area the size of a tennis court and a concrete terraced stairway to lounge on.
3. Courtyard adjacent to the Education Building
Quiet and private, this little courtyard is a perfect place to have a picnic. Surrounded by “walls” on which art is exhibited, a picnic table awaits you. A circular patch of grass, a little artificial creek, a bridge and beautiful
trees add the final magical touch to this spot.
4. Three green areas surrounding the Geography and Math Buildings
Pick one of the three lawns surrounding these buildings. The first, north of the Math Building, has benches where you can soak up the last rays of summer sunshine. The second is located in front of the Geography Building, with plenty of benches and bicycle racks. The third is south of the Math Building and has four patches of grass that are great for a mid-afternoon nap. U
Read the full list of study spaces at ubyssey.ca
“So it goes between these sweet, gut-wrenching moments to these absurd moments of huge characters with wild accents and big costumes.” The class of 10 fourth-year act-
ing students will perform a cast of 25 characters. Some of them face the challenge of portraying four to five roles each, with different accents and costumes for each character. “Some of the transformations are done right before your eyes onstage in a dramatic moment,” said Klassen. “The character will remove a piece of costume, and their whole accent will change and everything. It’s really cool.” For Johnstone, making sense of her character’s psyche has been part and parcel of preparing for the role. “It’s been fun to get inside of [my character] and understand why she made the decisions that she made along the way to get to this place where countries of people are despising her,… and put some truth into this really heightened fairytale story.” Johnstone encouraged students to come out and see the play: “It’s guaranteed an outrageous, fun night in the theatre.” The Duchess runs from September 20 to October 6 at the Telus Studio Theatre in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. U <em>
Small fest, big taste
Olio thrives in its fourth year Noah Lidell Contributor
Looking for a last hurrah of chill vibes and dance sweat before midterms and October rain? Olio Festival, which is on from September 19-23, is Vancouver’s own local version of SXSW or Pop Montreal. This annual art festival is an eclectic mix of music, visual art, film, fashion and skate events. Chief organizer Jason Sulyma (of MY!GAY!HUSBAND! fame) described Olio as “an end-of-summer jam for Vancouver” featuring the best of the best local and international artists. This melting pot, rainbow sherbet aesthetic at the heart of Olio is what gives the festival its broad appeal. Film buffs have Color Magazine’s 12 Hour Film Festival and nightly screenings at the Rio Theatre such as FDR American Badass and Do Something With Your Life . Fashionistas can check out the Gypsy Night Market or the aggressive skate stylings of Manwolf. Comedy dorks <em>
can bust a gut at Stop Podcasting Yourself and Seattle’s Rain City Chronicles. Skate events are set up at Chuck Bailey Skate Park and the Vancouver Skate Plaza. Olio also curates visual art exhibits at galleries such as Lucky’s, 221A, Positive Negative, Gam, Access, Shudder and Antisocial skate shop. The bulk of Olio events, however, are music-related. The festival kickoff on September 19 at Celebrities night club featured Dillon Fancis, Flosstradamus and MY!GAY!HUSBAND! The rest of the weekend schedule is jam-packed with local acts (Dirty Radio and Omar Khan jump to mind), as well as some bigger names such as Teen Daze and Baio of Vampire Weekend. You can purchase an Olio wristband and get all-event access, or pick up tickets for individual events. For those whose cultural experience of Vancouver hasn’t extended beyond Wednesday nights at the Pit, this is a great chance to get a taste of everything the city has to offer. U
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 |
STUDENT VOICE. COMMUNITY REACH.
THE LAST WORD
The tough questions on animal research PERSPECTIVES by Laura Janara
INDIANA JOEL ILLUSTRATION/THE UBYSSEY
Music program is easy pickings for budget cuts
programs will continue to be an easy target for cuts.
