Page 1

Impr int The university of Waterloo’s official student newspaper

Friday, March 27, 2009

vol 31, no 32

imprint . uwaterloo . ca

Festival NAme — celebrate the beauty of culture on page 16

P e a c e th r o u g h p a p er

Mark Zammit

Yume Peace Project — more photos on page 17

Trouble at St J’s prompts vote St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association to push for unionization Adrienne Raw staff reporter

T

he faculty of St. Jerome’s University (SJU) took a vote of no confidence in university president Dr. David Perrin on January 29. Of the 27 ballots cast, 20 were in favour of a “no confidence” motion, two were opposed, and four abstained. The final ballot was spoiled and thus not counted. The vote sparked a flurry of responses from the community, including several articles and opinion pieces in The Record. But the vote is only a small piece of the story, one event in a long chain that has led to the current drive of SJU’s faculty association: unionization. Before the arrival of new president David Perrin in August 2007, tension already existed between the Board of Governors and the faculty, and between the Dean and the faculty. “There were some serious issues,” said Dr. David Seljak, president of the university’s faculty association, “but they could have been worked

out, and the new president, we thought, would help work them out. So we were very enthusiastic when he arrived, looking forward to working out these problems.” What we’re seeing at SJU, said Seljak, is “a real crash in morale.” “This crisis in morale,” he said, “preceded David Perrin’s arrival, but he hasn’t done enough to address it. In fact he’s made it worse.” A recent campus climate survey aimed at determining the trust faculty and staff had in senior decision-makers revealed startling results with regards to staff morale. “The results were very bad,” said Prof. Steven Furino, a former professor at SJU who is currently teaching math at UW. Some of these numbers included the 80 per cent of all SJU employees who felt the senior administrators didn’t act transparently and the 50 per cent of employees who said they would leave the university if they could find suitable positions at another institution. Only 20 per cent of respondents thought SJU was living up to its ideals as an institution.

“Those are astonishingly poor results,” said Seljak. When questioned about the results, the president and dean, Furino said, “simply did not answer when asked direct questions. And for the president you will find that a recurring theme. He does not answer questions.” After the results of the survey were published, several SJU staff and faculty attended a private meeting held after hours and off school grounds. “My understanding,” said Furino, “is that all of the staff members who had attended that meeting have either been dismissed or have left under duress.” Furino added that, “In my judgment, there is no legitimate reason to pursue dissidents at a university. That’s large fraction of the function of a university: critical thinking. Dissidents happen all the time.” Imprint has not been able to confirm whether this private meeting had any bearing on dismissals or departures from SJU. Since Perrin’s arrival at SJU, eight staff or faculty have retired, resigned, or been

dismissed. This number represents a huge turnover rate in an institution where employees traditionally been employed for long periods. In the past, Seljak said, SJU was a “very stable work environment” with one staff departure maybe every 18 months to two years. “People had better opportunities,” said Seljak, “but they stayed because it was a nice place to work.” However since Perrin’s arrival, that environment has changed, resulting in numerous departures. Of the eight departing staff, four were directors. Furino was one of the departures that occurred after Perrin’s arrival. “Given the breakdown in trust, breakdown in collegiality, and the dysfunction both on the academic side and on the church side, I certainly started to look [for a new position]. I had a meeting with the president that I could only describe as surreal and that convinced me that it was time to go. So I left.” See NO, page 3


News “

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009 news@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Academic freedom also means the ability to criticize the institution itself, to criticize the administration of your own university. — David Seljak President, SJU faculty association

Disputes were not limited to the faculty. The Catholic community that worshipped at St. Jerome’s University, and the university’s chaplaincy team, also clashed with Perrin. A major conflict was the allocation of the $200,000 surplus accumulated through Sunday worship. The worshipping community believed the money should go to services “for the purposes of the chaplaincy,” said Furino, while Perrin argued that the money belonged to the university to be used for whatever purpose the institution deemed necessary, including areas such as maintenance. The issue was resolved in favour of the worshipping community after a year of public debate. Seljak told Imprint he felt Perrin’s management style also put him in conflict with the university’s three-person chaplaincy team: Father Jim Link, Melinda Szilva, and Carol Persin. This conflict resulted in the resignation of all three of these individuals within the same week. Two took early retirement and one resigned. Perrin, questioned at College Council (composed of all SJU employees acting as an advisory for the president) about the resignations, said that he knew only that the chaplaincy team had resigned or retired for personal reasons. The council, seeking to know why the team had resigned, sought to create a committee to interview the three former employees. These interviews, according to a January 28 memo from Seljak to the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors, were “intended to discover the truth about an event that has serious consequences for the SJU community.” The interviews themselves became a source of friction, as the College Council was told by the executive of the board not to conduct the interviews because, according to a July 24 memo to the steering committee of the College Council, the “decision reflects a clear encroachment beyond College

“That’s when the faculty association has to draw the line,” said Seljak. “The president doesn’t have the right to tell us what questions we are entitled or not entitled to ask. This College Council is an advisory body to the president and we have to base our advice on facts, and so we have the right to ask questions.” The faculty was concerned with what they saw as an attempt to suppress the facts. “We can’t operate in the realm of these kinds of misrepresentations of truth,” Seljak said. It was at this point that the faculty decided to take a vote of non-confidence. Votes of non-confidence, such as the one undertaken by the faculty at SJU, are not a frequent occurrence, nor are they an event to be taken lightly. The faculty association had three main reasons for holding the vote of non-confidence. The first and foremost of these reasons, said Seljak is that “the president does not respect sufficiently academic freedom and the principle of collegial governance.” Collegial governance, an idea many in the academic world live by, is an administration model where the president “considers himself to be a colleague of the people that work for him,” said Seljak. While legally the decision-making power is in the hands of the president, “the president usually does not make decisions unilaterally,” Seljak said, arguing that a president instead often takes the advice of his colleagues, who act as an advisory board. “[Collegiality] also means the president requires the confidence of his colleagues,” said Seljak. “We feel that David Perrin doesn’t understand or accept the principle of collegial governance,” said Seljak, and claimed Perrin made unilateral decisions without consulting the faculty. According to former staff, one of Perrin’s first decisions as president was to change the salary policy for staff. “Changing competition packages is always a big thing,” said Steven Furino, a former

If St. Jerome’s faculty successfully form a union, they will be leaving UW’s Faculty Association to form their own unionized association. Council’s mandate[.]” With this decision, Seljak said the executive violated policy established by the board of governors and, more seriously, “violated the academic freedom, we felt, of the staff members and the faculty members of St. Jerome’s University.” Academic freedom, Seljak clarified, is not just the right to research and write about what you want: “Academic freedom also means the ability to criticize the institution itself, to criticize the administration of your own university,” Seljak said. The refusal to allow the College Council to investigate the departures of the chaplaincy team was followed by a memo from the Board of Governors saying that it had instructed the president and the dean not to attend College Council. The official reason was that the council was undertaking actions that were beyond its authority. Seljak also stated that the issue of entitlement to ask questions arose in this context, though Perrin could not be reached for comment to confirm.

Continued from cover

professor at SJU currently working at UW. “There is a policy at the University of Waterloo […] about how changes in salary are to be done and he did not abide by that policy.” According to Furino, there was no negotiation with regards to these changes, and they “were never subjected to third party verification.” “[Perrin is] trying to impose a structure on St. Jerome’s that would institutionalize that kind of business management model,” said Seljak. “Now, there’s nothing wrong with business management if it makes things more efficient and effective, but to impose a business management model that makes things less effective and efficient, that’s a problem.” Perrin’s management model, Seljak said, has made things less effective and efficient because his unilateral decisions have eroded his faculty support. And if the faculty doesn’t support the president’s leadership, they won’t go to any great lengths to ensure his projects are successful. “We’re all very busy,” said

NO: Academic staff at odds with St. J’s college president Seljak. “We all have hundreds of things to do. We’ll just do something else.” Additional reasons for the vote of nonconfidence were an evasive style of communication that left individuals feeling as though they were not getting straight answers, and a failure of leadership in addressing the crisis in morale at St. Jerome’s. In light of the overwhelming results of the non-confidence vote and the ongoing tensions at SJU, the university’s faculty association is currently in the processing of unionizing. The move to pursue certification was also based on the fact that any memorandum of agreement between the faculty association and the administration would be a type of “gentleman’s agreement,” and the faculty and staff would have no legal recourse in the face of violations of the agreement by the Board or the administration. “In the past,” said Seljak, “a high level of trust between faculty, the administration and the board has meant that such questions never arose.” Recent events, however, have changed relations between the faculty and the board. The new St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association, created by the faculty on March 3, has several stated objectives, including to “promote the welfare of the academic staff of the University, keeping in mind the good of the University as a whole.” The association will, according to Seljak, “devote itself to becoming the sole bargaining agent for a bargaining unit,” in this case 30 full-time professors and the university’s librarian. The association has already collected more than the minimum 40 per cent of the bargaining unit needed to apply for a vote of unionization, and this information was presented to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. That vote, Seljak said, will likely occur on March 31. “If you win a majority of that vote,” he said, “you become a union and the administration is forced to negotiate a collective agreement with that union.” The SJU faculty is currently represented by the Faculty Association at the University of Waterloo (FAUW), which is not a union. If they successfully form a union, they will be leaving UW’s Faculty Association to form their own unionized association. Seljak is confident that a unionized faculty association will be well supported by faculty and staff. He said, however, that, “This is perhaps the most reluctant union organization in Canadian labour history.” “We have been pushed into certification by an administration that refuses to listen, acts unilaterally, and, frankly, acts unfairly,” said Seljak. He adds that the union’s only desire is to “defend the principle of academic freedom and collegial governance,”

and that the union is not planning to make any demands for higher salary or better benefits. While the original motivations are forming a certified faculty association were linked with the current situation at SJU, Seljak said that, ”many faculty — myself included — have come to believe that unionization is in fact a better way to go in the long run. Many feel that a unionized faculty would provide some guarantee of collegial participation in the decision-making process around terms of employment. Of course, we do not expect to dictate the terms of employment, but we do expect to have a voice.” “The goal, essentially, is to come to some kind of new relationship with St. Jerome’s University that will help the university better serve its students and its community,” said Seljak. He later added that, “We really seek cooperation and reconciliation, but in order to have that co-operation and reconciliation you have to have clear boundaries and that’s basically what we’re trying to create.” Certification, he said, will clarify the relationship between the faculty association and the administration, something that has, up to this point, not been clearly defined. When asked whether he felt St. Jerome’s would continue to function well with Perrin as its president, Furino’s reply was immediate: “Absolutely not.” Though says he enjoyed working at SJU for the people — whom he said were “fabulous to work with” — and the close-knit relationship with students, he said that “more than the president would have to go” before he would consider returning. When asked to provide his perspective on the events at St. Jerome’s University, Perrin replied: “It is not appropriate for me to comment on the symbolic no-confidence vote while we are looking forward to our external consultant’s report that was contracted by our board of governors in relationship to internal events at St. Jerome’s University.” In a brief statement released to Imprint on February 19, Sebastien Kundra, in his capacity as president of the St. Jerome’s Students’ Union, said, “St. Jerome’s Students’ Union continues to express full confidence in the president. Currently this situation is not affecting student learning and student life in any capacity. St. Jerome’s Students’ Union is hopeful that this situation will be resolved in the near future.” Despite repeated attempts, Imprint was unable to get comment from Perrin, or a representative of the St. Jerome’s University Board of Governors for comment. araw@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Look to the final Imprint of Winter 2009 (April 3) for follow-up on the Tuesday, March 31 unionization vote, and other developments in this issue as they arise.




News

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Perimeter expanding Top physics institution needs more space

Ryan Webb assistant news editor

British MP Galloway banned from entering Canada, speaking at Canadian university

Mohammad Jangda

The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics has outgrown its space. Waterloo City Council approved a proposal March 23 that would allow PI to double the size of its research institution by 2011. Ryan Webb assistant news editor

T

he Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics continues to build on its international reputation. On March 23, Waterloo City Council approved an updated lease agreement with the UW-affiliated research institute that allows it to proceed with an ambitious plan to nearly “double the size” of its Waterloo facility. The agreement also leases 31 city-owned parking spots in order to meet the increased need. Dr. Neil Turok, PI’s executive director and the chair of mathematical physics at Cambridge University, represented the institute in the motion filed in Council. The newly amended agreement is the first step in a process that

will rely on the gambit of federal, provincial and private funding to add an additional 55,000 square feet to the existing 65,000 square foot building. Following council’s consent, Turok released a statement through PI that said the expansion puts it, “in a position to assemble a research community of unequalled strength and synergy, consisting of worldleading theorists in a wide range of complementary disciplines.” In the January 9, 2009 issue of Imprint we reported that one of these researchers visiting scholars, A Brief History of Time author Stephen Hawking, will begin his first extended stay in Waterloo this June as Distinguished Research Chair. Hawking and Turok are close associates from their work together on cosmic inflation at Cambridge University, which resulted in the Hawking-Turok instanton.

PI stressed a commitment to maintaining its current environmental footprint. A primary focus was the integrity of walking trails and Waterloo Park, onto which PI fronts. The lease agreement stipulates that the site plan requires approval from the Grand River Conservation Authority to proceed. The agreement stipulates that the conservation authority’s approval, along with access to necessary capital and planning be finalized by July 31, 2009. A building permit will be granted on October 31, 2009 and allows two years for construction. PI was founded in 1999 to gather internationally recognized physicists to “push the limits of our understanding of space, time, matter and information, as well as share their work with the general public.”

The controversial British Member of Parliament George Galloway has been declared persona non grata in Canada, a Canadian immigration spokesperson declared March 20, less than two weeks before he was set to visit this country on a speaking tour. Among the venues he was expected to speak at was the University of Toronto in Mississauga. Galloway, an MP from the leftwing Respect party, is known for his outspoken views on Israeli, American, and British foreign policy. He has also been critical of Canada’s role in the Afghanistan mission. On his website, in response to the barring, Galloway wrote that, “Young Canadian soldiers are dying in significant numbers on Afghanistan’s plains. Their families are entitled to know how many of us believe this adventure to be similarly doomed and that genuine support for troops - British, Canadian and other - means bringing them home and changing course.” On March 9, following the cessation of immediate hostilities between Israel and Hamas, Galloway and hundreds of volunteers arrived in the Gaza Strip as part of a large convoy, dubbed Viva Palestina with over $1.5 million-worth of aid supplies for the Hamas-led government. This support has resulted in rebukes for the MP from many quarters. Amongst those taking notice was Conservative Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. A spokesperson for Kenney told AFP that the CBSA had made their decision because Galloway had “given cash and vehicles” to Hamas, a “banned terrorist group.” Kenney has the ultimate legislative authority for deciding whether or not to allow visitors into this country. Kenney has declared he “would not be interested” in overturning the decision. — With files from the National Post, The Varsity, and AFP

news@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

UofG president denies threatening unionized employees with school closure

The president of the University of Guelph is denying accusations that he threatened employees with the university’s closure if they did not open negotiations on their collective bargaining agreements. In an interview with the Guelph Mercury on March 24, Alastair Summerlee insisted that he was “absolutely puzzled” and that he had not and would not make “such a threat.” He said it “wouldn’t be appropriate” for him to ask employees to re-open their contracts for discussion. The Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario, the organization that represents UofG’s unionized employees, had accused the administration of doing just that. In a statement Sid Ryan, the president of CUPE Ontario, said, “It seems the University of Guelph is taking a page out of the Chrysler play-book by blackmailing employees and threatening closure if they don’t open up collective agreements and give concessions.” The accusations stem from a March 10 announcement that Summerlee gave to interest groups. However, Summerlee himself claims that the initiatives he proposed had a “four-year plan associated with it.” Summerlee is not denying that UofG is facing difficult economic times. As is the trend amongst post-secondary institutions, endowment payments and the value of the university’s investments have declined due to the global economic downturn. The school is currently running a $16 million operating deficit and is looking to “remove close to $48 million out of the university.” 122 staff and 68 faculty took advantage of a voluntary departure program that is expected to save $20 million per year. CUPE represents unionized employees such as lecturers, teaching assistant and clerical and maintenance workers. — With files from Guelph Mercury and National Post news@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

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News

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009



China proposes a new reserve currency Katrina Massey reporter

Ryan Webb assistant news editor

China raises prospect of a “world monetary union”

The head of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, has proposed a shift away from the United States dollar as the world’s reserve currency in an essay posted March 23, on the central bank’s website. Xiaochuan proposed wider use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a unit of account that is currently based on a ratio of the dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound sterling, and is set by the International Monetary Fund. The following day, in response to a query at a gathering of the Council on Foreign Relations, President Obama’s top financial advisor, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, said that the administration “is open” to that idea. However, Geithner, eased away from categorizing wider use of SDRs as a precursor to a world currency and suggested instead that it should be regarded as an “evolutionary” step in free trade. Currency markets reacted immediately to Geithner’s surprise statement, and the dollar lost 1.3 per cent against the euro. The session’s moderator, the former U.S. deputy Treasury secretary Roger Altman, realized Geithner’s gaff and returned to the question minutes later. Geithner responded by retreating from his earlier statement and assert that, “I think the dollar remains the world’s dominant reserve currency.” The dollar proceeded to recoup most of its losses. These developments come as the U.S. government has passed a budget with record deficit spending, arguing that government expenditures are vital for remedying the current economic crisis. Deficit spending could also potentially deflate the value of the USD, and, as the country’s outstanding debt continues to grow, it becomes less attractive for creditors to continue feeding its economy with loans. The USD has remained the dominant reserve currency in the postWorld War II era. As China’s economy has grown, it has become the largest sovereign holder of U.S. debt and treasuries. Economists postulate that, because of its holdings, any move by

China to reduce its reliance on the USD would necessarily result in a reduction of its value in currency markets. “The [global economic] crisis does raise a lot of fundamental issues about the architecture of the global financial system, and the reserve currency is one of them,” the Financial Times quoted Morris Goldstein, a fellow at the Petersen Institute. — With files from the Financial Times Hague Court sentences Rwandan to 20 years for killing Tutsis in 1994

THE HAGUE, Netherlands Forty-year-old Hutu Joseph Mpambara was convicted on March 23 of multiple murders which occurred during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Hague Criminal Court. “The crimes this man committed are among the most serious ever to come before a Dutch court,” the judges reportedly said. Mpambara was convicted of several crimes related to torture. He was found guilty in the killing of at least two Tutsi women and four of their children. He had ordered them out of an ambulance they had been using to flee Rwanda, and had then hacked them to death using clubs and machetes. He was also found guilty of torture relating to mental anguish when he threatened the lives of German doctor Dr. Wolfgang Blam, his Tutsi wife, and son. Mpambara detained them at a roadblock as they tried to flee, and apparently asked the woman which of three villages she would like to be killed in, constituting psychological torture. Mpambara was however acquitted of several other charges. One involved the murder of Tutsis at a shelter in Rwanda, which had inconsistent testimonies. The other involved the rape of four women and the slaying of another in a separate incident, which was cleared because only one witness was able to allege this, which is not sufficient grounds for Dutch courts. He was not tried for genocide because he was not a member of the government militia which orchestrated

the massacre that resulted in the deaths of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a span of 100 days. Allegations against Mpambara were first brought to light when he applied for asylum in The Netherlands in 1998.

