HE LOOKED LIKE A DEAD SHERPA CLIMBING EVEREST SINCE 1918
UBC’S OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER | february 4, 2013 | Volume XCIV| Issue XXXVIII
UBC keeps fire burning with campus demonstration, teach-in P3
Raucous crowd helps Team Canada to Davis Cup upset at UBC P5
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 |
yOUR GUIDE TO UBC EVENTS + PEOPLE
what’s on Tue 124
THIS WEEK, MAY WE SUGGEST...
ONE ON ONE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UBC
E-Week kickoﬀ: All day @ Kaiser building/the Cheeze
Keep your eyes peeled for pranks! E-Week 2013 kicks off monday and runs through Friday. monday’s events include an early morning breakfast, a noontime barbecue and engineering-themed contests throughout the day. Visit ubcengineers.ca/eweek2013 for more information. Tue 125
Adbusters book launch: 7 p.m. @ the Norm Theatre Want to shift some paradigms? Adbusters is holding a launch its new book, Meme Wars. The book is a blistering critique of neo-classical economics. Swing by and meet the dude who, you know, started Occupy.
HOGAN WONG PHOTO/THE UBySSEy
Frank Roberts’ parents were touched by both world wars, but still “liked history and made it fun,” he said.
Still a student of history
Rhinoceros: 7:30–9:30 p.m. @ TELUS Studio Theatre “Christ! A rhinoceros!” There are only a few days left to catch this absurdist theatre classic. Rhinoceros closes Feb. 9, so make sure to see it soon. $10 for students. Tue 128
Suicide Awareness Day Chances are you know someone on campus who’s struggling with mental illness. Show some solidarity by wearing orange and learning about resources today. more info at thrive.ubc.ca.
visuaL arts >>
Invoking Venus-Feathers and Fashion: All day @ Beaty Biodiversity Museum If you’ve ever gone to a night club hoping to find love, you’re not too different from the rare pteridophora alberti. At least, that’s the argument Catherine Stewart makes in this new Beaty photo exhibit on high fashion and bird plumage. On through may 5.
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Every history student at UBC should thank Mrs. Frank Roberts. If it weren’t for her, Professor Roberts would have never left England for Canada. “I met my Canadian wife when we were both teaching in London,” he said. “I decided to give Canada a shot — and I liked it.” And good thing he did. Since the beginning of his teaching career at UBC in 1998, Roberts has taught everything from Arts One to European social history, although his expertise lies in 20th-century world history. Nowadays, History 103 is the only course he teaches during a three-hour-long block every Tuesday evening. Roberts’s passion for what he teaches is evident. “You can get broad lessons from history,” he said. “If you take Nazi Germany, for instance, you can see that in times of hardship, people support extreme leaders.... Looking at history, you can get an idea of what produces such unfortunate social, political and economical circumstances.” Roberts also said history
educates people about dangerous ideologies and makes them stop and re-evaluate their beliefs. But he also acknowledged that there is a fun side to history, and his main reason for teaching the subject is that it is enjoyable. “You have to have something that fascinates you,” he said. Thinking back to his childhood in England, Roberts cited his parents as the biggest influence in sparking his interest in history. “My mother was born in 1910, and as a little girl she watched a zeppelin being shot down over London. Her parents woke her to take her out to watch this huge airship burning, slowly floating down, and she realized how horrible it was because all the crew would be killed,” Roberts said, recounting a scene from World War I. “I wanted to know why there was a German airship bombing Britain,” Roberts said. It was not only his mother who experienced war firsthand; his father fought during World War II, and often told a young Roberts about his experiences in North Africa
during the war. “My parents liked history, and they made it fun,” Roberts said. The emphasis on fun is something Roberts embraces in his teaching; he believes it is better to hear history jokes than look at dry facts and figures. To hold students’ interest during his long lecture block, Roberts turns to videos and primary sources instead of textbooks. “I try to make the lecture exciting rather than to lecture at the students,” he said. “The best way is to throw away all your notes and try to remember as much as possible, and to be spontaneous and engage the students in discussions.” His effort appears to be paying off: Roberts’s rating on the popular Rate My Professor website is a 4.8 out of 5. “I didn’t know that. How wonderful,” he said. But there might be one small area in which he is lacking. “Apparently I don’t get anything on the hot rating,” he joked. “That’s the only thing I can’t understand; young people must have bad eyesight.” U
FEBRUARy 4, 2013 | VOLUmE XCIV| ISSUE XXXVIII
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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 |
EDITORS WILL Mcdonald + laura rodgers
Students criticize gov’t response to loan data leak Sean Brady The Omega (TRU)
MATT MEUSE PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
Students and community members march in UBC’s second Idle No More demonstration on Jan. 31.