At a university in this day and age, a music school is an easy target. They’re usually small, sequestered in their own corner of campus, and poorly understood by students, faculty and administrators. A few people out there probably think that, if music profs had their way, everybody would still dress in frock coats and tri-corner hats. That’s partly why it makes sense for UBC to go after the music library when it searches for inefficiences in its library system. Items on loan are down almost 80 per cent since 1998, the music library takes up a good deal of space, and it employs six people whose jobs are highly specialized. It’s not a huge cost, in the grand scheme of things, but cutting it is not hard for the university to justify. So far, all the music school has heard from the university are sympathetic platitudes: we know it’s tough, we love libraries, hopefully we can make this work in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre — but money has to be saved somewhere, and the university has bigger priorities. If there was anywhere on a university campus that might be sheltered from economic realities for its own sake, it would be a school of music. But until the university finds a new source of funding, small programs like music will be forced to make cuts. One possibility for more funding would be removing or relaxing the cap on tuition increases for BFA and professional programs, which has long been a priority of the university. Students in programs like music, law and commerce would probably be willing to pay more in tuition to increase the international profile of their school, but that opens a can of worms. Until then, the School of Music and other small
UBC hockey series against SFU could keep the rivalry alive ... if people knew about it UBC hockey starts their season next weekend in an exhibition game at home, giving people a chance to watch some high-quality hockey, despite there being a lockout and all. But this game won’t be a normal exhibition game; UBC will be playing Simon Fraser in a home-and-home series. Yep, the crosstown rivals that we all love to hate. Yet this game has not been advertised one bit, leaving almost all of campus out of the loop. We barely have the Shrum Bowl anymore, and UBC doesn’t play SFU in basketball much either. It is true that the Clan’s
You might be surprised at how much writing your name on an email list can change your life. Re: Clubs Days
hockey team is in a lower division, but they still managed to beat us last year, and they also managed to draw 1,600 fans out to Burnaby for SFU’s home game of the series. Students at UBC love hockey, and students love watching our school beat up on SFU. This has the potential to become a great event; it’s the only chance we have this year to watch a game between UBC and SFU. But sadly, it seems to be falling by the wayside like most other sporting events on campus.
Just join a club Given the size of our campus and student body, trying to navigate four years at UBC alone is an overwhelming prospect.
Joining a club helps. Though people often call our campus listless and unsmiling, the truth is, there are UBC students who are passionate and want you to hear about it. During the rest of the year, the enthusiasm exhibited so plainly at Clubs Days can be difficult to spot. The clubs trickle back into the woodwork of the SUB, and getting involved requires more effort. So take a leap and check out Clubs Days. You might be surprised at how much writing your name on an email list can change your life.
Hey UBC, there’s no more money! Surprise! The provincial government is getting a billion dollars less than it planned for. It’s not going to break UBC’s bank right away, but the announcement that B.C. is projecting a $1.1 billion drop in natural gas revenues over three years is going to make things tight around here. Provincially, the focus is on public-sector union negotiations. Finance Minister Mike de Jong is saying there will be a freeze on non-public salaries and travel, and notably didn’t say anything about the number of collective bargaining disputes the province is dealing with, including no less than three at UBC. UBC has got its business in order and can afford to pay for the offers it’s already made in negotiations with the CUPE unions. But the problem is that UBC isn’t exactly sure where money is going to come from a few years down the road. The government has said that money isn’t going to come from new public funding, and UBC’s strategy up until now has been to nudge the government to change its mind. But this means that there isn’t any money left at the provincial level. So where is it going to come from? U
UBC claims to welcome “dialogue” on the issue of animal research. But what happens when that dialogue goes too hard against the grain? This past year at UBC, Green College hosted a speaker series on the university’s use of animals in research. The panel discussions brought together diverse scholars from the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Governance was a central focus: how have property and criminal law in Canada left animals largely unprotected by legislation? What ethical codes are in play, and what do alternative ethical codes suggest about current practice? How well does current governance of animals resonate with democratic values? Does Canada’s system for funding research channel researchers toward the use of animals, including for reasons other than social benefit? What exactly do the 200,000 animals who get used yearly at UBC experience? Do we — can we — fully know? And what of the approaches in other liberal-democratic countries such as Sweden and New Zealand? What does it mean that Canada, unlike other countries, lacks systematic review to prevent unnecessary repetition of research projects on animals? Why does Canada, unlike other countries, lack an independent public body that studies the animal welfare in laboratories? In Canada, the experts who assess proposed research on animals are peer researchers who themselves use animals. While UBC’s Vice-President of Research commends “ongoing academic dialogue” on the use of animals in experiments, he endorses current animal research as some-