T

odays’s world puts a bounty on green ideas. Environmental student Bianca Sayan and AFM student Megan Chan were awarded a $25,000 prize on Monday for their proposal, “My Green Neighbour.” Their document outlined the feasibility for individual investors to lend money to homeowners for “green” renovations. The idea is that the homeowner can use the money saved by reducing energy costs to repay their loans, and will continue to reap the benefits once the loan is paid. The prize, awarded by the TD Bank’s “Friends of the Environment” Foundation, will be split evenly between the students and the Faculty of Environment. Sayan and Chan were one of 4 winning groups, chosen from 182 entries representing 52 schools.

The duo highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of their team. Sayan stressed the importance of interdisciplinary problem solving, saying, “We won’t continue operating in disciplinary silos. This is going to be the case especially in sustainability because you can’t just solve an engineering problem or a city planning problem. Each problem relates intricately to several areas; for instance, sustainable transportation requires engineering, city planning, behavioural psychology, and cultural anthropology. You can’t solve the problem only looking at one of these aspects.” This is the second year that UW students have won the prize. Last April, UW graduate students Jeremy Finkleman, Matthew Lee, and Ben Clare also won $25,000 for their bicycle-sharing proposal. That year, the Faculty of Environment put their half of the reward towards their Transportation Research Group fund.

— With files from BBC and Reuters

— With files from AP, BBC, and Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Global community turns back on Madacasgar’s military regime

Mexico offers US$2 million reward for arrest of drug lords

Current Madagascar President Andre Rajoelina, who was inaugurated on March 21, has drawn critical glares from the international community after he overthrew former President Marc Ravalomanana with military backing last week. The former mayor of the country’s capital, Antananarivo, claimed that his rise to power was the popular will of the Malagasy but refused to hold a snap poll, instead claiming that an election would be held in two years. Reportedly, Rajoelina’s popularity outside of Antananarivo has not been tested. “The United States condemns the process through which Marc Ravalomanana was forced to resign

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico In an attempt to tackle Mexico’s dramatic increase in drug violence this past year, the country will be offering rewards of up to $2 million US for those who provide information leading to the arrest of 24 individuals listed as Mexico’s most-wanted drug gang chiefs, their attorney general said on March 23. Among those on the list is the head of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin ‘el Chapo’ Guzman, one of the world’s billionaires. Others suspected of being heads of cartels are also listed, while some such as Guzman and Ismael Zambada already had a $5 million bounty on them provided by the United States government. This effort is Mexico’s first that offers rewards for all most-wanted cartel members at once. Their government, along with that of the United States, are combining forces to tackle Mexico’s rise in border drug violence that had on occasion spilled over into the US. President Barack Obama is due to visit the country in a month to discuss issues related to these drug battles. Mexico has experienced some successes since their president ordered 7,500 troops and 2,500 federal police to the border city of Ciudad Juarez in early March, an area notorious for drug violence. “The number of violent deaths linked to organized crime in Ciudad Juarez has fallen by more than 70 per cent,” said Public Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna. At the start of the year, up to 15 drug-related murders were occurring each day in the city. Currently, these numbers are at two a day. Mexico presently has 45,000 troops placed in locations all over the country that are battling their six main cartels.

Show me the green Michael L. Davenport incoming editor-in-chief

However, while drug violence has decreased in Ciudad Juarez, it is reportedly on the rise in the states of Michoacan and Durango.

TD Bank’s “Friends of the Environment” initiative is part of the growing effort on the part of banks to be more environmentally conscious. On March 7, the Bank of Montreal re-opened a Toronto branch, stating that it was now powered by “emission-free” electricity. Also, late last year, the Royal Bank of Canada switched all office paper to “sustainably sourced” stocks. mdavenport@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

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ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar

as president of the Republic of Madagascar,” said Robert Wood, spokesman for the United States State Department. The United States, along with Norway, has already frozen aid to the country in protest. Madagascar is heavily dependent on donor funding and the United States is one of its biggest donors. In Madagascar as much as 70 per cent of government funds come from foreign donors and different aid organisations... If these donors decide to stop all aid for Madagascar, the country could face a big social and economic problem,” said Fanja Ratsimbazafy, Secretary-General of the Malagasy Red Cross. In addition to this withdrawal of aid, the African Union suspended Madagascar from their organisation on March 20, calling the government handover “unacceptable and illegal.” The South African Development Community also refuses to recognize Rajoelina’s presidency and has threatened to impose sanctions on the country. — With files from CNN and IRIN news@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Student social justice and environmental action since 1973!

You’re Invited to

WPIRG’s ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and 35th Anniversary Bash! At this year’s AGM, YOU can elect 5 new board members! Find out about the year’s highlights and financial report, appoint an auditor, change bylaws and give your input! Join us for dinner and dessert to celebrate 35 years of student action and appreciate WPIRG’s amazing volunteers! Meet other students who are passionate about social justice and environmental issues Please RSVP for dinner at info@wpirg.org. All UW students and community members are invited! For more info on the AGM and election visit: UW SLC 2139, http://wpirg.org, or call 888-4882.

April 2, 2009 5:00-7:00 MC 4021

5 New board members will be elected at this year’s AGM See their profiles at wpirg.org or in our bulletin board in the SLC


Opinion

editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

A

Board of Directors board@imprint.uwaterloo.ca President, Sherif Soliman president@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Vice-president, Vacant vp@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Treasurer, Lu Jiang treasurer@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Secretary, Vanessa Pinelli secretary@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Staff liaison, Peter Trinh liaison@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

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A newspaper needs to be accountable to someone. I have, however, always strenuously argued that Imprint is: it’s accountable to you.

Editor-in-chief, Maggie Clark editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Incoming EIC, Michael L. Davenport editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Advertising & Production Manager, Laurie Tigert-Dumas ads@imprint.uwaterloo.ca General Manager, Catherine Bolger cbolger@imprint.uwaterloo.ca Ad Assistant, vacant Sales Assisstant, vacant Systems Admin. Dan Agar Distribution, Garrett Saunders Distribution, Sherif Soliman Interns, Julia Gelfand, Brandon Rampelt Volunteer co-ordinator, Dinh Nguyen

s my time at Imprint draws to a close, I find many misconceptions about Imprint’s operating structure still rampant in the UW community. So this week, as our incoming editor-in-chief (EIC), Michael L. Davenport, introduces himself formally to the Opinion section, I’d like to address some of those concerns. First and foremost, it’s important to remember just what Imprint is. Imprint has a mission statement somewhat unique among student newspapers in Canada: our objective is both to produce a publication that engages and informs the student body, and to provide a learning environment for journalism on UW’s campus. This last is crucial, and often overlooked or misunderstood. Let me be clear, then: there is no journalism program on UW’s campus — and university being what it is, many students will find in the course of their studies that they need a change. But for an electrical engineer, say, who wants a chance to explore journalism — just explore! — there is nowhere else to go here. As such, the goal of maintaining a journalistic learning space for interested students is just as important to Imprint as the production of its weekly paper. Often this will lead to fairly evident lapses in the final product. Content that could have been stronger, or layouts that could have been more engaging, are occasionally left in intentionally, because many an editor or writer won’t grasp the relevant lessons if someone corrects all their mistakes for them. Sometimes having the piece or page in question torn apart during our weekly editorial-board (ed-board) meetings, or general staff meetings (Monday at 12:30 p.m., and open to the public), is the only way to educate — not just the editor or writer in question, but the whole of the office as well.

This is, however, not the only reason errors get through. One of the toughest for me, personally, has been learning to accept a smaller set of errors as the consequence of spending more time fixing a really big crisis elsewhere in the paper. So if there’s a typo on cover, or a missing photo credit, or a truly egregious headline for a stand-alone photo... chances are I was putting out a much more dramatic fire somewhere else. Then there are simple miscommunications: however full the proofreading table is on any given production night, if editors aren’t inputting the changes, all that work is for naught. And this is hard to monitor from the big desk, especially as proofreaders might themselves not be right all the time: the best solution is still to empower editors and proofreaders to recognize opportunities for self-improvement, and further integration. And then, of course, there are institution-specific issues: Most student newspapers have a managing or layout editor, who splits the editor-in-chief ’s work by tackling all design. Imprint does not have either position, meaning all section editors lay out their own content (thus maximizing their ability to learn the full breadth of print journalism during their time here), and it falls to the editor-in-chief to standardize style choices throughout the paper. This is easier said than done, especially because the style guide is itself, by the dictates of our policies and procedures, a living document to be changed when necessary by the EIC and the whole of the editorial board. As such, there is an implicit agreement at work that allows section editors to try out new things (usually small; usually within the context of the existing layout) and present their experiments at ed-board or the general staff meeting for general adoption or dismissal. So there will always be some measure of variance, for better or for worse, in keeping with our two-part mission statement. It especially bears mentioning, though, that this balance between EIC and staff-atlarge is seen all across the paper: Since the mid-eighties, the EIC has never had a vote — not in the election of section editors, not in the promotion of general volunteers to staff status, not in the inclusion of column or comic submissions. The voting body of Imprint is instead the volunteer staff themselves: they decide what content they want to see in Imprint on a weekly basis, and who

they want on masthead positions. What the EIC does have control over is the publication of individual articles — which is why I might pull a column one week, for reasons of inappropriate or inadequate content — and the removal of staff from ed-board positions if they fail to fulfill their duties. Some past EICs have likened their role to that of a “facilitator,” and I agree that, with regard to the decision-making process of Imprint, this is an apt description.

Our objective is both to produce a publication that engages and informs the student body, and to provide a learning environment for journalism on UW’s campus.

It is not, however, the whole description, because of course the EIC is also the voice of Imprint — its public presence externally, and its dominant teaching influence internally. As much as I may want to give my volunteers room to grow on and through these pages, I am still responsible for the content that gets published, meaning I have to balance the line between educating my volunteer staff and maximizing Imprint’s positive influence in the community at large. This is especially true because Imprint is a very privileged publication: not only do we have a large, vibrant, and engaging office environment, we also have autonomy. This means we are not tied to any one faculty, and we are certainly not beholden to the university administration. The Federation of Students may administer our student fee, but they too have absolutely no editorial control over us. This autonomy was hard-won: again in the mideighties, a rather power-hungry Feds president once sought to control Imprint; he wanted a mandatory Feds column in the paper, a seat on our board of directors, and veto power over the editorial content in these pages. See TRANSITION, page 9

adrienne raw

Student Life Centre, Room 1116 University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 P: 519.888.4048 F: 519.884.7800 http://imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Production Staff Bogdan Petrescu, Katrina Massey, Alicia Mah, Shane Taylor, Andew Dodds, Paul Collier, Susie Roma

Transition of power Clarifying misconceptions about Imprint and the role of the EIC

Friday, March 27, 2009 Vol. 31, No. 32

Editorial Staff Assistant Editor, Dinh Nguyen Head Reporter, Vacant Lead Proofreader, Alicia Boers Cover Editor, Veronika Zaretsky News Editor, Vacant News Assistant, Ryan Webb Opinion Editor, Adrienne Raw Opinion Assistant, Christine Nanteza Features Editor, Vacant Features Assistant, Mark Zammit Arts & Entertainment Editor, Tina Ironstone Arts & Entertainment Assistant, Vacant Science & Tech Editor, Rajul Saleh Science & Tech Assistant, Vacant Sports & Living Editor, Caitlin McIntyre Sports & Living Assistant, Vacant Photo Editor, Amy LeBlanc Photo Assistant, Shannon Purves Graphics Editor, Armel Chesnais Graphics Assistant, Paul Collier Web Administrator, Arianna Villa Systems Administrator, Mohammad Jangda

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009 opinion@imprint.uwaterloo.ca


Opinion

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009



The challenge of choice ecently, I was faced with a difficult choice. When afforded the opportunity to become Imprint’s next editorin-chief, I already had the next six months of my life planned out. Accidents of fate caused two job application processes to overlap, and I had already accepted an offer to spend the summer with Engineering Science Quest (ESQ), a prospect I found exciting in its own right. In the meantime, I was playing a key role in staffing a local Subway — my sudden disappearance from that place would adversely affect the operations of the store. Should I rearrange my life on a dime, quit my sandwich making job in an instant, and renege on a job offer I already accepted? Or should I continue on the careful plan I had drafted in advance? You’re reading these words, so you obviously know which choice I made. I realize how ridiculous it is to complain about one fantastic opportunity, let alone two, but at the instant I was presented with my choice, I was distraught — I cursed the series of events that

brought me to this difficult decision. This is a human weakness. People sometimes gravitate away from making choices. Here’s an example from my recent experience as a Sandwich Artist: customers would walk into my store, and ask me what the best sandwich is. Or they’d walk in, and be upset that we didn’t have the daily specials — not because they wanted to save money per se, but because they wanted the choice to be made for them. The only conclusion I can draw is that people don’t like making choices. And that’s bad. This phenomenon — an aversion to making choices — is more applicable to students than one might immediately think. How many of us know someone in an unloving, dead-end relationship, because that state is the default? How many of us have a friend in a program not because they made a choice, but because their parents wanted it so? The choices we make (or refuse to make) aren’t always so explicit. How many of us made a conscious decision to go out last weekend, to check our favourite

webcomics last night, or go get lunch at Bomber? How many of us were merely using those things as vehicles of procrastination, or just doing them because they’re what we’ve always done? The thing I realized in the short time I had to make my decision was the necessity of becoming adept at making choices — difficult choices, at that. Not just for me, in my role of upholding the editorial standards of a newspaper, but for everybody. The chief financial officer who has to cut 10 per cent out of next year’s budget; the professor who has to design a curriculum that must fit into 11 weeks; the young couple deciding on whether to have or adopt children — anybody who plans on being somebody needs to become good at making choices. Local celebrity and Research in Motion (RIM) founder Mike Lazaridis and world-famous Microsoft founder Bill Gates have something in common: they both left university to start their own business (neglecting to graduate in the process). They both could have

stayed in school and finished their degrees, but they were presented with opportunity which others in their position could have ignored. They made a choice.

This phenomenon — an aversion to making choices — is more applicable to students than one might immediately think.

R

editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

This is my editorial. This will be my voice for the coming year, and while I do not plan on turning it into an advice column, advice will nonetheless sometimes spill out. So, here is the first piece of advice I’ll give you: examine your routine. Reconsider your assumptions. Go out into the world. Put yourself in a position where you must make choices. Make a decision today, and own it.