Idle No More returns to UBC in new forms
Laura Rodgers News Editor
Chief Theresa Spence has ended her hunger strike. Bill C-45, the piece of legislation most vehemently opposed by aboriginal demonstrations across the country, has passed into law. But the Idle No More movement is far from dead, and it’s staying alive in new forms at UBC. A midday demonstration on Jan. 31 brought out about 50 determined protesters. They marched across campus and then gathered to hear speakers argue that, even as the movement’s initial goals pass out of view, Idle No More remains important: it keeps the many disadvantages faced by aboriginal people in Canada in the foreground. It was the second Idle No More protest on campus; the first occurred in early January. And in the early afternoon the next day, a crowd of over 350 students and community members packed UBC’s First Nations Long-
NEWS BRIEFS UBC’s first free online course brings in big turnout UBC’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has over 130,000 participants. The course on game theory is being taught by UBC computer science prof Kevin Leyton-Brown, along with professors from Stanford University. The class is being offered for free through the Stanford-based company Coursera. “MOOCs are the next generation of the textbook. This is the wave of the future,” said Leyton-Brown. The course includes students from over 180 countries. Only 40 of the students are from B.C. UBC will offer three more MOOCs this May. Daughters inherit father’s view on gender roles: UBC study According to a new UBC study, fathers’ attitudes towards housework influence the career prospects of their daughters. The study, led by UBC psychologist Toni Schmader, found that young women were likely to share their fathers’ views on gender roles. It found that fathers who share housework equally are more likely to raise daughters who pursue careers outside the home. “Daughters have more flexible ideas of what their future options [are] to the degree that their dads have more egalitarian beliefs about men and women,” said Schmader. The study did not show a similar effect on male children. U
house to the rafters to hear a panel of aboriginal academics speak about the young protest movement and the much older history of aboriginal discontent in Canada. Glen Coulthard, a UBC assistant professor of First Nations studies, spoke at both the more vocal rally and the quieter “Teach-In” event the next day. Coulthard argued that although Idle No More started as a direct response to proposed legislation from the Harper government, it has since moved on to address larger, deeper issues faced by aboriginal people in Canada. “That was a symptom of what we now have in our sights, which is the colonial relationships and the ongoing access to our territories for the purposes of development,” said Coulthard at the rally. The Idle No More movement began in December of last year, as a series of decentralized aboriginal rights protests. It gained steam when Chief Spence of the Attawap-
iskat First Nation in northern Ontario went on a liquid-only diet in a push to meet with Prime Minister Harper. The movement then blossomed into a general push for more awareness of aboriginal issues, centring around opposition to bills C-38 and C-45. Opponents of the legislation argued these new laws will pave the way for outside developments on First Nations lands and weaken environmental protections. But with the main rallying point of the movement now evaporated, protesters and scholars at UBC are looking for new ways for the movement’s thrust to stay relevant. Academics at the Teach-In pressed those in attendance to look beyond what they saw as racist and reductive portrayals of aboriginal people. Gordon Christie, director of UBC’s First Nations legal studies program, gave an overview of the meaning of treaty law, and argued that the current government alters treaties at their own peril.
The merits of legal protests versus civil disobedience were discussed at length. The overall climate was supportive of aboriginal movements and critical of the federal government, but a variety of perspectives were still aired. “I thought maybe if we got about 40 or 50 people out, that would be amazing turnout, so when I walked in and saw the room was full to the rafters, I was a little bit concerned. I wasn’t quite prepared for that,” said Shelly Johnson, a UBC assistant professor of social work and a member of the Keeseekoose First Nation, who was one of the academics to speak at the Teach-In event. “It starts a dialogue. It starts a conversation between people. That’s really all that we wanted to do, is to create a place that was safe, bring people together and help them to see one another, start a relationship, start a discussion.” U —With files from Will McDonald <em>
Financial need to be assesed when students apply to UBC Ming Wong Senior News Writer
UBC is overhauling its financial assistance program, but it doesn’t guarantee any more money for students. Under the new program, all domestic students who need financial help will make their financial situation known to UBC when they first apply to the university. UBC will use the information to create a “financial profile” to determine how much money to give the student. The money may come in the form of bursaries, scholarships or possibly even Work Study jobs. Students who already receive financial assistance from UBC will have to reapply under the new system. Creating the software and infrastructure for the program will cost $4 million. “The goal of the project is to ensure that the students who need the funding to come to UBC will have that funding,” said Barbara Crocker, lead director of the project. According to Crocker, UBC gives away approximately $10 million in bursaries annually. Of the 4,500 students who apply, 3,400–4,000 students (75–89 per cent) receive bursaries ranging from $100 to $15,000. Bursaries are currently given to students who have an unmet need above the student loan maximum. The university had already expressed a desire to allow students
without loans to apply for bursaries, and this new plan will allow them to act on that. “Anybody can now apply.… That doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to get it just because you applied,” said Crocker. Although the new system will likely lead to more applications for financial assistance, Crocker said UBC is not increasing the total pool of money available to students. “We have to balance the total need with the total amount we have to spend. That’s where this is,” said Crocker. “We need to manage and control the spending here.” AMS VP Acadmic and University Affairs Kiran Mahal said a lot of the details of the program still need to be worked out, but she thinks it will be an improvement on the current bursary program, which requires students to exhaust money from government loans before they can apply. “I think everyone deserves a shot,” said Mahal. Scholarship applications will be integrated into the financial profile, but they will still be awarded based on merit. The university has a policy that says no qualified domestic student should be turned away from attending UBC due to costs. But Crocker said the limited amount of bursary money available will continue to prevent UBC from giving students everything they ask for. The financial profile will take