thing UBC does “ethically, humanely, and in full compliance with the law.” But ethical justifications and law have been used time and again to enslave and to subjugate. Hepburn’s endorsement of the status quo disregards questions being posed by UBC researchers about institutional governance, about often impoverished standing ethical justifications, and about tensions between existing law and principles of justice. In September 2011 we invited Hepburn to participate as a moderator in the Green College series. He declined and that concluded the administration’s communication with us. Nevertheless, Hepburn’s Associate Vice-President Research Helen Burt has since reported to the CBC that “we” at UBC have undertaken public dialogue about animal use through the Green College scholarly series. In the June issue of UBC Reports (a public relations tool), Burt both obscures the fact that we are the creators of the series, and again positions herself among the “we” of the series. Yet she sets aside the challenging questions about the adequacy of current governance, instead defending the status quo. Across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, UBC boasts enormous capacity for innovation and ethical leadership. The Green College series presses UBC to genuinely consider alternative modes of governance and codes of ethics that may be more defensible than current guidelines, to include in the assessment of UBC research projects voices that represent more diverse expertise and knowledge, and to carry such innovative thinking onto the national stage to improve the Canadian system. Janara is an associate professor in the department of political science. <em>
Will post-secondary be an election-year issue? EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
by Jonny Wakefield
Last Thursday, UBC President Stephen Toope spoke candidly to an audience of business leaders at an $80-a-plate luncheon in a swanky downtown hotel. Ever since becoming president in 2006, Toope has given an annual speech at a Vancouver Board of Trade function. His message to local business leaders hasn’t changed much over the years: UBC is open for business, UBC makes the kids smart so you can employ them, UBC isn’t an ivory tower. This year’s address, though, had an election-year spin. It being an election year, most people weren’t surprised by the content of Toope’s talk. B.C. universities would like some more money. They’ve said as much since March of this year, when the presidents of 25 B.C. universities and colleges sent a letter to former Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto, warning her of the effects of the proposed cuts. The sector was told to axe $70 million in administrative spending over the next two budgets, which means some university services are going to have to go. Here’s Toope’s argument in a nutshell: B.C. expects to have around 780,000 new jobs requiring post-secondary education by 2020. The allotment of funded domestic student spaces at UBC has been full for years, and immigration is
expected to slow down. There won’t be enough locally educated people to fill the projected jobs. Thus, businesses should be concerned about having capable future employees. It makes sense that Toope would try to turn innovation into an election issue. But will post-secondary get an actual treatment in the leadup to May 14? That seems doubtful. The Liberal minister in charge of advanced education, John Yap, was recently shuffled into his position and probably won’t do too much to rock the boat. And the NDP? We’ve heard a few generalities about the cost of education from their critic, Michelle Mungall, but nothing concrete. We’re not in such bad shape, but other universities around the province are already implementing cuts. To the average person, universities already seem bloated, and to be fair, there is far too much overlap in the programs offered by B.C. universities. But who’s going to run on a sob story about VIU cutting its diploma in computer science? Universities need more money to perform at the level we expect them to. It’s not going to come from government. Places like UBC can get by okay with the money generated from their other incomes, like real estate, but other universities aren’t so lucky. Will this government, or the next, look seriously at how post-secondary education is funded and structured? That’s a question nobody wants to touch. U
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 |
PIC OF THE WEEK
YOUR UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE, CONDENSED
kai jacobson PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
A student enjoys slacklining near Koerner Library on a sunny afternoon.
YOUR UBC WORD OF THE WEEK
“The Lodge” The UBC Whistler Lodge is owned and operated by the Alma Mater Society. Originally designed and built by the Varsity Outdoor Club in the late 1960s, the lodge is now a student-run hostel that regularly hosts UBC students at a discounted price. In the spring of 2012, a referendum asked students if the AMS should sell the lodge. The vote did not reach quorum, and is therefore still undecided.
How Do You Like Your Clubs? You may pick two.
BIKE KITCHEN CO-OP
CHINESE VARSITY CLUB
COIN AND STAMP?!