Community Editorial So long Waterloo... The end could not come any sooner Sunny Ng former iron warrrior eic

A

s I’m approaching the end of my undergraduate career, I can’t help but notice that the longer I’ve been here, the more bitter I have become. However, I have met some really wonderful people in the last few years here and they’re probably the only reason why I don’t think Waterloo is entirely awful. Unfortunately, the bad definitely outweighs the good. First of all, there’s the student culture on campus. I’m really irked by the fact that the majority of the student population here does not care about… well, anything. You would think that an academic institution that is supposedly full of intellects would be aware and passionate about what’s around them. But, every time an election is called, whether student societies or Feds, I shake my head at the pathetic turnouts and the low number of individuals running for office. Yet, at the same time every student should care about services they pay for every term. The most controversial issue I have seen in the last few years amongst the student body was the Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass), but even then only around 34 per cent of the student population cared enough to have a say on this issue by voting. This lack of caring is very disappointing to say the least. It has led to the administration screwing students in every way possible and there are not enough students that care to

do anything about it. For example: introduction of PDEng/other PD programs, the end of what was known as the tradition of IRS (Iron Ring Stag; where fourth year engineers were allowed to dress-up and disrupt other engineering classes for a day), the removal of the B2 Green, human rights concerns in the new United Arab Emirates (UAE) campus, and most recently the proposal of a shortened Frosh Week. Even worse, speaking out is discouraged. Publishing an opinion piece in a faculty’s student newspaper like this was blocked by its Advisory Board. Yet there’s no problem in publishing messages from the Dean, messages praising PDEng, or other opinions that paints the administration in a positive light. Ever year in Engineering, part of the small traditions we had are taken away from us and the administration is fine with that. Students are left to defend themselves on their own such as during the Gradcomm Slave Auctions fiasco because somebody suddenly decides to be oversensitive and connecting dots that come from nowhere. I’m sure they were very constructive when they were ostracizing us too. Perhaps I was wrong to assume the above, and maybe I should consider that Waterloo is a school where education is of the utmost importance; at least that would explain the lack of common social etiquette and skills from students, and the arrogance of students that arise once they step into the workplace.

I wish at least that part was true, so there would be something to show for in spite of the above. Sometimes I wonder if not having a real IRS is a good thing because it used to be a time for students to say thanks to their professors. Frankly speaking, the number of professors outside my few non-engineering elective courses that I liked and found to be exceptional can be counted on one hand. But then I realize: no, I still want to be able to dick around during my last year of school as an engineering student, like those who graduated before us... so I want my IRS back please. It really baffles me how Waterloo manages to gets its high ranking in Maclean’s year after year. Most of the time I end up cramming myself with course content which I could regurgitate at my final exam and totally forget right after. It’s not because I’m lazy, but the lack of teaching quality does not motivate me to learn or think critically here. I find it is often ironic when professors complain about students skipping their classes, when students are the ones who should be complaining about the profs’ lack of engagement and teaching abilities. If students are able to perform well academically by not attending a single lecture, then it’s not the students’ problem. With all that being said, I’ve been asked many times during the last few months, “If I knew this was what I was getting into, would I pick the same path?” Sadly, I think I would still say yes. Because despite all that, without Waterloo’s alumni reputation, my

career options would be much more limited if I was coming out from a different school. On that final note, I would like to call out to every 2009 Engineering graduate to reconsider donating to the Plummer’s Pledge. This year’s Engineering Gradcomm chairs have chosen not to associate themselves

with it. If you are still on the fence about this, think about how the administration has fucked you. “MIT of the North?” Yeah, my ass. Editor’s Note: Do you have feedback (positive, negative, or “it’s complicated”) about your university experiences? Send them to opinion@imprint.uwaterloo.ca.

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Opinion

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

You can’t always get what you want

H

ere’s a scenario that happens all too often in university love life. You meet the person of your dreams who is caring, funny, attractive, and smart. You connect with that person and have so many things in common. This person is insanely perfect for you, and the more you see them, the more you like them. However, there is only one problem: They are not single. So, what do you do? Steal them away? Wait patiently for a fight so you can swoop in? Wait for the perfect time to confess your love? Or do nothing? I hope that you can all imagine what my answer is, especially coming from someone in a serious relationship. The idea that someone is madly in love with my current boyfriend gives me the chills, so my answer is of course “do nothing.” Yeah, I can say I trust him to my heart’s content, but can I trust another girl? I know a couple of boyfriend-stealing girls — some are my close friends — and I can’t say it doesn’t happen. I have watched great relationships crumble at the hands of a third party who wanted someone they couldn’t have. Having to sit here and empathize with people who want things that don’t belong to them is not an easy task so I won’t do it. However, what I

nbest@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

can write about is why someone should back off and look for other fish once they realize that their object of desire is out of reach.

Why you should do nothing and move on First, you have to stand in the shoes of the person who is dating your crush. Imagine how it would feel if you knew someone was hoping you’d get lost, so they could move in? Imagine what it would feel like if you knew someone was making moves on your current partner while you were still dating them. Girls rip each other’s hair out over this stuff, and guys take each other outside to duke it out. Why? Because it’s wrong, and no one deserves to have their significant other taken out of their life. Secondly, if the person you like has the audacity to cheat or leave their current partner for you then they could do the same thing to you too. Why would you be so naive as to think that you have fixed someone’s cheating problem by cheating with them? Suddenly, that person doesn’t seem as great anymore, and now you are the one stuck in a relationship that was built from a lie. Why people think they can “change” a cheater

by dating them is beyond me. I don’t even know how to touch that issue without wanting to spit on something. Finally, you have to figure out why you are attracted to this person. Do you like them because they are nice? Because they are attractive? Did they give you subtle hints? The reasons you like someone may vary, but you must know why you do in order to stop yourself from liking that person. Are they really great at emotional talks? Do they have the best musical taste out of everyone you know? Although they may have some great qualities, I am willing to bet that none of those qualities add up to you having the right to ruin their relationship. It drives me crazy that people cheat, and then try to justify it. So here is a little list of warning signs that someone might want to jump your partner’s bones. If you know the signs of a developing emotional relationship, you might not be so shocked when your partner leaves you for the person who is only a “friend.”

Call me crazy or jealous, but when a girlfriend calls me up bawling her eyes out because at her boyfriend left her for a close female friend, they always wish they noticed the warning signs. If you have an open and trusting relationship you should be able to talk things over with your partner and amicably figure out how to move on. It is not easy by any means, but ignoring them will only eat away at your soul leaving

If you know the signs of a developing emotional relationship, you might not be so shocked when your partner leaves you for the person who is only a “friend.” you to wonder what’s really going on. As for those pining after someone’s significant other, you can’t always get what you want, so move on and find some other fish that are free for the taking.



Signs that your partner is being pursued by another

1

They have intimate conversations about failed relationships, and even discuss current ones with someone you are uncomfortable with. Yes, we all seek advice on relationships, but doing it with someone who your partner doesn’t trust is like building an emotional relationship behind their back. What comes after an emotional relationship? Feelings.

2

They do random nice things for each other. One bakes cookies for just the other, or will send the other a postcard from a trip. It could be sending special messages to do well on midterms, or when they reference things in your partner’s life that you don’t even know about.

3 4

Phone calls, emails, Facebook, notes, texts, and every mode of communication is used between them.

Your partner never refers to them by name, but always as a “friend” or a “classmate” or something else that is neutral. Hiding their name, is like hiding a part of their friendship and how often they are in contact.

5

The person who wants your partner will either tell you how amazingly lucky you are, or become your superficial friend who will never speak to you when you encounter them without your significant other by your side.

6

Your partner will mention something odd or something strange that happened to that person. Something that was only the other person’s problem is now something that is a problem for your partner.

7

Your partner always gets a hug hello and you are left hanging. Actually, you are the only one left hanging because that person hugs everyone except you. I might as well throw in lap sitting, shoulder rubbing, and hair playing while I am at it.

8

Your partner has suspected that this person may like them, but thought nothing of it. If your partner gets a sense that they are liked, they are probably right. If your partner tells you about it, you’re lucky because they are being honest and open with you. But if you ask your partner, and they confess to knowing all along, you might want to do some more digging as to why would they hide that from you?


Opinion

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009



Community Editorial

Co-op in recession CECS: What it isn’t doing for you

commentator

T

he month of February has seen continual decrease on Wall Street. The numbers are in and unemployment rose from 7.4 to 7.6 per cent; 40,000 to 70,000 jobs were lost in the month of February, according to Statistics Canada. Amidst the recession, our co-op jobs hang in the balance. For us co-op students, even though you had that interview, and you may have obtained that rank on JobMine, you’re still not guaranteed a job. I’ve heard so many stories about how ‘promised’ jobs were cancelled, leaving the student jobless with no time to find a new one. I know a lot of people who are still waiting for the contract to come in from the first round of interviews, and I’m guessing that those contracts will not be arriving in any time soon. Even if you’ve signed that piece of paper, the legal terms you agreed to only make your employer not expendable, while you are left with no guarantees. In other words, after you sign that paper you can’t find a better job and leave them, but they can leave you. Those contracts are reviewed by packs of lawyers—or in this economy—should I say lawyer. Simply put: co-op students are the bottom of the barrel. If a company annuls the contract, do you still get co-op credit? According to Co-operative Education and Career Services (CECS): “CECS cannot grant credit for something that you didn’t do.” You are expected to find a new job in that time. You may only have one week to find a new job in order to fulfill the 12-week minimum. So on top of not having a job, and no money, you don’t get a co-op credit which may mean you graduate late. Remember one thing, none of that is your fault, as a lot of companies are holding back on their student recruitment and CECS has moronic restrictions. However, what if you can’t even get a job in the first place? According to CECS: “If you fail to achieve enough co-op credits by the time you approach graduation, the faculty will ‘review’ your circumstances.” This can be interpreted as being held behind an extra year or term in order to make up that credit. But what if you bought one of those UW black leather jackets that say you “Class of 2011” on the shoulder, you would be doing a disservice to that jacket. Having to stay an extra year seems like wasted time without

a degree and a jacket that lies. On a side note, all the quotes were taken from an email from a CECS Public Relations (PR) representative. That’s the thing about dealing with PR reps; they never give you a straightforward answer, their language is always passive, and their answers are often filled with a lot of flutter and possibilities. On a similar topic, why do we still pay such high co-op fees? For as long as I’ve attended this school, co-op fees have increased every year, except this year. Co-op fees are just as high as they were the previous term. Hmm…while all of us take a pay cut, co-op advisors still seem to receive the same salary. This situation is equivalent to the $165 million bonus payment that is still going out to American International Group (AIG) employees this year. Agreed, CECS did find some jobs, but many of them were cancelled, and there’s still isn’t enough to go around. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pay the co-op fees, but maybe the fees could be reduced. It’s a sort of paradox: we pay for co-op to help us get jobs, but co-op can’t find us jobs, so we don’t make money, and therefore we can’t pay for co-op. On a similar topic, it is my strong belief that if you return to your previous co-op job, you should not have to pay for your upcoming coop fee. What did co-op do this term to help you return to that job? So when I received an email from CECS halfway through my work term, telling us to see if we could return to our co-op jobs, you could see that I was irate. They want us to return to that co-op job, and continue to pay the co-op fee? To me, returning to a previous job seems to be a complete disregard for the fundamental basis of a four-month work term. If they wanted us to go back to the same jobs, why not just make the work terms eight months long? I know for a fact that other universities do that. To me, the payment structure of the CECS system is a lot like paying for health care in the United States; we all have to pool our money and those that get a job through JobMine benefit, while those that don’t still pay. However, in the States you can choose to not pay for health care. For some of us, co-op payment is not an option, like in engineering. The only other option you have is to go to another university.

Gas prices have fallen to 67 cents per litre, City Group is trading at a $3.50, and we can open those tax free savings accounts. Things are cheaper, why isn’t tuition? I only complain because we’re students; we’re suffering more than the average citizen. We don’t have a jobs, we’re paying for tuition, and we’re paying for our living expenses; food, shelter, and alcohol. Also who’s to say the economy can’t get worse. The economy isn’t going to be fixed in a matter of months. The economy could still get worse, and you might not find a job on the next school term.

The economy isn’t going to be fixed in a matter of months. The economy could still get worse, and you might not find a job on the next school term.

So in conclusion, you don’t get a co-op job, you don’t graduate on time, and you pay higher co-op fees. Does that seem right? Either you can live by the system and try to be penny-wise, or you can fight it.

Transition: Imprint 101 Continued from page 6

I hope to all heck that the potential for censorship inherent in any paper trying to write about the decisions of a group that controls it are self-evident—and it is most definitely important that Imprint have the capacity to call Feds as much to account on their handling of student issues as we do the UW administration as a whole. And yes, of course, autonomy is itself not a perfect concept: a newspaper needs to be accountable to someone. I have, however, always strenuously argued that Imprint is: it’s accountable to you. Nonetheless, students are understandably frustrated if there’s some delay getting letters to the editor published: the saddest cases of these are when students say in the letters themselves that they don’t expect the pieces to

be published, on account of the criticism they launch at Imprint. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, letters of an extremely personal nature, specifically attacking an individual outside the body of work they’ve published in Imprint, are sent to the person in question — not to press. But if you criticize a student volunteer in the context of their work with Imprint — that is, condemn the work, not the person — there are very few reasons why you might not see your work in print. For one, there may already be too many letters about the piece you’re responding to (in which case, we pick the greatest diversity possible); for another, your letter might be completely incoherent — although even then we try to work with the letter-writers to improve the quality of their content. And finally, there may simply not be space that week — an issue

that especially arises if we receive your letter to the editor late in our production cycle. We do, however, make every effort to get these cut pieces in the next issue — it’s the height of absurdity, just by looking at the kinds of letters we do publish, chock full of criticism as they are, to presume we’ll censor anyone on the basis of their irritation with our work. As far as we’re concerned, criticism is just another part of the learning process. Otherwise, I hope some of these points help you understand how your newspaper functions — and in turn, how you can maximize your engagement or influence in the organization. Next week will be my last with this publication; I look forward, at that point, to sharing my appreciation for the student community at large. editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

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10

Opinion

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Letters Re: “On banana caps and fallibility� To the editor,

At this point he has not only managed to grossly distort the message and goals these demonized Western aid programs attempt to provide to communities in need, but also given several different, even opposing, accounts of the socio-cultural condition of the continent.

“

“

Last week’s article “On banana caps and fallibility� was, in the author’s words, counterproductive at best and disingenuous at worst. Aside from a clumsy attempt to communicate credibility through unnecessary wordiness and long, confusing sentence structure, facts that I do believe matter for any a university-level journalistic publication, his views were similarly stereotyping, shallow, and righteous as those of the pope he criticized.

The author began by claiming that Africa is a socially conservative continent, where sex outside of mutual fidelity within a permanent commitment is wrong. He proceeded to complain that “exclusive

Move to Change Griffith James MPA student

“When i began looking seriously at the idea of working in government, i realized that i would need graduate-level training in public policy to pursue my career goals. the master of Public administration (mPa) program in the Johnson-shoyama school has met all of my expectations. it has given me a strong foundation in theory and a chance to hear from and connect with professionals in the public sector. the school’s areas of focus were of particular importance to me given my interest in health and social policy. Johnsonshoyama was the right choice.� The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy prepares practitioners and scholars for state-of-the-art policy analysis and public management. The interdisciplinary school, which offers programming on two Saskatchewan campuses, builds on existing strengths in the areas of health and social policy, science, technology and innovation, and trade and transnational regulation. For more information about the MPA program, please visit: www. schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca

condom education� imports a Western hook-up culture, and instead of “proposing condoms as a prevention method that helps accommodate human weakness [...] they end up saying to Africans ‘here are condoms, go have an orgy.’� Before commenting on these outrageous statements, I want to further illustrate how he, later in the article, made some very different comments about sex in Africa, stating that “in Africa, very little sexual activity is entirely consensual; often sex is for jobs, money, school fees or the thousands (what kind of statement to make as a credible journalist?!) of other variations of sexual exploitation.� At this point he has not only managed to grossly distort the message and goals these demonized Western aid programs attempt to provide to communities in need, but also given several different, even opposing, accounts of the socio-cultural condition of the continent. May I just add that I wasn’t aware that any area of the world that large and heavily populated, be it a continent or not, could be summarized as one or given one label. His claims regarding African attitudes toward sexuality and sex education are rampant yet speculative. The facts prove differently: extramarital sex does obviously happen in African communities, HIV/AIDS is an epidemic; along with factors as poverty, lack of healthcare, and infrastructure it has severe adverse impacts on African communities. And while re-evaluating sexual attitudes at large and considering a country’s sociocultural attitudes when searching for a best fit for programs aimed at prevention as well as damage control is well intended and surely productive, it is absolutely necessary for effective short-term help to provide condoms and educate on “safer sex� effectively. With that education comes increasing knowledge about the biology and physicality of sex in general, and the virus in particular. The difference between these two models of education is that aid societies are there to provide immediate relief; they are like an emergency room in that sense. Deeper societal changes, such as sociocultural independence of Western influences need to be addressed from within the country and individual communities, not by organisations trying to save lives. Furthermore, it seems ridiculous to even group together countries like South Africa and Darfur, and, to

add insult to injury, it becomes dangerous when one proceeds to prescribe value systems to both, the communities in need and the organisations providing support, de-valuing their efforts and demonizing their ideas. We no longer have the freedom to question negative influences of Western culture; the world is a global village, and if anything Western casual life-style has already implemented itself firmly and negatively, as the epidemic itself effectively demonstrates. Therefore it is outrageous and misleading to assume that these aid programs in Africa, which are there trying to save one life at time, provide condoms with the incentive to encourage a life of promiscuity and exploitation. Steffi Mathes Re: A commentary on standards To the editor, It is a typical afternoon lecture in MC that I am NOT sleeping through. In front of me, a classmate is surfing on TMZ.com, engrossed in the latest developments in the Rihanna/Chris Brown love-story-turned-nightmare-turnedwhatever saga. I kick myself to stay awake as I am reminded of how lucky we are that our education is putting us on the “right side of the tracks:� that side where women are respected, treasured and honoured. My thoughts turned to Steve, sitting across the aisle. Just last week, Steve complained bitterly about how certain male professors only award top grades to the female students that were “easy on the eyes.� Across the room, Ryan’s laughter at the instructor’s humour reminds me, so jarringly, of the crass comments he jokingly made several years ago about a female’s instructor’s physical appearance as we were completing course evaluations. Sitting a few rows ahead of Ryan, Travis is engaged in a lively conversation about the course material. The confidence he shows in his discussion is not so different from the confidence he has in his theory that whenever an unattractive woman accuses a good-looking man of rape, she simply must be lying. I try to put these memories aside because I have countless more memories of Travis, Ryan, and Steve’s endless wit, generosity and kindness. I have no doubt that all three of them will one day be amazing husbands and fathers living in upscale suburbia complete with the white picket fence. I am just saddened that for all the times we are reminded of how Chris Brown should be held to a lower-than-average standard in terms of treatment of women because he was the kid “from the wrong side of the tracks,� we never hold ourselves, as the ones on the opposite side of those tracks, to a higher-than-average standard. This June, so many of us will be taking that final step in our ascension up The Ivory Tower. By the time your turn comes, I truly hope that you will find within you an attitude toward women’s issues that proves just how different you are from the Chris Browns of the world. [Note: the names in this piece have been changed to protect privacy of the individuals mentioned] Youfei Xiao Masters of accounting, first year

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Features

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009 features@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

JUST NOT INTERESTED

Yes, it’s true. Asexuality is a sexual identity. There are people who identify as asexual. And yes, they’re

Keriece Harris staff reporter

Kayla Uuldrick, a member of UW’s GLOW community carefully and delightfully manoeuvred the following questions to give real insight into asexuality. How would you define asexuality?