into account parental income, and it will expect parents to pitch in for their adult children’s education. Crocker recognized the difficulty some students face when parents with means aren’t willing to contribute to their kids’ education. “The government can’t solve it; we can’t solve it,” said Crocker. “But that’s a discussion between the student and parent.” She added that appeals can be made to disregard the parental contribution requirement in situations like these. Crocker also said that the formula for figuring out how much money a student needs will hopefully take into account the realistic costs of housing in Vancouver, or in Kelowna for UBC Okanagan students. Fourth-year biology student Jenny Ito, who has received a bursary before, has doubts about a system that is based on self-reporting financial information. Crocker said UBC will take verification of reported information very seriously. “Will people necessarily tell the truth? That’s the risk everywhere, but we will do a thorough verification process,” she said. She added that documents such as income tax forms will be required to validate students’ finances. Crocker hopes to sort out more of the project’s details by the May and implement the project by March 2015. U
KAMLOOPS (CUP) — Those affected by the student loan privacy breach announced on Jan. 11 are organizing and demanding government accountability. “Student loan borrowers affected by the hrsdc privacy breach,” a Facebook group of 2,459 borrowers (as of Feb 3), has organized with more than 250 signing a letter released on Monday, Jan. 28. The letter expresses concerns over Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s (HRSDC) latest solution to the breach, an offer of a free fraud alert flag provided by credit bureau Equifax, something HRSDC said normally costs $5. HRSDC communications director, Alyson Queen said the HRDSC is currently looking at working with other financial institutions. On Jan. 23, two days before HRSDC began offering fraud alerts through Equifax, Canada’s other national credit bureau, TransUnion, began charging $5 to enable fraud alerts. Both bureaus offer credit monitoring services starting at $14.95 per month. UBC graduate Nick Hall, whose information was leaked, said he can’t afford a credit monitoring service. “Those affected should not be out of pocket for the way the government has mishandled their information,” said Hall. Amanda Thoy started the Facebook group on Jan. 12, hoping to provide a forum for those affected to voice concerns. The group grew quickly and Thoy struggled to keep up with membership demand. Many borrowers are still awaiting promised correspondence from HRSDC containing information on credit protection services offered and further information about what to do next. When one Facebook group member asked the group if anyone had received a letter, not one of the 70 respondents had. “The letters are going out for everyone for whom we have current contact information,” Queen said. “The department stopped sending letters for a short period of time, just so that any future letters that were being sent would have information on the credit protection.” The department is missing current contact information for one third of those affected, according to Queen. Meanwhile, the federal government is facing four class-action lawsuits. Bob Buckingham Law in St. John’s, N.L. is among the firms filing. “The government has 30 days to file a defence to my action and we have 90 days to file the motion to certify,” Buckingham said. “I hope to be quicker than that.” On Nov. 5, 2012, an HRSDC employee discovered that a hard drive containing the personal information of 583,000 student loan borrowers was missing. The public was notified 67 days later. “The information was compiled for the purposes of a customer satisfaction survey,” Queen said. “There are now going to be disciplinary measures in place if employees do not follow protocol,” Queen said, but could not comment on disciplinary measures over this incident. The hard drive is still deemed missing, but Queen said there is no reason to believe any fraudulent activity has occurred.
4 | Features |
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
I THINK, THEREFORE I
GRAD Grad school: it’s simultaneously mocked as the new bachelor’s degree and lauded as the pathway to real knowledge. But what’s it really like? Read on for an inside look at the lives of grad students.
Indiana Joel Illustration/The Ubyssey
by Sharan Rai
raduate school: everyone’s heard of it, but many people have next to no idea what it actually involves. Although undergrads enjoy more personal and academic freedom in university than in high school, the academic structure remains more or less the same: go to class, take notes, prepare for exams, and in general, study what others have done. In contrast, graduate school offers students a new role: they can explore a field that interests them, and for the first time, they’re given the chance to deeply investigate their own questions. “As an undergraduate student, you’re studying biology. As a graduate student, you’re becoming a biologist,” said Jenny Phelps, assistant dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. “You start to take on more of the identity of the field that you’re studying.”
Self-direction meets structure UBC graduate students across several disciplines all said one of the biggest differences between undergraduate courses and graduate school is the need to direct their own studies. Phelps explained that there is much less formal structure given to graduate students. “It’s not like, ‘Okay, this is what you do to get a master’s degree,’” said Phelps. “The student is expected to take more initiative around shaping their area of interest.” Rabia Khan is a second-year master’s student in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health. She wanted her graduate studies to incorporate her knowledge from two undergraduate degrees in life sciences and political science. Her research area is global health with a focus on HIV testing and counselling. Khan said that the level of autonomy she felt with regards to her studies was a significant change. “There’s nobody looking over you, saying, ‘Hey! You should get done in two years!’ or ‘Hey, take five years!’” Despite graduate school being centred on individual research projects, theses and dissertations, students are still required to complete a certain amount of coursework. But, unlike undergraduate courses, they are
intended to play a supportive role for the research being conducted. The requirements vary from program to program, and more courses may be taken if they are within the scope of the student’s research project. Coursework is also graded differently. “There’s less pressure because you’re not being tested on this information in the same way. Either you’re presenting it or somebody else is,” said Kyra Janot, a second-year master’s student in the department of botany. Lilach Marom, a second-year Ph.D. student, pointed out that graduate school draws students from all walks of life. “Students in general tend to be a bit older. Some of them have kids, and many of them are coming back from the field,” she said.