Personally, I define asexuality as just not having any sexual attraction to anything. I think of it as mostly a neutral territory. How long have you identified as asexual?

I have identified since [about] the end of Grade 9, the beginning of Grade 10, but I have known since I was about eight years old. And how was that? Coming to that answer?

I didn’t really understand it because all my friends and everyone at school were getting crushes on guys and I was just like, “Umm, what?” And everyone was like, “You have a crush?” I’m like: “No, what’s a crush? I don’t like him, he’s awful!” And I was like “Why do you like boys; they’re idiots and they’re awful!” So did they then call you a lesbian?

No, actually I didn’t get teased much about it. How has your asexuality impacted your school life? Social life?

Not really my school life, because I don’t really socialize at school and the people at school don’t really know, unless they are my close friends. I’d say in my social life it’s made me a little more shy in my interactions with people ‘cause everyone’s always kind of in a sexual light. It’s like “Hmm, don’t really know how to deal with it,” so I do kind of tend to back off overly-social situations and I don’t always understand. A lot of things go over my head and I’m like “Wait, what?” Keriece: “That’s what she said.” Kayla: “Huh?” Do you feel that your sexual identity is accepted as a legitimate identity in our community? In GLOW?

It’s a bit of a battle. A couple of months ago I certainly would have said “no.” Now I’ve been reading and I’ve been on the internet and it’s actually starting to come out a lot more. A lot of people don’t think it’s legitimate, but a lot of people are starting, I guess, to come out and vocalize. People are starting to accept it, and it’s becoming more common in conversation — like I know a lot more people [now who] know about asexuality. Even in the summer I would have been like, “No one even knows about it.” Like, I’d say [asexuality] and people would give me a blank stare and say, “Like an amoeba.” “Yeah, like an amoeba.”

What kind of reactions do you receive from people who learn this aspect of your identity?

The most common reaction is, “You haven’t met the right person,” but of course that is to be expected. Some other ones I guess are: “Are you sure something’s not wrong with you?” “Maybe you should see someone?” “Maybe you should solve your problems.” To these, I just respond, “No.” Have your family and friends been supportive?

Yeah. My mom is still thinking along the lines of “Oh you just haven’t met anyone yet.’ But my friends understand. All my friends are of different sexual orientations; I probably have about four completely straight friends in my group. They are chill. They make fun of me sometimes. They say, “You can’t say that Kayla, you don’t get it” and I’m like “Yeah, I know.” Due to your youth, how would you counter the statement “It’s just a phase”?

If it isn’t a phase I guess we’ll find out later. If it is a phase then it’s pretty long lasting. There’s no way to counter that statement until I’m older and then I’ll just let people have their say and be like “Yeah I’m just not interested right now, so stop bugging me!” Have you ever engaged in sexual activity? If yes, how did these experiences help shape your self-awareness? If no, how would you respond to those who say you don’t know what you’re missing?

I have engaged in sexual activity before, but I haven’t actually had sex. But I’ve had some experience with both girls and boys, so I know I’m not a lesbian. It’s not that I didn’t know what I was doing. It was boring. It sounds really weird but it was actually boring. I kept thinking “Can we do something else? It’s getting annoying, I’m not getting anything out of this, what are we doing?” It helped me realise a lot when I was in Grade 9 when it started, and I was like “Hmm this isn’t doing anything for me, maybe I shouldn’t do it anymore.”

It helps a lot with social interactions because I am able to explain it to people, and most of the time people do listen and if I explain it well enough I get this look of awe like, “Whoa, that’s really intense!” It does help me a lot if people do know about it; then it helps me feel better in different situations. A lot of my friends won’t talk about a lot of sexual things around me cause they know it makes me like... “Hmm, don’t really want to talk about it.” It doesn’t make me uncomfortable, I just have no knowledge and I have no wish to have knowledge about it. So they stay away from certain topics so it makes me more comfortable. Are there any stereotypes or misconceptions that you’d like to address at this point?

Telling us we’re broken. A lot people think that all of us have psychological issues that caused us to become asexual, that it’s because you have been sexually abused when you were younger. That’s not necessarily the case. Sure there are some people who’ve been abused, which has led to not wanting to be sexual, but that’s not choice asexuality. Asexuality can definitely be a sexuality. It’s not celibacy. It’s not choosing not to have sex. It’s just that you don’t because that’s the type of person you are. That’s the only stereotype I could think of. We don’t need help; we need understanding and support. What would you like to say to those who may be struggling with identifying as asexual?

I’d just like to say that if you think you’re asexual don’t put it on as a stamp. Check it out, do some research. You can be asexual but that can change. If you just can’t force yourself to be sexual and if you’re really struggling with it then there are a lot of people — a lot of people — out here who’ve gone through the same thing. Really, just google it and you can find something that can help you a lot. Are there any other thoughts or issues you’d like to mention or add? Anything else you’d like to clarify?

I’m an asexual a-romantic. I’d say having a partner for me, no. It’s difficult for me to compatible with another person for that level of intimacy, but there are a lot asexuals who I know have partners and it’s easy for them.

The asexual community: having it, building on it, and having it come forth to light. It’s a really big step I’ve noticed and it’s a real struggle getting us recognized. A lot of people think that [since] gays had to go through so much to get their sexuality recognized and validated — and it is still not in some countries — and asexuals don’t have to go through that, that we’re not “legitimate.” We don’t have to be recognized — it would be nice to be recognized by society, it would definitely make things easier — but asexuality is still going happen even if we’re not recognized. So, we can stay in the shadows or we can just plod along in the community.

How has your life improved since being able to openly identify as asexual?

kharris@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

People argue that interpersonal relationships develop towards increasing levels of intimacy; does asexuality for you include having a partner? If so can you talk about the kinds of interpersonal connections at work in such a relationship?


Features

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

13

Buying on the internet Where everything is for sale

Langar day at UW

imerrow@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

W

hile shopping, it’s part of our natural instinct to look for the best bargain available; from very early on in life we are rewarded for pointing out sales and taking advantage of deals. Across all societies, the art of the bargain hunt is as old as the practice of commerce itself, but our ability to find the lowest price has always been limited by our access to what’s out there. Today, the internet has nearly obliterated that barrier. We can now access a verisimilitude of deals we never even knew existed in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take. What strategies can maximize your online shopping effectiveness? What websites and tools can do all the work for you? Reading this article will be the last time you need to spend more than ten minutes to save a buck. Searching for an e-sale

Tapping into the power of the internet search engines is crucial; however this goes beyond typing “cheap iPods” into Google and clicking “I’m Feeling Lucky.” One small step away from google.com is Google Product Search (formerly Froogle), an extremely fast search engine you can use to find sales and compare prices. Although still in development, this is a solid search mechanism that quickly ranks products in terms of their current price from a variety of online vendors. Online tools like Google Product Search are known as “ShopBots,” because they shop for you like a robot would. For a second opinion, try EDealInfo.com, Shopping.com, or PriceGrabber.ca. Keep in mind that some big box stores have a lowest price guarantee, so if you print out a legitimate internet deal and bring it in, they may match the lower price — as long as you don’t forget to add in the cost of shipping. What if you’ve already found what you want online, but are waiting for the price to go down even more? Instead of hitting the refresh button every few days on that persistant Firefox tab, try out PriceProtectr.com. All you have to do is type in the URL of the product web-page you are eyeing, and PriceProtectr will notify you when it goes on sale. Alternatively, if you’ve just bought an item and the price goes down, you will receive an email notifying you of the price change. Most large retailers will then compensate you for the difference in price if you let them know what happened. If you’re curious to know more, PriceProtectr provides a list of its retailers and their price protection policies on its website. This service’s only limit is in its selection of retailers, but with names like Tiger Direct Canada, Walmart, Amazon Canada, among others, it is definitely worth a look. Another ShopBot called DealScans.com performs a similar function as PriceProtectr’s price search, but as far as I can tell DealScans tends to find mostly American promotions. For a more Canadian perspective of things on sale, you have to visit Red-

FlagDeals.com. This site is coupons, promotions, and free stuff galore, mostly submitted by people trying to save money just like you. If cash back is what you’re after, try Ebates.com, a website that provides you a 1 to 25 per cent rebate on your purchases at 900 select stores online (Aeropostale or Apple iTunes for example). That means that the more money you spend at their partners’ stores, the more cash you get back. If this encourages you to spend more than you would otherwise, this is not “saving” in the strict sense of the word, but for purchases you’d make anyway, it’s not a bad idea. Alternatives to buying new

Probably the oldest trick in the book is buying something used to get a good deal. Migrate this principle onto the internet, and you have virtual garage sales at your fingertips. Although potentially more time-consuming than letting your ShopBot do all the work, browsing through your own shopping sites can still yield big results. eBay might be old news for the young folks, but it’s still a gem, and always worth considering in the search for more stuff. Often you’ll find the average ShopBot routes you to eBay anyway, so why not start at the source? If you want the thrill of eBay, but only for the stuff that’s 50 per cent off or more, you can try Half.com, an eBay subsidiary that is just that. Although just as unlikely to be considered news, Craigslist.ca and Kijiji.ca deserve to be mentioned and searched for deals, because they are essentially giant online databases of the deals you might have found in the “classified” section of your average newspaper 20 years ago. You want it for free

Okay, so either you take saving money super seriously, or you have no money, but either way you need stuff for free. Believe it or not, there are some sites online that can help you out, but beware flashy promos that are really just spam monsters in disguise. TheFreeSite.com is an interesting compilation of random free things, although I’ll be honest, I’m not surprised any of their stuff is for free. A more promising site is called FreeCycle.org, a recycling based organization for communities that want to offer up things they no longer use to avoid sending them to landfills. The Toronto community has quite a few members, so I suggest you try it out. RedFlagDeals. com also has a “freebie” section that isn’t bad, but beware of less reputable sites that have sketchy-sounding deals. Just think: would you take advantage of the same deal from a guy off the street? The disclaimer

I have to say it. If you’re looking to save money, shopping (whether analog or online) is probably not the best way to do it. Even the greatest deals are not as good as money in the bank, so if you have some cash,

Want to write for Features? Stop by SLC 1116 or email features@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

try to avoid spending it first. That being said, to shop online safely, it’s important to read up on what exactly makes a website “safe.” For a good run-down of internet shopping safety tips, check out a variety of sources like SafeShopping.org. After all, the old adage that it’s “too good to be true” often applies to sales, because some promotions can be misleading or even fraudulent. Before using an internet tool or shopping site, search the site’s name for any stories of people being ripped off, and always pay with a credit card. Why credit cards? Well, a handy feature of most credit cards is “limited liability,” meaning that if a rogue website uses your card for fraud, you won’t be charged for it. Also, another “must” for safe e-shopping is the creation of a separate email account for the mountains of spam you’ll receive for signing up for random internet freebies. If you don’t protect yourself, prepare to be spammed. Through the pop-ups and distraction of the internet, if you come out on top with the best price available, that’s all that matters. Hopefully this has inspired you to take advantage of some shopping tools you haven’t tried before – just don’t forget to ask if shipping and handling is included; it will cost you.

mark zammit

Paulman Chan (left) and Harsimaran Singh engage in deep theological discussion as people mill about, eating and sharing in the experience that was Langar Day, March 16, 2009. This event was held in the SLC Multipurpose Room, and hosted by the UW Sikh Students Association, and was open to all students and passers-by.


14

Features

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Saris on a starlit eve Mark Zammit assistant features editor

T

he Bengali Students Association (BSA) held its annual Pôhela Boishakh semi-formal dinner and dance this past Saturday, March 21 in the Earth Sciences courtyard. This magical evening unites the members of the Bengali community with the university community at large. The club’s cultural philosophy revolves around strengthening community bonds with people of all ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Typically, this event is held near the end of March or in early April, and coincides roughly with the Bengali New Year. Bengali new years celebrations date back as far as the mid-1500s, under the reign of the Mughal Badshah (Emperor) Akbar. It marks the beginning of the agricultural season, and was traditionally celebrated with sweet foods and joyous festivities. This event is particularly special to the Bengali people because it brings together a diverse group of people from various socioeconomic tiers. As

well, members of different religious and social backgrounds unite to celebrate together. Here at UW, the goal is to celebrate and educate others about the rich culture and heritage of the Bengali people. I was lucky enough to attend this gathering, and given this knowledge, I was surprised to see that most of the guests were not in traditional garb, but in typically-Western clothing. Farez Hassan, BSA vice-president, explained to me that one goal of the organization was to introduce and create a fusion of identities. He went on to describe how Western Bengalis have successfully blended their vibrant Bengali cultural heritage within the multi-ethnic cultural mosaic of Canada. “Canada is one of the few countries where we can proudly celebrate different cultural flavours within the context of seamless social integration,” he said to me just before the event. BSA Liaison and former President Tahbit Chowdhury went on to introduce me to this concept of cultural fusion by pointing out how Bengali metal and rock music has absorbed

photos by Mark Zammit

and synthesized traditional South Asian vocals and instrumentals to create something uniquely Bengali. The event itself was a wonderful affair. Dinner consisted of various beef and chicken curried dishes, vegetarian curries, and the customary rice. Sweet rice and mango smoothies were given as dessert, and it was all very social and merry. Apart from the locals, guests came from as far as Toronto and Ottawa and included UW alumni. Following dinner, guests were treated to live music, presented by the Bengali band Jagoron. (which translates to Awakening) This band has been a regular hit at UW’s Cultural Caravan for the past two years. The musicians performed a dazzling array of traditional music, as well as excellent covers of North American hits. The evening was closed by a surprise dance and laser-light show, to the delight of all in attendance. To learn more about the Bengali flavour on campus, join the Bengali Students Association Facebook group. mzammit@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Important Notice for Students with Student Loans

Avis important aux étudiants qui ont un prêt d’études

Are you graduating or taking more than six months off from school?

Tu termines tes études ou tu les interromps pendant plus de six mois ?

If you are not returning to full-time studies this fall, you will need to contact us to discuss repayment options:

Si tu ne retournes pas aux études à temps plein l’automne prochain, tu dois communiquer avec nous afin de discuter des options de remboursement.

• Call the National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4514 (TTY for the hearing impaired: 1-888-815-4556). If you think you might have trouble paying back your integrated student loan, there are programs available to help you stay on track. Ask about the repayment options available to you. For example, the new Repayment Assistance Plan will ensure the federal portion of your payments will never be higher than what you can reasonably afford. Visit the Spotlight On section of CanLearn.ca for details.

• Appelle le Centre de services national de prêts aux étudiants, au 1-888-815-4514 (téléimprimeur pour malentendants : 1-888-815-4556). Si tu crois que tu pourrais avoir de la difficulté à rembourser ton prêt d’études intégré, des programmes s’offrent à toi afin de t’aider à maintenir le cap. Renseigne-toi au sujet des possibilités de remboursement qui te sont proposées. Dans le cadre du nouveau Programme d’aide au remboursement (PAR), par exemple, tu seras assuré que la fraction fédérale de tes versements ne dépassera jamais un montant raisonnablement abordable pour toi. Pour plus de détails, visite la section En vedette du site cibletudes.ca.