“When people come from their own lives and their families, it’s harder to connect. If you don’t create some sort of unity, then it’s kind of depressing. It’s just you and your computer.” Lilach Marom Ph.D. student, on the social life of grad students
“Too much structure won’t work; we’re grownups. We need to juggle family life and work,” Marom explained. Marom is currently working toward her Ph.D. in the Faculty of Education, with a research focus in internationally educated teachers. Before beginning her graduate program at UBC, Marom completed a master’s degree in Jewish history while in Israel, where she also taught. Marom’s Ph.D. program requires her to take three specific courses during her pre-candidacy, the preparatory period before she can begin her research. Her courses cover a range of educational theories, different methodologies and practical applications. “[Classes were] like, how do you write your research proposal? How do you write your lit reviews? How do you go through the ethics process?” said Marom. The classes all work toward the main goal of the program: the graduate thesis or dissertation, which must consist of original
research. “After [the required courses], you need to take your comprehensive exams and make your own committee of three people,” said Marom. “You write your research proposal and go through ethics. Then you start researching. So the first two years are pre-candidacy.”
The juggling act While the self-directed nature of graduate school is what allows students to delve deep into their field, it can also cause issues with time management and isolation. “[Graduate school] is a lot more self-directed. You have to be better with your time,” said Janot. She said time management became her biggest challenge when she started in her graduate program. “When nobody is telling you otherwise, it’s very easy to get distracted by the fun parts of your project while ignoring the boring but equally necessary stuff like paperwork, literature reviews and grant applications. There are still important deadlines, but it’s easier to forget about them when less people are breathing down your neck to meet them,” she said. “Your schedule is so varied because it’s on your own time and finding that element that links you together is a lot more difficult,” Khan said. “I’m married. A lot of my friend are not and a lot of my friends are,” she continued. “Then you have the ones who are having kids.” “When people come from their own lives and their families, it’s harder to connect,” said Marom. “If you don’t create some sort of unity, then it’s kind of depressing. It’s just you and your computer.” Marom used her Ph.D. program’s required courses as a way to meet fellow students. “I’m glad I took those courses,” she said. “You’re not as isolated. You get to meet some students. “I’m an engaged person. I decided I’m going to do TAing and that I’m going to be a representative on the student council. I felt like, okay, maybe I’m going to have less time, but I’m going to have more interactions.”
Home sweet home UBC offers several on-campus housing options for graduate students. Gage, Marine Drive, Thunderbird and Acadia Park all cater specifically to
older students. In particular, Acadia Park offers housing to graduate students with children.
It’s very easy to get distracted by the fun parts of your project while ignoring the boring but equally necessary stuff like paperwork, literature reviews and grant applications.... It’s easier to forget about deadlines when less people are breathing down your neck. Kyra Janot Master’s student in botany, on the self-directed grad student schedule
Marom described UBC’s Acadia Park residence as unique. “It’s like a village in the middle of campus where kids are out and about, playing all over the place. It’s a super secure environment, very diverse. It’s a great place to live in,” she said. Marom also spoke highly of the university’s daycare services, though the service is so popular that waitlists are long. “You have to sign up way, way in advance,” she said. UBC is also home to two residential graduate colleges — St. John’s College and Green College — though they are not a part of UBC Housing & Conferences. Both are internationally recognized. Founded by Cecil and Ida Green and inspired by the collegiate system of many British universities, Green College is home to around 80 graduate students. These students dine together five nights a week and can attend talks given by the college’s own residents, UBC professors and visiting scholars. Green College presents itself as a centre for interdisciplinary study and allows students to learn about a variety of subjects outside their own field of study.
Money on the mind Getting into a graduate program is one thing; paying for it is its own challenge. “You need to balance the need to earn money with the academic demand,” said Marom. The most familiar avenue to fund graduate education is
working as a teaching assistant. Marom has TAed two courses so far and had mostly positive things to say about the experience. “It’s another way to become familiar with Canadian culture and to meet Canadian students. It’s also a way to have more interactions,” Marom said. Janot also recalled having a positive experience during her first semester as a TA. “It’s a really interesting experience to learn how other people learn,” she said. But there are some downfalls to this quintessential graduate student job. “You’re supposed to work 12 hours a week, but it’s obvious that people are working more because it takes more time,” said Marom. “You’re doing a lot. And also, in our case, it’s not just that we’re marking or sitting with the prof. We really, really get to teach. “As a TA, you’re being paid very, very poorly and you work a lot,” she added. This has been an ongoing issue at UBC; last fall, the TAs engaged in job action to protest poor wages and lack of job security. Not all grad students become TAs; many students find different ways to fund their education. “There’s a lot of variance in the way [in] which you fund your studies. You have people who are doing this full-time. You have people who are working and doing this part-time. It’s just a very different dynamic,” noted Khan. “If you’re not funded, then you need to work,” Marom said. “And if you’re working, then it’s more obligations. It’s like this cycle that’s hard to break.” ••• UBC is home to thousands of graduate students, but the majority of students are undergrads who may not realize how different things are on the next rung of higher education. Understanding what it means to be a grad student gives undergrads better insight into the people who make up this campus — the people who might be TAing your next class, studying next to you in the SUB or living near you in residence. “Graduate school is really exciting and really interesting,” said Phelps. “It’s hard work and it’s more focused work than being an undergraduate student, but you can get your teeth into things in a different way.” U
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 |
EDITOR C.J. PENTLAND
davis cup >>
Canada converges at UBC
Thanks in part to the crowd’s energy, Team Canada is heading on to the next round of the Davis Cup. They will face Italy in April.
Chris borchert photo/the ubyssey
Thunderbird Arena turned into a sea of red and white to cheer Canada to victory Andrew Bates Managing Editor, Web
As Canada’s star player Milos Raonic stepped up to the baseline to take his serve on Friday afternoon, the cheers started to die down. But as everything quieted to a hush, I heard a howl of “RAONIC!” from Section 117 of UBC’s Thunderbird Arena. “Please,” said the stadium announcer, exasperated. He said it many more times before the end of the Davis Cup international tennis tie, which Canada won over Spain with a straight sets win by Raonic on Sunday. It was Canada’s third win of the weekend, which gave them the edge in the best-of-five series. A dedicated core of tennis supporters tried to make the atmosphere for this weekend-long team tournament qualifier a bit more like the raucous atmosphere of tennis matches in Europe. I was introduced to this crowd without expecting it; I bought my ticket through my membership with the Southsiders, a supporter group of the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team. The Southsiders came into possession of several blocks of tickets to the Davis Cup matches — a lucky occurrence, since tickets sold out rapidly on the open market. Or maybe not just luck: I learned the blocks of tickets came from Petr Pospisil, brother to Vasek Pospisil, a Canadian Davis Cup team member ranked 120th in the world. According to the Southsiders member I bought my ticket from, Petr Pospisil
attended the 2012 women’s soccer Olympic qualifiers in Vancouver and wanted to draft the rowdy soccer fans into his red-and-white army of long-time tennis supporters. At 11 a.m. on Friday, Pospisil’s group of tennis fans sat clustered around a table in the Gallery Lounge, painting their faces. The uniform varied: rugby shirts, hockey jerseys, red shirts, white blazers, a Canadian flag wrapped and knotted into a tube top. One fan even sported a Manchester United kit. All of them wore identical red Canada scarves, bought by Pospisil in bulk for both the tennis fans and the Southsiders. More than one of the crew identified themselves as friends of Pospisil’s. The group had, at least in part, been following the games for two years, starting at the Odlum Brown VanOpen in North Vancouver. “My brother was playing there,” Pospisil said. “I got these guys.... We basically all dressed in red and turned it into a soccer match. I thought we were going to get kicked out, but they liked it.” We marched over from the SUB on Friday and Saturday morning, singing from a chant sheet of Southsiders songs rewritten for tennis by Dan Nadir, an organizer of a local tennis league and Whitecaps season-ticket holder. One man had a set of five plastic trumpets, all joined together and painted with Canada flags; he played the opening bars to the old Hockey Night in Canada theme. Pospisil was dressed in Canada flag pants and a flag T-shirt, half his face painted white and a maple leaf on one cheek. He had supplied the group with small flags <em>
and several 25-five-foot banners to wave during the anthems. Once in the stadium, those of us that were Southsiders split from Pospisil and his crew. We had a great view of the group bouncing along and rewriting songs on the fly to fit the short breaks in tennis play. As I sang, I thought about how, in soccer, pressure from front offices and quieter ticket holders can make rowdy soccer fans feel like outsiders in their own game. It was interesting to see the form adopted by real outsiders. But Pospisil reminded me that cheering and chanting is not really that foreign to tennis, and that the organizers were warm to the crew’s antics. “Security doesn’t like us, but the organizers are pretty happy about it, because all over the world the Davis Cup is a complete gong show; everyone is always crazy and North America is a little quieter,” he said. “The Davis Cup is not about that. A lot of people are happy to have the opportunity to cheer and hit drums and they don’t want to be the only ones in the stadium doing it, so we kind of provide everyone a chance to do it.” In the arena, the crowd seemed to be mostly Canadians who were aware of top-level tennis but not engaged fans. “I think we’re proud about anything if we’re successful in something,” said Mark Richard, a spectator in his late 20s who described himself as a fan of the ATP Tour games. “If you see that Raonic is doing well, if we have someone we can get behind, I think we will
pull for it.” Scott Malo, a UBC geology student and member of the Thunderbirds golf team, said that part of the appeal was just to see top-level tennis live. “I’ve always been a tennis fan, and they came to UBC, so here I am,” he said. Another fan, a Land and Food Systems student named Emily Hunn, said the Davis Cup galvanized Canadian fans. “This tournament makes it possible to ... root for a country rather than a singles player individually,” she said. The tournament has gone well for Canada, to say the least. Canada’s win against Spain can only be categorized as an upset, anchored by 165th-ranked Frank Dancevic’s victory over Marcel Granollers, a Spanish player ranked over 130 spots above him. The average fan’s idea of Canada’s chances was not great. But one of the favourite chants of Pospisil’s crew is a calland-response number, shouting out each word of the phrase, “I believe that we will win.” I saw Pospisil and Nadir approach the stadium for Sunday’s games. Pospisil’s voice was hoarse and his facepaint was worn down to just the memory of a maple leaf, but he had a smile on his face. I asked him how he felt about the tournament. “Frank [Dancevic] the Tank was amazing, man. Pretty much lights out. Just closed his eyes, swinging away,” he said, shaking his head in wonder. “He would have beat anybody. It was awesome. He would have beat Federer.” They never doubted it for one second. U
DAVIS CUP RESULTS
Friday, Feb. 1 Milos Raonic (CAN) def. Albert Ramos (ESP) 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 6-4 Frank Dancevic (CAN) def. Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-1 6-2 6-2
Saturday, Feb. 2 Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez (ESP) def. Daniel Nester and Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 4-6 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2
Sunday, Feb. 3 Milos Raonic (CAN) def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 6-3 6-4 6-2 Frank Dancevic (CAN) vs. Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-5 6-4
6 | SPORTS + REC |
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
There’s a first for everything
For the ﬁrst time in team history, UBC women’s hockey will host a playoﬀ game Colin Chia Staﬀ Writer