15

Asian-Americans and media

Part 2: changing perceptions

L

yliu@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

ast week I discussed the dearth of Asian role models and multi-dimensional characters, especially males, in the Western entertainment industry. However, there are grassroots movements aimed at filling this void. One particular event, called Kollaboration, is a locally organized performance show dedicated to showcasing young Asian entertainers, hailing thousands of performers in acts from New York, LA, Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, and Atlanta. The overarching goal of event is to encourage Asian youths seeking a career in the entertainment industry. Brian Cho, MC of the Toronto edition, believes that “Asians can be doctors, accountants, bankers, convenience store owners, but we want to make it so they can also be actors and actresses, dancers, singers, and comedians.”

Changing the perceptions of Asians in the media requires the mobilization of grassroots movements as well as breakthroughs in traditional media outlets. The successes of Asian dancers on shows such as America’s Best Dance Crew, or the portrayal of Asian characters in shows such as Heroes and Lost as beyond stereotypical docile or timid background figures are merely baby-steps on the road to changing media typecasts. The history of Asians in the Western entertainment industry reaches back to the days of silent films. Anna May Wong was the daughter of immigrants from Southern China who, at the age of 16, quit high school to take a shot at acting. She received a starring role at age 17 and earned widespread critical acclaim, but quickly found

herself pigeonholed into supporting roles due to anti-miscegenation laws that prevented her from playing the romantic interest to leading white males. Frustrated with being typecast, she went to Europe and starred in several movies before returning to Hollywood in the 1930s. Although she

roles for Hollywood productions, as well as in Broadway and television serials in the 1950s. The legacy of Anna May Wong’s career was to humanize Asian-Americans to white audiences during a period of overt racism and institutionalized discrimination. However, she failed to

st

Features

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

The history of Asians in the Western entertainment industry reaches back to the days of silent films

was an international star, she found herself regulated to supporting roles once again, as Caucasian actors in Yellowface were given the leading roles in Asian-themed movies such as The Good Earth. She spent the rest of her career appearing in a series of semi-starring

pave the way for a new generation of Chinese-American actors and actresses. Despite a flood of films discussing China during World War II, nearly all the leading parts were given to white actors in Yellowface. It was not until the 1960s that another prominent Asian

E T A U D A GR S M A R G PRO

E H T N O

E G ED

(Literally.)

entertainer would appear. George Takei, a second generation Japanese-American raised in Los Angles, was cast as Mr. Sulu in the iconic original Star Trek television series. At the time, Takei was one of the only Asian faces in mainstream Western entertainment, and his role in Star Trek was among the first for an Asian-American actor that was not explicitly an “orientalist” role. Bruce Lee made his debut to North American audiences in 1966, as the sidekick Kato in the Green Hornet television series. The show lasted only one season, and Lee’s remaining career in the West consisted of a few spot roles in TV and movies. After being passed over for the lead role in the television series Kung Fu, given instead to Caucasian actor David Carradine, Lee returned to Hong Kong where he starred in a several martial arts movies that made his legacy and star power in both the East and the West. While Bruce Lee is one of the most influential and widely remembered Asian entertainers in the West, his image as the martial arts master with poor English would be cemented as the stereotype of Asian males in television and movies for an entire generation. Many movies that came out in the 1970s and 80s portraying Asians ditched the overt racism, but kept the orientalism aspect. Movies such as the Karate Kid and The Last Emperor played up the “mysterious East” angle, while other media that featured Asians did little to dispel the foreigner angle. As the Asian entertainment industry boomed in the 1990s, stars from the East moved to the West in ever-growing numbers. Even then, many of the stars fit the thick-accent, martial arts star typecast. In recent years, aspiring Asian-American filmmakers such as Justin Lin have attempted to portray Asians as everyday members of North American society in films like Better Luck Tomorrow; a film about bored, overachieving Asian-Americans that enter a world of petty crime and material excess. As more Asians enter the entertainment industry, the perceptions and stereotypes of Asians in the media will slowly erode. As Asian youths see more and more Asian faces in Hollywood films and Asian singers on MTV, they will aspire for roles in entertainment that go beyond the traditional roles that we have hoisted on their contemporaries.

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Features

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Peace

from a paper crane

photos by mark zammit

Mark Zammit assistant features editor

C

olours. Vivid, colourful squares of paper. Why? Origami — specifically, paper cranes. On March 24 and 25, the UW Konnichiwa Japan (KonJa) organization hosted Yume, an event designed to promote peace and further awareness of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. In Japanese, Yume means “to dream;� in this context, it is a dream for world peace. The event was held in the SLC Great Hall, as is has been for the past six years. The event attracts students and other interested parties who come together to fold paper cranes that will be sent to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan. The girl

Our story begins with a little girl named Sadako Sasaki, born just two years before the dropping of the bombs. Having survived the blast, Sasaki grew up to be an enegetic, lively girl who enjoyed competitive running. After collapsing at a track meet in 1955, Sasaki was diagnosed with leukemia; she was 11 years old. Remembering an old legend, she began to fold paper cranes, with a goal to reach 1,000 of them. According to the legend, if you fold this astonishing number, you will be granted a single wish. Sasaki managed to fold well over 1,000 cranes; however, she died in 1956 at the age of 12. See CRANES, page 21


Parts 4&5

crime on campus

Part 1: A history of student crime

Part 2: Stealing

Part 3: Public & property incidents

Part 4: Drug culture, facts & fictions

Part 5: Violent crime

Part 6: Hate crime, and security cultures


Part 4

— Dan Anderson Director of Police Services Maggie Clark editor-in-chief

W

hen Imprint published the results of our investigation into the use of study drugs at UW (Imprint, November 21, 2008), a striking disconnect emerged. Detective-Constable Donna Mancuso of the Waterloo Region Drug Unit, Ruth Kroft of UW Health Services, and Dave Mackay of UW Counselling Services all noted that no cases of such drug abuse had crossed their respective tables. At the same time, student drug users and at least one dealer spoke to Imprint about their abuse of certain medications to enhance academic performance. In seeking to understand the status of illegal drug culture as a whole on UW campus, the same disconnect emerged: Director of UW Police Dan Anderson described the statistics for drug crime as “almost non-existent, in terms of police work.” This last phrase proves telling, as the fact that drugs — mostly marijuana — are consumed on UW campus is a given. But as very few of these cases reach UW police, the question arises: Who, if anyone, makes up the “front line” for tackling drug use on campus? The answer is three-fold: on-campus dons, health services, and counselling services. These groups are all aided by or partnered with the UW police; otherwise, Anderson noted that the police most often engage drug crime when a don requests their assistance, or when the engagement of another offense (typically, “misbehaviour” of a disruptive nature) directs their focus to the presence of drugs. Atypical confrontations with drug culture on campus would include being tasked to assist Waterloo Region Police (WRP) with a larger drug case, and Anderson stated that such interactions are rare. “There is no largescale trafficking that I’m aware of on campus,” said Anderson. In some aspects, Anderson noted a commonality in UW police and WRP approaches to drug crime: “Residences on campus are in many ways like private residences — the WRP wouldn’t go into private residences without cause, and we recognize that campus residences have their own rules to uphold ... [many of which] already deal with drug issues.” These rules can be quite strict, too: on-campus dons are required to report illegal drug use to their residence life co-ordinators, who then mete out steep fines or evictions within 24-hour windows. For a student caught mid-term using drugs in residence, this can prove more severe a deterrent, or punishment, than fines from the UW police. Where student interaction is concerned, UW police are instead more consistently involved in providing support to the don network, and in this capacity they participate in on-campus don training once a training cycle; off-campus dons once a year. “Our approach is different from that of the community at large,” said Anderson. “We have more opportunities [than the Waterloo Regional Police] to deal with drug issues from many different angles.” These “different angles” include the UW police involving UW counselling and health services when engaging a student caught with drugs. “We recognize that this is the first time many students have been given so much independence, so our aim is to support this transition as best we can. ... Certainly charges can be laid, and the cases can go all the way to court, but even if charges need to be laid, we would still engage these [campus] services, too. ... We deal a lot with counselling services; if not daily, at least weekly.” Health services itself provides, in conjunction with UW drama, a proactive approach to campus safety, tackling many issues relevant both to drugs and violence on campus in the Orientation Week production of Single & Sexy. On-campus don training also gives dons the opportunity to discuss campus-wide and resident-specific issues alike prior to entering their work and living environments. On-campus dons also receive information packages from Housing and Residences (www.housing.uwaterloo.ca); these cover a wide range of topics, including drug and alcohol abuse, which dons can they make available to students in the interest of raising awareness. Anderson noted that while a “blip” in drug crime is noted at the beginning of fall terms, drug crime — along with other incidents of “inappropriate behaviour” — is most predominant during exam seasons. This, Anderson ascribes to stress and anxiety typically associated with this phase in student learning. Anderson was also quick to note that he is still relatively new to the UW police community, which means that for now he is making observations about the life cycle on campus over the course of the year; with a little more exposure to the unique aspects of student life, Anderson feels he will be better situation to identify room for improvement. In the meantime, Anderson emphasized that the greatest drug problem UW police have to tackle on campus is generally not illegal: it’s alcohol. editor@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Crime on campus

DRUG CULTURE AT UW

“We have more opportunities [than the regional police] to deal with drug issues [on campus] from many different angles.”

Part 5 Sexual harassment and the search for a culture of empowerment Paisley Cozzarin staff reporter

“I

actually like the word rape,” Dr Helen Ramirez of Wilfrid Laurier University tells a small circle of students – almost all of them female. “There is a huge impact when you say it.” In a yellow classroom on the second floor of the MC, 11 girls and the odd boy are introduced to the soft-spoken professor of women’s studies, a visitor at the University of Waterloo to discuss sexual violence against women on campuses. The lecture is during International Women’s Week, and according to Ramirez, the perfect time to strike. “This is the time to talk [about these issues], because the rest of the year it gets ignored. This is the week where I have the best audience.” With this disclaimer, she launches into a disturbing story. “Last year at Laurier we had a student who was raped...and the university’s response was ‘that’s too bad’...she then goes home after exams and tries to kill herself.” She tells us that the school, instead of asking important questions such as, why did we let this happen? How are we going to prevent it? only supported the victim through offering to change her assignments or exams. “A university’s response is silence.” This silence is puzzling because university violence against women is not an uncommon event. “Don’t be surprised by the level of violence on campus...because of the dense population, the experience of sexual assault is intensified.” In order to take precautions, programs such as

the UW on-campus shuttle make sure students arrive home safely, similar to the Laurier Foot Patrol program. As well, campus dons are trained on how to respond to sexual assault situations. “After a sexual assault has occurred, it’s always about informing women that something has happened,” For example, posting a bulletin about a crime and then advising girls to take advantage of the programs – programs that are so common no one seems to think twice about. “You are asked to change your behaviour...but the problem isn’t women’s behaviour...the problem is the men.” The most conventional ways of supposedly protecting the campus aren’t always the most efficient. “Putting more lights up and hiring more security is not going to alleviate sexual assault rates. Eighty-five per cent of sexual assaults are committed by someone we know.” Ramirez calls for prevention of sexual assault by changing the behaviour of the criminals, not the women that are the victims. But in order to do so, she calls for a rather hefty development: a change in university culture. For example, women are expected to behave in certain ways in particular situations. “If a woman goes to a bar, and some guy grabs your ass, you don’t tell that guy to fuck off because you don’t want him to think you are a bitch. There’s a circle with a line through it about women being angry. They aren’t allowed to be angry. They will be ostracized for not being able to take a joke. And men don’t tell other men to back off, they don’t want to face being ostracized either.” However, women can become even bigger targets when attempting to stand up for themselves in these types of situations. For example,

one student mentioned how she attempted to tell a guy off at a bar for touching her inappropriately, and he then spit in her face. “I tried to gain some power, but he felt the need to take it right back.” This type of lurid behaviour is exactly what harassment is all about. “The purpose [of sexual harassment] is to make women feel disempowered by the experience, to feel humiliated.” With only ten per cent of women reporting sexual harassment, Ramirez says that this low number is the repercussion of men successfully convincing the woman that she is worthless. “We are self-silencing...we have become very complacent.” The women least likely to remain silent are the most surprising. “[They’re] so-called ‘skanks.’ ... women who have been assertive about their sexual identity. The ones who think, ‘I can advocate for myself and I don’t give a damn.’” Ramirez is asking for social change. She believes in order for this to occur, the university should encourage events surrounding these issues, and discuss the expectations of gender roles and sexual orientation. As well, real preventative programs need to be put in place, not just “bandaids”. She also asks for a code of conduct at the University of Waterloo that includes elements of the Human Rights code. Dr Ramirez isn’t completely confident that these changes can happen with the programs and prevention we currently have in place, but change needs to occur because “women are beaten down before they are beaten up.” pcozzarin@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

“The university has a responsibility to provide an environment free from harassment and discrimination, and accordingly must deal effectively, quickly and fairly with any situation involving claims of harassment or discrimination that come to its attention. — UW Policy 33 http://www.secretariat.uwaterloo.ca/Policies/policy33.htm


“Harassment is unwanted attention; it only reaches the criminal level when the matter of a person’s real or perceived safety is engaged.” “All cases of sexual assault and criminal harassment are turned over to [Waterloo] regional police, because these crimes are high risk [and] the Waterloo Response Police have more resources, including ... databases of information about overlapping cases ... to help in the investigation.” “The first step for [UW Police] is to get the student to a place of safety.” “Often students will go to Health Services or Counselling Services instead of coming to us. A part of the problem is that many victims feel complicit in the crime, blaming themselves for being in a vulnerable state in the first place — which is simply not true. “ — Dan Anderson Director of UW Police Services

Paisley Cozarrin staff reporter

H

ere is what I wanted to say. It is going to be very frank but I think it is very important. Up to this point, I am still half in the dark as to what is going on. I have a good idea of what you are trying to do but still I can’t be sure. ... But since this is a deadly serious matter and an uncommon situation, I would not act in any way imprudently, because that can potentially get people, including you and me, into deep trouble. But I believe you have thought it through and have a solid plan of what to do and how to deal with things ... rest assured I am definitely committed to your plan, I do see we have things in common. The startling words of a stalker are written with peculiar assurance. In a language no one else could quite understand, bizarre sentences are dreamily arranged into a very dark, very serious email. No air of doubt, no question of commitment. While only an excerpt, the full message is just as eerie. In August 2009, it was sent to a female University of Waterloo engineering student after a series of unpleasant encounters leading up to a dramatic conclusion. In the interest of protecting harmed students within their campus community, we will call her Emily, and her “perpetrator” Jason. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of individuals coming to us that are struggling with people stalking them,” said Tom Ruttan, director of UW Counselling Services. “Multiple phone calls, emails, Facebook — it comes in different shapes and forms. I don’t know if it’s actually happening more but it’s coming to us ... Most stalkers are male, and most victims are female.” In Emily’s case, it all began in a program with over a hundred male students and seven female students. Emily had noticed she had all her classes with Jason, but at the time, didn’t know his name, and didn’t know anything about him. One day during class, he asked to speak with her privately. When she agreed, he told her, “Emily, your behaviour has been unacceptable,” and after her confusion, “You know what I’m talking about!” Emily was perplexed, and thought he was angry with her, so spoke with him again a few days later to find out what she had done wrong to anger him. According to Emily, Jason told her: “It all happened in first year.” They were both in third year at this point. “What did I do?” she asked. “You passed me a piece of paper.”

Criminal harassment What one case can teach us about campus strengths and weaknesses

After this exchange, Emily told Imprint she was “totally freaked out” but nothing happened again until three weeks from the end of the term, when she ran into him alone after an exam, and was disturbed enough by this encounter to go to the UW Police, where they asked her to write up a report on the conversations she and Jason had had. Once she was home, she found the strange email from Jason in her inbox. “He was completely delusional,” she said of it. The police helped by arranging to have her exams hosted in a different location. After this, Emily reached out to the director of her program, and when this meeting failed to reassure her Emily eventually got in contact with the Associate Dean of Engineering Wayne Loucks, who assured her that there were many things the university could do to help. Not long after, Emily ran into Jason once again, and avoided his aggressive attempts to talk to her by hiding in a washroom. Inside, she called the UW police. A warrant was issued, and after his exams were finished, Jason was arrested. Charges of criminal harassment were laid, and a temporary restraining order was put into place. The case was resolved in court in January 2009. The resolution involved Jason signing a peace bond. According to Staff Sergeant Chris Goss of UW Police, “a peace bond is a resolution in court where the person is not found guilty, but both parties agree there is a problem. There is no contact for one year, and after this [the peace bond] dissolves. If there is a breach in the bond, [the perpetrator] is committing a criminal offence.” Goss further noted that an expired peace bond does not automatically mean the situation has come to a close; the resolution very much depends on time having worked its course to remedy underlying issues. “The situation still exists,” said Goss. “There is no constraint on the peace bond suspect because all orders of the court are gone.” As such, Jason will be returning to the University of Waterloo in Fall 2009, one year behind Emily. Emily is speaking out now is because she is unsettled with the university’s approach at handling her situation. “I’m very unhappy with how the university handled it... they didn’t take responsibility, they let the police deal with it. One of my professors that I talked to didn’t even know about it, he had read it in The Record.” Emily suggested the

university should have applied a different toolset, “like telling a student they can’t return to class without counselling.” Emily also felt “out of the picture” in the course of these proceedings. “Stuff I was supposed to have access to from the police I had a hard time getting to; I had to do a lot of pressing to get the information I wanted.” Prof. Loucks highlighted the difficulty on his end, stating, “I wouldn’t give information because it’s not my information to give.” He further cited Policy 19 (Access to and Release of Student Information) as one of the reasons why Emily may have felt out of touch. Emily also takes issue with the policies used to help her in her case. The administration made use of Policies 33 and 71 from the Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines document. Policy 33 (Ethical Behaviour) outlines violations and redress on human rights violations, as well as advice on how to get help. This policy is only enforced through Policy 71 (Student Discipline), which at the time of Emily’s case was mainly for academic offences such as cheating or plagiarism. “The policies are adequate for what we need to do in these cases,” said Prof. Loucks, but added that if an alleged perpetrator “doesn’t see the light, we use the same policy we use to see if a student has cheated on an exam.” Emily does not feel the equivalent use of policy is appropriate. “What really failed was Policy 33 as a guideline,” said Emily. “It failed the associate dean [Wayne Loucks], which then failed me.” In September 2008, Policy 71 was updated so that it was clearer about non-academic offences. “The old 71 was pretty quiet on non-academic offences … The new one is much clearer,” said Loucks. But if he had had the chance to use it in Emily’s case in the summer of 2008, he said, “Based on the first six months [of the new Policy 71 being in place], I wouldn’t have done anything different.” Lois Claxton, secretary of the university, explained the extent of this policy: “Revisions to Policy 71 went into effect in September 2008 and now gives explicit authority to associate deans to deal with discipline in non-academic matters (as well as academic), where such occur on campus or, in some manner, directly affect the campus [or] campus community.” On the new Policy 71, Emily said, “They have strengthened 71 but definitely haven’t done anything to 33. [The administration] needs clear guidelines about what a professor should

do and clear consequences [for the perpetrator]. The policies are also very vague, because harassment takes a lot of different forms. They need concrete examples.” Just days after Imprint spoke with Prof. Loucks, Emily received a promising email from him regarding the preparation of a document that lists concerns with both policies. Stalking is not a frequently reported offence, with Prof. Loucks and the UW police agreeing it is not a common problem on the Waterloo campus. However, personal reasons and obstacles set up in the way of getting help from the administration may contribute to this opinion. Tom Ruttan, director of UW Counselling Services explained that some people’s way of coping with harassment is by minimizing the situation, convincing themselves that it is no big deal. “Some people just put up with it. They don’t want to get the person in trouble.” He agreed that this could be a reason why some students would be reluctant to come forward. Emily herself told Imprint, “A lot of people in my shoes wouldn’t go to the police right away ... But being in engineering, I heard lots of stories. This could have happened at a point in my life where I would have reacted differently ... but I’m really glad I did in spite of people thinking it was no big deal.” As Ruttan explained, “The people in the trenches; the police, health services, counselling, are the ones sitting in a room with someone who’s upset ... The [UW] admin, they aren’t the ones usually sitting in the room with the distraught student; they have the people trained to do it, do it.” Ruttan added that he at least feels overwhelming support from the university administration. Although Emily’s search for assistance in this matter was complex and at times discouraging, Emily urged other students to remember that “nothing should seem too insignificant if you’re feeling unsafe. Even if it’s not at the level to go to the police, go to someone else you feel comfortable with, and keep a log or notes of everything that the person made you feel uncomfortable about in case it escalates.” Ruttan also strongly encouraged students to seek out counselling services if they are ever feeling unsafe. pcozzarin@imprint.uwaterloo.ca


Features

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Cranes: Konja presents Yume Continued from page 16 Why paper cranes?

In Japanese, as well as other Asian cultures, the crane has been recognized as a symbol of health and longevity. Most people who complete the thousand paper cranes, known as Senbazuru, wish for health during a time of illness. Following from the story of Sasaki, the paper crane has become an image of peace and camaraderie. Every year following her death, Sasaki’s friends and family have honoured her legacy and the memories of all who died in the bombings by folding 1,000 paper cranes. In 1958, a statue of Sasaki was erected at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, which is located near the epicentre of the blast. Since this date, people from around the world have taken place in the ceremonial folding, with thousands of cranes being sent to the memorial every year. Origami

The cranes that are sent to the memorial are folded using the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, known as origami. This method involves using series of folds to create complex geometric patterns and paper models of people, animals, and other objects. It is an art that focuses on calm and perfection, so the use of origami to promote peace is nothing short of appropriate. Our efforts

So what is UW KonJa doing? By encouraging students to participate in the folding, the society is gaining support for its efforts in building a more peaceful world. This year, not only were there informative displays and a plethora of colourful origami, but KonJa also elicited support from local businesses and sold food and beverages, where the profits were collected and sent to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Thank you to all those who came out and supported the cause, helping the world to become a friendlier place. mzammit@imprint.uwaterloo.ca mark zammit

21


Arts & Entertainment

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009 arts@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Transition Pulling the switch and never going back

The mutation of a comedy to a dramedy ptrinh@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

A

s of today, one of the greatest plot devices I’ve ever seen in a narrative comes from webcomicist David Wills. The creator of Shortpacked! — a comic about a group of employees working at a toy store — the twist in the storyline came into play on January 13, 2006. Robin, after being distraught with boredom, accidentally pulled the “Drama Tag” out of the wall of the storage room. This form of diabolus ex machina caused a major switch-up in every character’s lives, and since the tag itself is reminiscent of battery-saving tags on certain toys at the store, the real driving force of the story started to kick in with no way of going back to the way things were. I can bring up a lot of other examples that would fit this scenario, and arguably I’m also guilty of this to an extent with my comic, Impression. On one side, you have a very harsh but justified twist in a webcomic’s narrative such as the story of Faye’s former father in Questionable Content, or you can have something hit you right in the face without warning like Lilah’s miscarriage in Ctrl+Alt+Del. At this time however, you tend to notice a change in not just some of the comic’s characters, but all of them. Even stereotypical characters can become more exaggerated to the point where the asshole-character can become the antagonist. Mohammad Haque’s AppleGeeks (www.applegeeks.com) took a minor discarded character, Frost, from

their non-continuous comics and ultimately made him the main villain of the story arcs to come. As mentioned before, a number of comics who choose this direction are justified. With those familiar with the Spider-Man mythos, you expect to see the quipping Peter Parker fail in one way or another during his tales, whether it’s from a break in romance or the loss of a loved one. Of course, drama is one of the initial emotions that came from the comic, with the death of uncle Ben Parker cataylzing Parker’s transformation into Spider-Man. If you wish to keep your narrative going, you better be damned sure where it’s coming from. While the writer may wish to keep individual integrity in their work, they also need to understand the audience if they want to entertain or enlighten them. It’s the age-old scenario of the implied audience vs.

the actual audience. One has to ask themselves, “Should I include a dark history behind one of my characters if my comic has mostly been known for its humour?” Either there needs to be a clever reason for the change or the change will be ratified in the end. I think Tim Buckley (Ctrl+Alt+Del) got a lot of guff and lost readers after pulling that one page out for everyone to read, but in the end it did lead to a bright conclusion to the chapter. So if you make a comic series, is it a bad idea to change up the story arcs from a comedy to a dramedy? I would argue that it depends on what your comic is about. Does it make sense for the story to go dramatic? Does it make it sense to go left-field and turn wacky? If you’re putting a focus on your narrative, you need to know if the change of narrative is justified. Is it the Sixth Sense-like Shyamalan Twist, or is it the Village-like Shyamalan Twist? Also, it’s important to remember that once you go forth with the dramatic twist, that’ll pave where the rest of your comic should go. It’s a one-way fork in the road, you could try going back, but you’d have hell to pay. There’re always two sides to think of everything, and that’s been a theme in my column entries for the past while — analyzing both sides of the integrity argument of comics. It’s important to see these sides because it may help you understand how the world of comics works. Unlike your general novel (with the exception of writers such as Zadie Smith), making comics can be a very dynamic process. And the more dynamism there is, the more extreme the sides of the argument can become.

Paul Collier

It’s the age-old scenario of the implied audience vs. the actual audience. One has to ask themselves, ‘Should I include a dark history behind one of my characters if my comic has mostly been known for its humour?’


Arts & Entertainment

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

23

The art of “Yinging” egassner@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

to try and describe lead singer Jonny Hawkins’ vocals (he also performs the drums, programming and electric upright bass on the album), especially because of the range found on The Few Not Fleeting, but if you imagine Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October with a lot more energy and a wider range, you’ll still have no idea — but that’s OK, at least you tried. Imagine better next time. The second track steps up the quality and easily become the album’s... second best song. “Salem” uses the topic of witch burnings to discuss irrational fears, misguided power, and channelling one’s personal problems on to the lives of others. The track immediately stands out for its electronic opening and extremely catchy and angry chorus. Hawkins never gets to the point of screaming in his singing, but he does create a new hybrid of singing and yelling in the chorus of this song — I’m going to call it “yinging.” When I heard this track, I figured nothing on this album would top it — and then I heard the third track — “Fat Kid.” I’m not even entirely

Divided House

I

saw Watchmen recently and, as usual, read the review just minutes before. It told me that the film was a great representation (instead of adaptation) of one of the most acclaimed graphic novels in history. I kept that in mind while watching the movie, having not read the novel myself. I couldn’t follow the first half very well, but still enjoyed it. After reading some online user reviews, I found that most either adored the movie, or dubbed it a failure. It’s obvious that this grimy, downbeat superhero movie is another one of those movies with a very specific audience. Since I enjoyed it without having read the book, I can’t say that it was produced solely for fans. Some say movie adaptations should always aim to introduce works to a wider audience. (That’s partly true, but then tend to get people complaining about how “poor” an adaptation it is.) Movies can have a point or style that’s bold in respects to the mainstream and some will get it while others won’t. Everybody was expecting a traditional superhero movie; what they got was something more unique. Even so, it’s not a matter of intelligence, but of preference. If someone doesn’t care about the philosophy of superheroes, they probably won’t like it. Independence Day is the only movie that I don’t mind seeing on TBS to be honest. It’s a good action movie that’s alright to see once in a while but more importantly, it’s another example of a high-budget movie that divides its viewers. There are aliens —They don’t like us — They liquefy cities — Will Smith throws a nuke in their face — The end. This may have something to do with why people either love it or change the channel. The story is simple and very similar to early science fiction films,

sure why I like this song so much, other than the fact that it tells kind of an underdog story in the form of an energetic rock song. The lyrics are also endearing and addictive because as you listen to the song you’re not even entirely sure how to feel. Is this song depressing? Funny? To be honest, I’m still not even sure but what I do know is that this song kicks ass. It tells the story of a kid picked on for being “just a little overweight,” and will have you hooked as soon as the chorus answers the question “What you gonna do fat boy?”: “I’m gonna rule the world, steal your girl — not bad for a fat kid, not bad.” While this song is definitely the peak of the album, luckily it still has plenty of good tracks, with each song offering a different sound and emotional story without getting repetitive or boring. I should also note that this album is also significantly different sounding than their previous EP, Waiting on Rain, which came out just

last year — different instrumentation, different production values, most of the EP even has a different vocalist; it’s clear that their sound is constantly changing. While I won’t say the EP is any worse, it certainly has its own merits, but The Few Not Fleeting sounds more complete and cohesive. But if you get the opportunity to hear the track “Waiting on Rain,” which appears on both the album and the EP, you’ll see how different the album is. You can check out “Salem,” “Gone,” The Few Not Fleeting version of “Waiting on Rain,” and “Fat Kid” at their MySpace www.myspace. com/nothingmoremusic Check out these tracks and hear Nothing More’s addictive, well-written music. Do it now. Push someone off a computer in order to go listen to them if you have to or start yinging at them, whatever it takes. [Note: This columnist does not actually condone violence however; This columnist does condone yinging. Ying away.]

The lyrics are also endearing and addictive because as you listen to the song you’re not even entirely sure how to feel.

imcewan@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

making it seem obsolete when you compare it to movies from 1996. The script is lame, but it fits the premise so what’s their to complain about. When you have a black sheep like this (and there were many in that year) people forget that they are just comparing it to the norm and not viewing it for what it actually is, a generic summer-action movie. This is why Independence Day is a love/hate movie. Some people are just happy to see a good vs. evil special effects flick while some just call it unimpressive. They look for themes, characters, and lines that speak to them. Who cares? It’s just an action movie. Usually genre films can be misinterpreted as shoddy stuff. In the realm of comedy, an obvious cleaver of viewership is Napoleon Dynamite. If you ever pay attention to those movie trivia screens at Cineplex Theatres, you might remember reading how Jon Heder was paid only $1,000 for his role as the socially awkward lead. The deciding factor of this movie seems to rest on whether or not you’re bored out of your mind watching this. The humour is unique among most movies these days, catering to the audience’s experience instead of obvious gags. They’re still obvious, but if they were typical opinions the audience wouldn’t be so polarized. People are weird in their own way. Because this type of humour is rarely used on film, Napoleon Dynamite will please some and irritate others who don’t notice the subtle references to their own lives. Whether you love or hate a movie can depend on many factors. The most important point is that you understand everyone that has their own preferences — not everyone likes the same movies.

M

ost of the albums that I have vouched for, I recommended simply on the basis of longevity. They are albums that I have listened to over and over again without getting bored of them. This is not the case with this week’s band, Nothing More, but only because I just heard them recently... and I can’t stop listening to “Fat Kid.” Nothing More dubs themselves as a progressive rock band, and while that’s not what I think of when I’m listening to them, they certainly don’t have a traditional rock sound. The Few Not Fleeting comes across as a somewhat conceptual album which for the most part has a focus on death and insecurity — and while some of the songs certainly have strong emotional elements, the album itself is certainly not emo. The album begins with the track “Gone,” a track about a loved one dying of cancer, which really showcases all of the bands talents — a catchy song with great guitar work, interesting lyrics, and a unique ambiance that travels throughout the entire album. It is incredibly difficult

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Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Reviews Be artistic! Express your creativity! write about music, movies, literature, webcomics, and much much more!

composing the different scenes as movements in a musical piece? Either way this book is excellent and like the first leaves the reader hungry for more. I cannot honestly remember the last time I read a series that was so addictive. I picked up the next book immediately and dread when I will have to await the next release. All in all, One False Note an excellent book in what is shaping up to be a great series.