Knowing they’ll be back for a historic home playoff series is something new for the graduating seniors on the UBC women’s hockey team, but it’s something that they’ll have to get used to. The T-Birds will be back at UBC in a couple weeks to play postseason matches, but UBC still used Saturday night to honour their fifth-year players before the puck dropped on the last home game of the regular season. Friday night’s 4-1 win against the University of Manitoba Bisons ensured that UBC will host a home playoff series for the first time in their program’s history, but the ’Birds had to deal with a harder fight on Saturday to emerge with a shootout win. With the score tied 2-2 after three periods, and overtime failing to produce a winner, Tatiana Rafter and Kaitlin Imai scored during the skills competition to give UBC a 2-1 win in the shootout and a 3-2 win overall. “First of all, I think credit has to go to Manitoba; that was a playoff game right there. They did not stop coming at us all night long,” said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. Thomas praised his team’s determination to hold on after conceding equalizing goals twice in the game. “We didn’t collapse; we bounced
Samantha Langford made 24 saves on Saturday night and was named the game’s first star.
back and we just kept coming at them, never giving up. Those are one of those character wins.” UBC got the first goal of Saturday’s game with 16:32 remaining in the first period as Stephanie Schaupmeyer hustled into the offensive zone to retrieve a long clearance. She then earned an assist on the play: she fed Rafter, who shot the puck past Manitoba goalie Leiette Klassen to make it 1-0. The Bisons hit back against the run of play
before the end of the frame, though, when Kayleigh Wiens wristed the puck high past T-Bird goalie Samantha Langford’s glove to level the score at 1-1 with 2:59 remaining. The T-Birds retook the lead, making it 2-1 on the power play early in the second period, with Sarah Casorso firing a slap shot from the left point that trickled in off Klassen’s pad. The T-Birds pinned the Bisons in the offensive zone for long stretches in the second period,
UBC basketball propelled by fifth-year leadership C.J. Pentland Sports + Rec Editor
Being a leader on a university basketball team can be a tough gig. In addition to setting an example at all times — on the court, in the locker room and in the classroom — the individual has to provide motivation and guidance for their teammates. And when that team mostly consists of young players, the job becomes even more difficult. However, it’s a role that Leigh Stansfield, Doug Plumb and O’Brian Wallace have been able to fill nicely this year on UBC’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. All three have not only provided veteran experience for their respective squads, but they have also led the way with strong play on the court. It has been evident all year, but even more so this past weekend, when all three were honoured for their time at UBC. Stansfield is the lone fifth-year on the women’s team this year, but has embraced the role of leader. Stansfield has been a key reason why the young team is 14-4 and second place in the Canada West Pacific division. “There’s a lot of leading by example, but also a lot of leading verbally, and I think it takes a while to get comfortable with that.… I think there’s been a tremendous growth in Leigh over the past couple years in her ability to do that,” said Deb Huband, head coach of the women’s team. Stansfield performed up to her usual standards this past weekend during UBC’s sweep of the Mount Royal University Cougars. The forward racked up 14 points and five rebounds during the Thunderbirds’ 70-56 win over Mount Royal on Friday night, and then added 17
points and six rebounds in Saturday evening’s 79-40 triumph. It wasn’t far off her season averages of 14.6 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. She’s also 11th in the conference in scoring and sixth in field goal percentage, thanks to her .541 mark. Stansfield is also an adept student. The geography major has been named an Academic All-Canadian during her first four years at UBC, and she plans to go into environmental law. The two fifth-years on the men’s team have been equally impressive this year. Neither played a full five years at UBC: Wallace transferred before this season from Brandon University, while Plumb transferred three years ago from the University of the Fraser Valley. But their play so far this season is a key reason why UBC is 16-2 and first place in the Canada West. “In order to be good, your fifthyear seniors have to be good for you, and I think they’ve been really focused [over] that last little bit,” said UBC head coach Kevin Hanson. “We brought in O’Brian with one year of eligibility left, which is something you don’t normally do, but we knew we needed a starter, and he’s come in and I’ve been impressed [by] what he’s done for us with the leadership and confidence. “They’re playing their best basketball.… They want it bad, and that can take you a long way.” The two guards weren’t scoring at their usual rates this past weekend during the two wins over Mount Royal, but their influence on their teammates was evident. Plumb and Wallace — who average 16.0 and 11.2 points per game, respectively — led a balanced scoring effort, as six T-Birds scored
in double figures in each contest. During Friday’s 96-71 win, Plumb scored 14 points and Wallace chipped in 11, while Saturday’s 95-68 victory had Plumb pour in 13 and Wallace contribute nine. The two guards came into this year expecting to be a voice for the younger T-Bird players, but it was an unfamiliar role at first. There were four fifth-years on last year’s UBC team, meaning Plumb didn’t have to play as vocal a role, and this is Wallace’s first and only year as a Thunderbird. However, both said they have enjoyed shouldering the responsibility that’s expected of veteran players. “It’s always a work in progress; there’s no book of how to be a leader,” said Plumb, who leads the team in points per game, threepoint percentage, total assists and total steals. “[It’s] just, try to come every day and do the right things.… If you’re telling guys to do things and you’re not doing it yourself, it’s hard.” “Everybody respects you and looks up to you, so you just have to work hard every day and prove that you’re a leader,” said Wallace. He added that this year’s T-Bird team is the best team he’s played on in terms of both skills and chemistry. It’s a bittersweet time right now for all three veteran players, as they know that their time in blue and gold is coming to a close. But thanks to their efforts on and off the court, both T-Bird teams are headed for at least a couple playoff games — and possibly the goal of playing in the CIS championships this March. It’s by no means an easy place to reach, but leading their teams to great things is just what these fifth-year players do. U
JOSH CURRAN PHOTO/THE UBySSEy
but they couldn’t turn their puck possession into shots on goal. In the third, the Bisons managed to tie the game with a power play goal by captain Amy Lee with 16:09 left in the game. Despite the two pucks that got past her, UBC’s Langford made 24 saves, including a game-saving one on Meagan Vestby with 2:27 left in overtime. Langford was named first star thanks to her stellar performance.
The graduating T-Bird fifthyears appear to be passing the torch into good hands, as rookie forward Schaupmeyer was one of the hardest-working players on the ice and played some important penalty kill minutes. “She just doesn’t have an off switch; she just goes and goes and battle and battles,” said Thomas. This weekend’s games were shunted into the smaller rink in the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre due to Davis Cup play, but it didn’t affect the liveliness of the crowd in attendance. “It was extremely emotional, especially [on] our seniors’ weekend. It was crazy,” said UBC team captain Kaylee Chanakos. Chanakos can look forward to leading the T-Birds out for a historic playoff game in two weeks. “We’re the team to beat right now, I think. We’re on a roll and everyone’s confident, but you [have] got to stay modest too, at the same time,” she said. The race for second place in the Canada West is tight, with UBC (15-7-4) one point behind second-place Regina and one point ahead of fourth-place Alberta. They will face Alberta in a crucial two-game series on the road next weekend to close out the regular season. U
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 |
EDITOR ANNA ZORIA
The million-view masters
UBC has its fair share of YouTube celebs. So what makes a video go viral? Justin Fleming
Senior Lifestyle Writer
We love viral videos. Many an hour has been lost to the likes of Nyan Cat, Techno Viking and Tay Zonday. But what exactly makes a viral video? It depends who you ask. According to some web celebrities, several years ago a video had gone viral if it reached a million views. By today’s standards, some consider a video viral if it reaches upwards of a million views in less than seven days. Unfortunately — or maybe fortunately — there’s no rulebook. Broadly speaking, a video goes viral when it is widely viewed and shared within a pretty short time span. However, a video’s viral status does not rest solely on viewership, but also on the discussion it generates on and offline, how well it stands the test of time and even the spinoffs it produces. A study conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia found that videos that generate “high arousal emotions,” such as inspiration, astonishment, disgust, hilarity and anger, are more likely to be shared. Further, they found that videos that trigger positive high arousal emotions will trump videos with negative high arousal emotions. UBC alum Andrew Cohen is director and co-producer of the UBC Lipdub video, which has pulled in nearly two million views on YouTube since it was first uploaded in 2011. Cohen and his team worked
Stephanie xu/the ubyssey
Viral videos often spawn thousands of copycats, but the origins of their popularity are mysterious.
hard to cultivate pre-release hype: they networked extensively and organized a free concert, as well as a launch party in Robson Square. But Cohen attributes the video’s success to its emotional impact. “The energy of the people involved was so overwhelmingly positive, it made people want to share it,” said Cohen. Chris Cannon, a former adjunct professor in creative writing at UBC, sees strong content and strong distribution methods as two paths to the mysterious road of viral success. Cannon wrote and directed Meet the Canada Party , a campaign video for a faux political party in last year’s U.S. elections. <em>
The video went viral shortly after being uploaded last January. Cannon, who has worked as a journalist, is familiar with the importance of maintaining a human connection with viewers. “I know how it works, and it can be very short-lived,” said Cannon. “We were very good at keeping in touch with followers and friends.” Cannon, as well as fellow Canada Party co-founder Brian Calvert, would let fans know about their newly released videos and send thank you notes to frequent sharers. They appointed fans as Canada Party ambassadors and recruited street teams for offline promotion.