Novel

Come write for Imprint! arts@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

— Steven R. MacEvoy

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The 39 Clues — Book 2: One False Note Gordon Korman Scholastic

revealed. In my opinion the weakest of the first three books. This series has fantastic potential. This one falls short compared to the previous books of the series. We can only hope that book four returns to the intensity and power of story portrayed in the first two books the Maze of Bones and One False Note. We can also hope that Lerangis does a better job when his turn comes around for book seven. We also find out more of the history of the Cahill’s including the origin of this branch of the family dating back to the 1500s. The family dates back to Dublin and Gideon and Olivia Cahill, Gideon perished in a fire, a theme we are encountering again and again. We also find out a little more about Thomas and Kate the founders of two of the modern branches of the Cahill clan. This book is good, just not great like the others in the series. Yet it definitely leaves one anticipating book four. — Steven R. MacEvoy

Book one, Maze of Bones, focused on the life and times of Benjamin Franklin, book two, One False Note, focuses on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister Nannerl. One False Note takes place almost immediately after the first novel and has a much quicker pace. In the novel, the Cahill kids, Dan, Amy, and their chaperone is ambushed by the big burly Holt clan. Narrowly escaping them, the dangers from other estranged Cahill family members only intensifies. With more bombs, boat crashes, and run-ins with everyone from their aunts, uncles and cousins to Benedictine monks, this book is one wild chase scene. The adventures in this book take the trio from Paris to Vienna then onto Salzburg and finally Venice. One False Note not only has a faster pace than book one, but also more dialogue. That may be due to the writing style of the different authors. Korman does an excellent job in continuing the story started by Rick Riordan in book one.The transition is almost effortless. The feel is slightly different but the story continues to flow well. It is an interesting experience reading a series of ten books written by seven different authors, because we do not know how much freedom each author had. Do they write their sections and hand it off and to the next author who has to create their part, or is there an overarching plot sketched out and the authors are

CD barnesandnoble.com

The 39 Clues — Book 3: The Sword Thief Peter Lerangis Scholastic

After reading the third book, I found that the pace of this series is really picking up. Sword Thief takes place over the span just a few days at the most. And new alliances have been formed and broken. First Dan and Amy are rescued by their uncle Alistair. Nellie their au pair is kidnapped by the Kabras siblings. Irina makes a few brief appearances, and the Holts attempt to use brawn over brains one more time. The Sword thief is the fastest pace of the three books. It starts right at the end of One False Note and races to a cliffhanger in book 4 Beyond the Grave. In this book we journey from Italy, to Japan to Korea. The main historical figure we find out about is the Hiyoshimaru or Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and the mystery of his lost treasure. This book felt rushed compared to the previous two books in the series. It also raced along with less dialogue and less description, the scenes were not as vivid and the facts often just

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Marianas Trench Masterpiece theatre 604 Records

Marianas Trench follows up their breakout album of 2006 Fix Me with Masterpiece Theatre, which I can agree is definitely a masterpiece. The album shows that they aren’t messing around like others; how too often do we hear that artists want to “branch out” and expand their “musical horizons.” Trench doesn’t fall into this trap, they stick to the same catchy beats and push button lyrics that rocketed them into fame in 2006 See CONTINUED, page 25

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Arts & Entertainment

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

CD Continued from page 24

on the coat tails of their hit song, “Shake Tramp.” You might not recognize the song by its name, but I’m almost sure you’ll recognize it by this lyric: “Try a little more, a little more, a little more. They slap you like a bitch, and you take it like a whore.” Push button lyrics, indeed. Regardless of the lyrical content, it’s impossible to deny the infectiousness of some of the melodies in Trench’s songs. But what makes me like this album even more beyond the music or lyrics is the way the album is put together. It’s 12 tracks long, but three of the tracks are mixes of some of the previous songs; musical montages, if you’d like. Each is titled “Masterpiece Theatre” and each creatively mixes both the lyrics and music of the previous three or four songs, except for the first, which sets up the album perfectly by featuring lyrics such as “This masterpiece is only mine, entirely guilty by design.” Fans of Trench will love songs such as “Cross My Heart,” their newest single, which features rapid fire lyrics and the almost ever present sound of hands clapping in the background (which makes you want to do it in real life). It’s been lighting up the airwaves, reaching 15 on the Canadian Hot 100 and 9 on the Canadian Hot Digital Singles charts. Another song fans will like is “Celebrity Status”, whose lyrics provide a rather ironic, but still applicable, commentary on the nature of life in the spot light. A personal favourite, highlighting the relevancy of this song, is the lyric “I can’t depend/ In the end, you know I thought you were my friend”. Other catchy tunes that feature clutch-Mariana’s Trench music and lyrics are “Sing, Sing”, “All To Myself ” and “Perfect.” There is one odd-ball track on the disc, the song “Beside You.” Lyrically, it’s an absolutely stunning track, but it’s the music and melody that sets it apart. It’s not a pop rock/pop punk song like traditional Trench, instead taking on a slightly tribal tone about 30 seconds in, after a softly sung introduction by Ramsay. Back-up singers sing a very Lion-King-Soundtrack worthy melody of ‘oh’ and ‘way’s strewn together sound. They could have utterly butchered this song, but surprisingly, it’s totally legit. Despite being so far outside of Marianas Trench’s genre, I’m drawn to the track and the way a band who sings about slapping bitches and taking whores manage to pull off a 180 from their usual. Marianas Trench sticks to what they’re good at; catchy melodies, interesting lyrics, and a falsetto frequently reprised by lead singer Josh Ramsay almost unknown to popular music now a days. He’s no Freddie Mercury, but Ramsay sings some of the highest notes I’ve heard by a male in recent years that hasn’t made me want to claw my eyes out. I adore this album and I think people who enjoy the pop-rock sensation that’s dominated the airwaves as of late will enjoy it, too. — Kristen Leal

L

ast month’s big YouTube buzz item was surprisingly low on schadenfreude and surprisingly high on professionalism. Escape from City 17 is a five-minute short film directed by Toronto prodigies David and Ian Purchase on a very ‘indie’ budget of $500. However, it doesn’t exactly look ‘indie.’ City 17 is much more James Cameron than Cameron Crowe; it’s essentially a special effects vehicle where the Purchase brothers show off their machinima mastery. The film often looks comparable to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which had a notso-indie budget of $115 million. If rendering technology has come so far in the ten years between Phantom Menace and City 17, how long will it be before 14-year-olds make new Star Wars episodes on iMovie? More importantly, how long will it take before the fantastic becomes commonplace? Maybe we’re already bored with fantastic images. Special effects bonanzas of the past couple years, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Beowulf, notably flopped at the box office. James Cameron’s ambitious 3-D project Avatar hopes to reverse the discouraging 3-D trend this December, but right now, audiences seem to be growing impatient with overwhelming special effects. The technology behind CGI is becoming demystified, and it is losing much of its allure as a result. Not to mention that there’s something horribly plebian about CGI being used to reproduce animals as an alternative to training them. The oversaturation of CGI is deliciously parodied in the bizarre TV sketch comedy Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! While the show is primarily an exercise in Dada, it’s punctuated by some wonderfully egregious CGI — campy stock 3-D transitions, an unnecessary and obvious green-screen, and random things exploding. The show is lovingly and meticulously crafted to look like some dorky graduates of a community college media program got their hands

Be artistic! Express your creativity! Write about music, movies, literature, webcomics, and much much more! Come write for Imprint! arts@imprint. uwaterloo.ca

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on Adobe After Effects and cannot contain their childish glee. It is very convincing, and very funny. There are a lot of other examples of filmmakers intentionally fuzzying up their work to give it more of a low-production-value feel. These attempts range from highbrow to very lowbrow. Arthouse director Lars von Trier, for example, ran his magnum opus Breaking the Waves through video compressing before transferring it back to film. The subsequent muted colour makes it look like there’s a layer of Vaseline over the film stock. “It is perhaps a little too beautiful,” von Trier said. This is the same director who shot the entirety of  Dogville on an empty soundstage. While von Trier likes to use low production values to explicitly point out the filming process, a new movement of “mumblecore” filmmakers go back to more traditional realist practices: improvised scripts, non-professional actors, and hand-held camera work. Mumblecore distinguishes itself by being even more lowbudget and non-professional than usual - the first thing that comes to mind is the amount of “likes,” “uhs,” and “ums” that come out of the actors’ mouths. The idea behind mumblecore, of course, is that it’s more honest, and ultimately, more convincing. We seem to be rabidly demanding honest filmmaking these days — to the point that we want to come closer and closer to being fooled. Borat’s commercial success a few years ago speaks to that, and it’s a case study in feigning authenticity. Sacha Baron Cohen’s spot-on aping of foreign V-cinema production values: the yellow filter of low-budget VHS, awkwardly superimposed titles, amateurish editing, helped make the illusion of a real Borat much more

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Reviews Cont.

META-REALITY

25

convincing. The Borat phenomenon of the line between film and real life being blurred is being amplified. Three years ago, Borat would cross over into the real world for specific, planned pranks. These days, there is a new abrasive character in town. L.A.’s Jiggaboo Jones takes the Borat fool-the-public idea and makes it a full-time gig. Not only does he release YouTube videos and full-length features, he also has a L.A. radio show and operates as a real-life correspondent. His character is pretty much a blaxploitation parody, rocking a Jheri curl, eating fried chicken, and constantly drinking OE and Hennessy — when he’s not drinking grape soda, that is. Jiggaboo’s schtick is to film his ridiculous crimes: stealing cars in broad daylight, robbing white folks at bank terminals with a homemade “$1.99” nightstick, doing break-and-enters on houses with Confederate flags - all with the noble goal of showing the loyal viewer how to hustle. At times, it comes off as so ridiculous that it could almost be real. He certainly plays it off as such. One scene from his second feature, Jackin’ 101, has Jiggaboo conscripting his cameraman into playing pointman while he breaks into a car: “Shit man, we ain’t doin’ this! We gonna get caught for sure!” Even Borat didn’t dream this stuff up. The reality game is being upped, and not just by James Cameron and Avatar’s new special effects universe. Increasingly, filmmakers are realizing that they can make their films convincing by simply acknowledging the filming process and creating a reality around it. There’s a certain self-awareness in this new meta-cinema that implies that since the filmmakers know it’s a joke, there must be something real to it. That’s something special effects can’t compete with.

Day one and your world matters Day one. It’s not just about work. It’s about the chance to make a difference to the wider community, to connect with a diverse range of people and places around the world. Bring your passion and interests and we’ll help find a way for you to contribute to the things that matter to you. From your very first day, we’re committed to helping you achieve your potential. So, whether your career lies in assurance, tax, transaction or advisory services, shouldn’t your day one be at Ernst & Young?

What’s next for your future? Visit ey.com/ca/careers and our Facebook page.


Campus Bulletin

Rent 2 Movies at our regular rates and you can pre-order Twilight at(Available ourfor pick-up special price! Midnight, March 20th)

VOLUNTEERING Volunteers needed – find a valuable and rewarding experience working with youth. Learn more about volunteer opportunities at ROOF. Call 519-7422788 or visit our website at www.roofagency.net. City of Waterloo needs volunteers for summer 2009 events: Uptown Country Festival on Saturday, June 20, Royal Medieval Faire on September 19. Home support/day outing programs/weekday volunteering with older adults. Email volunteer@waterloo.ca or 519-8886488 for more info. Volunteers needed – the English tutor program is in constant need of volunteers to tutor international students. Volunteering is an essential part of student life at UW. Apply online at www. iso.uwaterloo.ca. Volunteer with a child at their school and help improve their self-esteem and confidence. One to three hours a week commitment. Canadian Mental Health at 519-744-7645, ext 229. Best Buddies is a national charitable organization matching students with individuals with intellectual disabilities living in the community. Hours are very flexible – compatible with busy schedules. More information contact: bestbuddiesuw@gmail.com. Resume builder! Volunteers needed to visit people with Alzheimer disease through Alzheimer Society Volunteer Companion Program. Call Jill at 519742-1422 or volunteer@alzheimerkw. com.

Drive. Deliver. Befriend – Community Support Connections needs volunteers to help drive seniors to appointments, deliver a lunch meal or befriend an isolated senior. Mileage is reimbursed. Contact 519-772-8787 or info@communitysupportconnections.org. Volunteer Action Centre, 519-7428610 or www.volunteerkw.ca, has many opportunities available – visit the website or call today!

ONGOING MONDAYS Gambling can ruin your life. Gamblers Anonymous, 7 p.m. at St Marks, 825 King Street, W, basement.

STUDENT AWARD & FINANCIAL AID Office is second floor Needles Hall, 519-888-4567, ext 36605, safa.uwaterloo.ca. March 30/09 – recommended submission date for OSAP Rollover Form to add spring term to winter only term or fall and winter term. Recommended submission date for OSAP Reinstatement Form to add spring term to fall only term.

Weekend counsellors and relief staff to work in homes for individuals with developmental challenges. Minimum eight-month commitment. Paid positions. Send resume to Don Mader, KW Habilitation Services, 108 Sydney Street, Kitchener, ON, N2G 3V2. Support person needed for 15-yearold boy with autism. Support required for summer day camp programs, outings in the community and within the home. Must be creative with activity planning, altruistic in your desire to work with a special needs person and must have own vehicle. Flexible weekend and evening hours also available. Laurelwood subdivision. $13/hour plus .40/km. Call Deborah 519-746-1584.

SERVICES Does your thesis or major paper need a fresh pair of eyes to catch English spelling and grammar errors? Thesis English editing, $50/hour. Five business day turnaround. Neal Moogk-Soulis, ncmoogks@uwaterloo.ca. Papers without panic! Efficient, professional editor with academic experience and student rates. Call 905-864-1858, ext 2 ; 1-877-872-4619 or email amy@ enabletc.com

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Lectures from 7 to 9 p.m. at Waterloo Public Library, 35 Albert Street, Waterloo. For info 519-886-1310, ext 124. Monday, March 30, 2009 Launching Your Career in Stormy Weather, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, ML. RSVP artslastlecture09. eventbrite.com. Tuesday, April 7, 2009 Saying uncle: speaking under torture or coercion. Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Necromedia.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS Crown Ward Status: attention students who are/were Crown Wards needed to work with large, Provincially funded transdiscliplinary team (including UW students) dedicated to helping current Crown Ward youth. Please contact Kelly Anthony at 519-888-4567, ext 32802. Paid position. Excellent exchange opportunity for UW undergraduate students to participate in the Ontario/Jiangsu Student Exchange Program in China for the 2009-2010 academic years. The OJS Program provides scholarships to successful applicants. For additional information and application form/deadlines contact Andreea Ciucurita, Waterloo International, Needles Hall, 1101, room 1103, ext 35995 or by email: aciucurita@uwaterloo.ca. General casting call – independent

filmmakers looking for acting talent, full cast, extras and potential crew members. Contact Black Cloak Entertainment at casting@blackcloak.ca. Tune in to Sound 100.3 FM radio to hear DJ Cool with lots of music, entertainment, helpful info, weather and more. www.soundfm.ca >listen or www.ckmsfm.ca. CIGI has an exciting line-up of public events for March. Check out website for full lecture listings. All events are free, but RSVP early as seating is limited. www.cigionline.org. Heart and Stroke Row for Heart – learn to row this summer while you raise funds for life-saving heart disease and stroke research. The eight week program begins June 22 to August 15, with the end fun-filled “Row for Heart Regatta” at Laurel Creek. For times/ fee, etc call 519-571-9600 or cgies@ hsf.on.ca.

Northfield

Friday, March 27, 2009 The annual commemoration of the UN international Day for the elimination of racial discrimination at Kitchener City Hall at 8:30 a.m. Sugar ‘n’ Spice Cocktail Party – Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery at 8 p.m. Tickets available at Grad House and www.gsa.uwaterloo.ca. Desserts, prizes, like a 42” TV! March Swing Dance – at 315 Weber Street, N., with lessons beginning at 8 p.m., dancing from 9:15 onward. For info www.waterlooswing.com. UW 9/11 Research Group presents “9/11, Did Explosives Demolish the Towers?” 7 to 9 p.m., ALH room 116. Free public lecture. International Year of Astronomy Lecture series – “Galileo, Shakespeare and van Gogh: Creative Reactions to the End of the World” with Dr. W.E. Harris, McMaster University. 7 p.m. at EIT 1015, free admission. For more info mcoulomb@uwaterloo.ca. Wednesday, April 1, 2009 2009 Autonomous Racing Challenge – build autonomous robots – race for first prize of $500 to $1,000. Early registration deadline April 1, 2009. For details www.RobotRacing.org. Friday, April 3, 2009 Your Kitchener Goodwill has recently expanded. Come discover the improvements we have made to serve you better. Fun events all day, ceremony begins at 2 p.m. at 1348 Weber Street, E, Kitchener. Saturday, April 4, 2009 Engineering Jazz Band – With Respect To Time end-of-term charity gig at 7 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall, room 1111. Admission with all proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity. www.engjazzband.com. Sunday, April 5, 2009 “Northern Reflections by Vic Braun” at Rotunda Gallery, Kitchener City Hall, with open reception from 1 to 4 p.m. For more info 519-741-3400, ext 3381. Monday, April 6, 2009 Single and Sexy auditions – one day only – 4 to 8 p.m. at Humanities Theatre. This is a paying gig. For more info call Sandra at ext 36358 or sc2gibso@ uwaterloo.ca. Tuesday, April 7, 2009 2009 Community Connections – get information you need about resources in Waterloo Region. An event for

perosns with disabilities, their families, caregivers and professsionals. St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School, 1500 Block Line Road, Kitchener from 5 to 8 p.m. For info call 519-578-3660, ext 2325. Saturday, April 18, 2009 “Music in the Gallery” – New Vibes Jazz Quartet – at 7:30 p.m. Homer Watson & Gallery, Kitchener. For info/ tickets call 519-748-4377, ext. 224. Friday, April 24, 2009 CFUW Book Sale today and April 25 at First United Church, King and William. For more info please call 519-7405249. Saturday, April 25, 2009 “Arts, Business, Creativity: The ABC’s of Success” – one day interactive workshop providing business training and information. Register/visit www.artsbusinesscreativity.com or 519-741-2984 by April 21, 2009. Sunday, May 3, 2009 “Walk to Remember 2009” – Bereaved Families of Ontario-Midwestern Region. 9 a.m. registration at Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre. Lots to do from silent auction to children’s activities and prizes! For info 519-8948344 or www.bfomidwest.org. Thursday, May 7, 2009 Hear the Music Symposium: learn about noise-induced hearing loss and how to protect yourelf while still enjoying the music you love. Keynote speaker Dr. Marshall Chasin, audiologist to some of Canada’s most well-known musical artists. 7 p.m. Conrad Grebel. For ticket info 519-744-6811 or akafadar@chs.ca.

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Used books wanted for CFUW Book Sale, Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, 2009 at First United Church, King and William. Drop off donations at church (back door) Wednesday, April 22 and Thursday, April 23. No textbooks please. For more information please call 519-740-5249. Opportunity to enrich your life and of a special child. Please volunteer for our in-home program to help our autistic 8-year-old son. Call Georgiana at 519741-8003.

HOUSING

Attention Cambridge School of Architecture students! Live conveniently and comfortably right across the street from school in this beautifully renovated apartment. 4, 8 and 12-month leases available with excellent signing bonuses and rental incentives! Call Joanne at 519-746-1411 for more details. Graduate housing: on-campus suites and apartments available now and May 1 at St. Paul’s College. Apply online: www.stpauls.uwaterloo.ca. For more information call 519-885-1460, ext 212. Room for rent for a quiet individual in a detached home near both universities. Parking and all amenities. Please call 519-725-5348.