In the age of high-speed information sharing, viral videos have become a ticket to quick success. Whether this elevates the creators to instant celebrity status or instant notoriety, exposes injustice, mobilizes others for a common cause or wins scholarships (as with the creators of the recently uploaded “Golden eagle snatches kid” phenomenon), viral videos are a powerful tool and a potential vehicle for social change. “The Internet is a distribution model,” said Cannon. “There’s an old adage among journalists: freedom of the press belongs to those who have one — and now everyone has one.” Viral videos engage and inspire people from all over the world. For instance, a recently popular video of UBC student Ben Parker and two of his friends performing random acts of kindness was inspired by a similar video made by a young man in Islamabad, Pakistan. At times, Cohen said, he felt that the diversity of the comments made on his Lipdub video reflected an international social experiment. “We call the Internet a universal sharing platform, but sometimes we don’t realize just how universal it really is,” he said. For these reasons, many entrepreneurs have started to look for patterns that can guarantee viral success. “I’ve heard companies advertise ‘looking for a viral video,’” said Cannon. “[But] you can’t predict a virus; it’s an afterthought. When
people say, ‘I want to make viral videos,’ what they’re really saying is: ‘I’m going to make videos and hope to God they go viral.’” While there are certainly ways to prolong the popularity of a video or even give it a measurable increase in viewership, the very nature of a viral video is unpredictable. Neither Cannon nor Cohen, for instance, set out to make a viral video; Cannon only wanted to add to political discourse, and Cohen wanted to inspire a sense of community. So there is no way to tell whether you and your partner’s pixellated nose rub filmed in the SUB last Monday will be seen by 10 million people in two weeks, or if it will wander the desert of YouTube forever, only to be stumbled upon by a lost browser. Ray Hsu, a lecturer in the department of creative writing and an expert in popular culture, said he believes that as soon as someone starts tailoring a video to reach massive viewership, it becomes counterproductive to achieving viral status. “I think that the idea of reaching a wider audience is itself a problem. As soon as you start mass producing, people will stop feeling as though it speaks to them alone,” said Hsu. “You share it because you wonder if others are interested. It’s the line between subculture and mass culture.” U
Inside the U of T’s infamous sex party Kristine Wilson The Ryersonian
TORONTO (CUP) — Everyone is naked. As the DJ spins music on the first floor of Oasis Aqua Lounge in downtown Toronto, a few men in their 20s sprint from the pool to the hot tub without bathing suits. One floor above them, two women — also naked — are perched on a sex swing. Across from them, a man — again, naked — is tethered to the wall in chains and leather binds. These were just a few scenes from Jan. 21’s “epic student sex adventure,” an event organized by the University of Toronto Sexual Education Centre (SEC). The party invited university students from across the Greater Toronto Area to visit Oasis, a water-themed sex club a few steps north of Ryerson’s campus. The sex party was one of the first of its kind at a Canadian university. Rather than talk about sex, the event encouraged students to push personal boundaries and explore their sexuality in a safe environment. That step — from theory to practice — sparked a media firestorm. The story drew hundreds of comments on the Toronto Star’s website and was shared more than 21,000 times on Facebook — making it the fifth most viewed story in thestar. com’s history. But would anyone show up to the sex party, or was the hype all talk? I went to find out. <em>
Anastasia Moskvitina/THE RYERSONIAN
Owner Jana Matthews and coordinator Dillon Tower run the Oasis Aqua Lounge, a sex club that caters to Toronto’s student populace.
On Monday night, a sea of about 200 students formed a line outside Oasis. Protesters walked up and down the line, yelling things like “God loves you!” They were Christian protesters from York University’s United Through Worship student group. “I think it says something about where our society is going morally,” said Natalie Smith, a member of the group. “This is encouraging them to devalue themselves, whether it’s STDs or unwanted pregnancy.” But SEC said they made sure to keep the event as safe and
sex-positive as possible; condoms and packets of lube were piled in bowls across the club. The event had a laid-back vibe; students could grab a drink at one of the many well-stocked bars and a DJ in the corner blasted beats from a turntable. On the third floor of the club, Ryerson student Kay Poli lounges as couples have sex around him. Pornography is playing on TVs on the walls. For him, the event is nothing new. “I’ve been here before,” Poli said. “What I like about this sex club is that it’s open to all genders, all orientations.”
Poli is one member of a new generation of students who frequent Toronto sex clubs. In fact, Oasis has hosted dozens of student-friendly events before. According to Jana Matthews, the club’s co-owner, university students are a regular presence at Oasis. “We did the same event with [SEC] last year and … everyone that was here loved it,” Matthews said as she puffed ultra-thin cigarettes in her office. “It was them that convinced us to have a student night. So many people were interested we started to do it every Monday and we have
for the past eight months.” At Steamworks, a gay bathhouse on Church Street near Wellesley Avenue, students are invited to realize their sexual desires. “You can’t go in there, it’s men only!” shouted an onlooker as I tried to enter the bathhouse. I decided not to listen and pushed through the door. “You’re going to see a lot of things you don’t want to see!” he yelled after me. I entered a dark corridor lit only by yellow lights. A heavy-set man with a large beard passed by me. “You know this is a male-only spa right? You can’t be in here.” I smiled and kept walking towards the front desk, where a well-kept man stood behind a glass-enclosed desk. The receptionist, Teymour Nadjafi, explained that students often visit Steamworks. “About one in five of our clientele is a student; they are in here almost every day,” he explained. “I think students would still come even if we didn’t offer any student discounts. I think they find it good for self-discovery.” Steamworks offers a free 90day trial membership to students, plus $5 off locker rentals. Student hours run from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; all that’s required is a valid student card. Despite the media hype, it’s clear sex clubs and bathhouses are nothing new to university students. Toronto’s sex club scene isn’t huge, but it’s far less underground than one might imagine.
8 | GAMES |
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
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