Science & Technology

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009 science@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Prof profile: Qing-Bin Lu UW professor shows link between cosmic rays and ozone layer depletion Lana Sheridan staff reporter

I

n a recently published paper in Physical Review Letters, Professor Qing-Bin Lu of UW’s Department of Physics and Astronomy has demonstrated a link between cosmic rays and the depletion of the ozone layer, a band of the Earth’s atmosphere that blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation. Cosmic rays are made up of highly energetic particles — mostly protons and electrons, but also helium nuclei — that strike the Earth’s atmosphere from space. Many of these particles arrive as part of the solar wind, which is material ejected from the sun’s upper atmosphere. Solar activity has an 11-year cycle, and the same cycle can be observed in cosmic ray intensities here on Earth. Previously, it had been theorized that the breakdown of ozone (O3) in the upper atmosphere was mainly caused by ultraviolet light from the sun. Lu, however, discovered correlations between ozone loss and cosmic ray intensities over more than two 11-year cycles, demonstrating clearly that cosmic rays play a major role. Further, in his previous work, he found a mechanism that accounts for this relationship. “I stumbled into the field of ozone depletion sciences just by accident,” Lu recalled. He had been looking for a source material from which to create chlorine ions for a surface science experiment when he began working with a freon, or CFC, CF2Cl2. “We unexpectedly observed a striking giant anionic enhancement effect: electroninduced dissociation of CFCs adsorbed on a surface are enhanced by up to four orders of magnitude when CFCs are coadsorbed with polar molecular ice on a metallic substrate.” In other words, if CFCs are embedded on ice particles, as they frequently are in polar stratosphere clouds, then electrons in the ice transfer very readily to the CFCs and break them down. Once this occurs, the free chlorine can attack ozone molecules. But how do the excess electrons wind up in the ice in the first place? That’s where cosmic rays come in. Cosmic rays striking the atmosphere are so energetic that they lead to the production of entire showers of particles, many of them electrons. These electrons are captured by the polar nature of the molecules that make

up the ice and become trapped there. From there, they for developing anti-cancer drugs, ways of using lasers are transferred to the CFCs. This process is much more and drugs together to destroy cancer cells, and electron efficient than if ice were not involved. transfer in the environment and biology. Together, these effects explain not only the variance Lu is happy to speak with students interested in of ozone loss with cosmic rays from year to year over the learning about his research in more detail or working earth, but also the changes that occur over the Antarctic with him on future projects. each spring. The ozone hole is largest during this time, even though the amount of ultraviolet light reaching lsheridan@imprint.uwaterloo.ca the pole is minimal during the winter months. This suggests that ozone breakdown resulting from UV light is not the only mechanism involved. Indeed, Lu feels that the cosmic rays are the dominant effect. He argues that the process he proposes is the only one strong enough to explain the magnitude of the changes in ozone levels and also provides a reason that the ozone depletion should be occurring most severely in the Antarctic: the presence of ice in polar stratosphere clouds. Though most countries have signed an international agreement banning the use of CFCs, these chemicals unfortunately have a long lifetime in the atmosphere, meaning that even aside from any continuing production, there are still a lot of the molecules floating around. On this basis, Lu made a prediction that the 2008 – 2009 levels of ozone would show a drop, coinciding with the current peak in courtesy dimitri_c/sxc.hu cosmic ray activity, and that there Cosmic rays contain a lot of electrons which get trapped in the ice in should be another drop in 2019 – 2020. the atmosphere, and aid in breaking down CFCs. New results of 2008 ozone measurements released by NASA since Lu submitted his paper have reflected his prediction of the ozone level change to within a couple per cent, lending immediate support [If you want to suggest science or to his theory. technology research going on in the university In addition to his atmospheric research, Lu also for coverage in a research profile piece, works on applications for femtosecond time-resolved email science@imprint.uwaterloo.ca laser spectroscopic techniques, molecular mechanisms with the subject “Research Profile.”]

Building a smarter grid

A smart grid is exactly what it sounds like; an electrical grid system that uses more advanced technology to deliver energy to consumers more reliably and efficiently. Our grid system today is basically a one-way route, where a handful of major energy producers send the energy miles to distribution nodes, which are then sent even farther to the consumer. All this travelling causes significant losses in electricity and makes it harder for homeowners to implement their own sources of energy (such as solar or geothermal). A smart grid system allows for decentralization, where the distance between source and consumer is shortened. The technology also allows for more efficient management of electricity that makes little room for waste and supports the use of independent sources

One of the biggest problems that we’re concerned about right now is that nuclear power blocks green power.

W

hile governments make policies and laws, and corporations control the world through consumerism, we tend to forget about our dependence on the one thing that makes our society possible: energy. In today’s society, which is so focused on advancing technology, electricity is a necessity. As we all know, energy comes from a grid; a centralized system of generators that link to distributors and are then connected to our homes. It is an old and very simple system — albeit not simple to operate — on which we rely for our energy needs. With the current

thelferty@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

— Bruce Cox, executive director of Greenpeace movement towards cleaner energy sources and past examples of how damaging it can be to society in the occurrence of a major blackout, the question arises of whether a centralized system is no longer modern.

of energy for homeowners. If you have solar panels that produce more electricity than you use, the excess can go back into the grid to be used by others, and you can even be paid for it. This system is already in effect in some cities, such as Boulder, Colorado. Homeowners can check how much renewable energy

they’re using and can even turn off appliances in their homes while on vacation in another country via the internet. Ontario is including the implementation of a smart grid in their Green Energy Act. The act calls for drastic additions of renewable energy and reductions in fossil fuels and gas consumption by 2015 and 2025, while implementing renewable energy tariffs, smart grid technology, and better grid access. Considering Ontario’s high energy usage, this is a huge step. However, there is one group who believes there is a problem with the plan. On March 18, the executive director of Greenpeace, Bruce Cox, came to UW to talk about the Green Energy Act. While he supports it, he believes that the plan to push nuclear energy as the major source of energy is a bad move. In an interview conducted before his lecture, Cox told me that “the problem with nuclear energy is that it’s not clean… to suggest it is clean is freakishly Orwellian.” He lists the mining of uranium (a key component in the nuclear process), pollution of groundwater and lakes, and radioactive waste that lasts for thousands of years as key concerns. He also mentioned that “one of the biggest problems that we’re concerned about right now is that nuclear power blocks green power.” In response to Bruce’s attack, a proponent for nuclear power mentioned that the plants are tightly regulated by law when it comes to waste, and they are incredibly safe and serious about storing it. As well, they provide a

base load of power and security, and leave room for renewable energy sources through a smart grid system. The way I see it, nuclear power is better than fossil fuels, and if implemented carefully, can be safe. As well, the waste still has energy potential. However, allowing nuclear power to take such a large portion of the energy source pie would prevent energy diversity and allow situations where such companies control so much of our energy that they become bigger than governments. This can be prevented with a decentralized smart grid, which will allow homeowners and communities to start up their own renewable sources of energy, contribute to the grid and relax the hold of nuclear power. Large-scale renewable power plants (such as wind and solar) can still be built and could potentially replace nuclear power altogether. As it stands now, anything is better than coal. Before we focus on energy sources, we need the grid to support them, and a grid that allows direct access and sharing of energy sources will pave the way for renewable energy to take its place.


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Science & Technology

FIRST thing’s first Standing for, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” FIRST is an international not-for-profit organization that provides students with hands on opportunities to develop cutting edge science, engineering, and mathematics skills. Along with this Robotics Competition, they hold a more general Tech Challenge, and two LEGO Construction challenges for middle school students.

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

The Game

The field of competition

UW hosted its annual FIRST Robotics competition in the PAC on March 19 through 21 Ted Fleming reporter

Team Op Robotics

This year’s challenge is called LUNACY. Robots are designed for the ability to collect moon rocks (volleyball sized foam balls) off the ground, and launch them at the other robots. Each robot tows a bucket shaped payload trailer. 2 teams of 3 robots compete against each other to score as many points as possible. A point is scored when a robot, or a human player positioned around the perimeter of the court, throws a moon rock into an opposing robot’s payload trailer. Each robot can be loaded with up to 7 moon rocks before the game begins. The robots are autonomous for the first 15 seconds of the round, followed by 2 minutes of remote controlled play..

team eic robo rams

team beaver works

First place Robot: Pursuit of Happiness Team: Op Robotics From: Orchard Prior Secondary School Specialty: Dumps 25 balls per second Team: Beaver Works From: Our Lady of Lourdes High School Specialty: Accurate shooting mechanism Robot: Robo Ram Team: EIC Robo Rams Specialty: High speed


Science & Technology

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

team red devil robotics

UW transforms into a robotics playground for three days

29

team mim robotics

Second place Team: MM Rambotics From: M. M. Robinson High School Specialty: Team: Red Devil Robotics From: Oakville Trafalgar High School Team: Kinetic Knights From: Kincardine District Secondary School Specialty: Omni-directional steering for increased agility *No photo available photos by ted fleming

robots being repaired in the pit

Mohammad Jangda staff reporter

A smart car for a fraction of the price

With a clown car-like form factor and enough seats for at least five funnymen, the recently released Tata Nano has been gaining traction and attention worldwide, being touted as the world’s cheapest car. According to the International Herald Tribune, Indian automobile maker Tata Motors officially launched the $2,000 US (roughly 100,000 Indian rupees) vehicle earlier this week. Available in three varieties, each with a growing list of amenities and price tags, the four-door car provides a typical but near full-fledged automobile experience. Cheap and yet very traditionalist in its design, the car is reminiscent of the smart fortwo built by MercedesBenz. Development was started after the chairman of the company, Ratan Tata, had the vision to build an affordable car to replace motorcycles, often seen navigating the dangerous urban streets of India crammed with families of four plus. The goal was to drive the price tag down by stripping the vehicle down to the bare minimum. While not the strongest of cars, the Nano still manages to hit the 0 to 80 kilometers per hour milestone in 16.4 seconds, which is impressive compared to the fortwo’s 12.8 seconds.

To be noted however, is that $2,000 price tag being promoted is the dealer price, so consumers will likely have to open their wallets a little wider thanks to taxes and dealer margins. Despite this, the Nano still manages to out-price its closest competitor by at least half the price. According to The Economist, all is not well for the Nano however, having spend six years in development and and was already months behind schedule. Further, financial issues at Tata, an overwhelming demand, and limited production capacities at production facilities are threatening to cut short the optimism of the millions of Indians looking to get behind the wheel of the car. Hopefully there are enough clowns around to ease the tension.

growing problem for the station with an expected 18,000 pieces of junk aimlessly orbiting the Earth. The incident earlier this month prompted an evacuation of the astronauts into the station’s escape craft, but was called off after determining the debris was not a threat. A space debris impact with the station can have catastrophic results as even small pieces of junk can cause significant damage. Moreover, astronauts on spacewalks risks instant death should a

Teach English Overseas

“ISS thrusters engage”

It was almost like playing a game of dodgeball, except a ball in the crotch means a multi-billion-dollar explosion. The International Space Station was recently put on alert for a second time this month after a chunk of Chinese rocket was spotted heading on a collision course with the orbiting ship. According to the Daily Mail, the crew of the space shuttle Discovery, who are currently manning the station, were told to use the shuttle’s thrusters to push the station off course from the debris, which is becoming a

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collision occur with even a paint chip traveling at thousands of kilometers per hour. However, the astronauts aboard Discovery said that given the number of risks associated with a spacewalk, debris is low on their concern radar.

This writer is on-board with Gizmodo’s suggestion of equipping the station with lasers. The game Asteroid may then be of some practical use after all. mjangda@imprint.uwaterloo.ca


Science & Technology

30

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Sex is monkey business, too alomako@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

S

o, I was thinking to myself: I’ve done this column for the past four terms, which is roughly 50 articles. What have I not written about? And then it hit me: Primate sex. One cannot be an established columnist if this topic isn’t at least alluded to. To achieve an amount of prissiness previously unprecedented in the Science & Technology pages, I will focus on bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees), which are as physically close in body and mind to humans as one can get on the evolutionary scale. However,

armel chesnais

Wael Elsweisi staff reporter

Study proves eating okay for women in labour

Preventing women from eating during labour has been commonly practised by many childbirth departments since the 1940s in order to reduce the risk of potential complications if surgery is required. This has sparked many debates by some doctors and midwives that argued preventing women from eating during labour can actually be detrimental to the women and their babies. Follow-up research on the matter has been inconclusive. A recent study by King’s College London, however, concluded that food intake during labour does not make a difference. The study involved 2,426 healthy women who were having their first babies. One group of women were allowed regular amounts of food such as bread, fruit, and yogurt, while the other group was only allowed water. The study found the natural birth rate was the same between the two groups at 44 per cent,

from a social perspective, while having similar carnal urges to humans, they are, to the best of our knowledge, unrestrained by rigid social norms when it comes to sexuality. As Edward Shorter said in his book Written in the Flesh: A History of Desire, “desire surges from the body, the mind interprets what society will accept and what not, and the rest of the signals are edited out by culture.” Consequently, one might imagine the product of sexuality much like a maki roll — with biological desire as the raw fish, the physical manifestation of those desires as the rice, and the seaweed being the elicited sexual appearance adopted in order to be permissible by culture. (I will be focusing on Western culture for the purpose of limiting the length of the article). What makes discussing the sexuality of primates fascinating is that the cultural factor is removed — so instead of a maki roll we have more of a nigiri, where the cultural fabric of seaweed is absent and the physicality of sex is exposed. Bonobos share “more than 98 per cent of our genetic profile,” according to Frans de Waal, Dutch psychologist, primatologist, ethologist, and author. As such, bonobos are likely to feel carnal urges in ways quite similar to humans. The genetic similarity noted by Waal is perhaps what makes bonobo sexuality so fascinating, considering the phenomenon where — unlike chimpanzees, whose mating rituals are similar to those of dogs — bonobos have intercourse in a fashion similar to humans, as discovered by primatologists Eduard Tratz and Heinz Heck in the 1950s. Their research was discarded until the 1970s because of culturally orchestrated values: “face-to-face copulation was considered uniquely human, a cultural innovation that needed to be taught to preliterate people,” as Waal points out. Another fascinating similarity between human and bonobo sexuality is the tendency to engage in sex to alleviate conflict and to participate in “sexual reconciliation,” although these are far more pronounced in bonobos. For instance, Waal’s observations of bonobos showed evidence of sexual behaviour elicited directly after a social conflict, such as when “a jealous male might chase another away from a female, after which the two males reunite and engage in scrotal rubbing,” or when a female hits a bonobo youngster, the mother of the

while those that had caesarean section were at 29 per cent for the food group and 30 per cent for the water only group — a statistically insignificant difference. Other measures, including duration of labour and the condition of the babies after birth, were also the same. “Eating during labour is not going to make things better, but it is not going to make things worse, and it might make you feel more of a human being, and that is quite important,” said Virginia Beckett of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The study is published in the British Medical Journal. Hunt for non-animal meat is on

In order to satisfy the appetite of meat-eaters, over 40 billion chickens, fish, pigs, and cows are killed every year in the United States alone. The slaughters are certainly not

latter “may lunge at the aggressor, an action that is immediately followed by genital rubbing between the two adults.” Applied to humans, resorting to sexuality after minor conflict is not culturally acceptable; imagine standing in line at the Tim Horton’s and asking for the last Boston Cream doughnut at the same time as the person standing next to you, saying “I asked for it first,” and then mounting the other person for 13 seconds (average time taken by bonobos to copulate) instead of saying “that’s okay, I can just get the danish pastry.” Although publicly humans don’t often wear their sexuality on their sleeve, I would argue that in humans, sexual reconciliation is existent and thriving, in the form of something socially tabbed as “make-up sex,” or the instance of engaging in sexual activities after enduring a social conflict with a partner. The thrill of makeup sex is often attributed to the rising levels of adrenaline and dopamine during a conflict, which can substitute foreplay for humans, and produce what some call “the best sex ever,” quite possibly because intercourse also facilitates the release of oxytocin into the bloodstream, creating feelings of bonding, increased trust and empathy, according to Monitor on Psychology magazine. However, the differences in sexual behaviour between humans and bonobos are just as striking as the similarities: for instance, homosexuality is common practice in bonobos, but in humans (statistically and socially speaking) homosexuals are considered a minority. Bonobos are highly sexually diverse creatures, as is evident from Waal’s observations about sexual reconciliation methods of males and females a paragraph ago. The fact that bonobos communicate through sexual body language with both genders for reasons other than reproduction makes them similar to humans in this respect, and at the same time establishes a difference in social dynamics — some part of the human population shields their sexuality from public view, and generally reserves sexual activity for monogamous and polygamous relations that are not displayed publicly, or at least the public manifestation of which is culturally repelled by the majority. I would like to refrain from making precise conclusions regarding any similarities between humans and bonobos; I am leaving that to the

done in the nicest of ways, to say the least. In an attempt to save animals from suffering while continuing to eat meat, scientists around the world are exploring ways of producing meat in laboratories. This in vitro approach requires animal stem cells as the starting material. Under the

Hmm,

tastes like

readers. However, I would like support Dr. Waal in his observation that, in bonobos, “sexual behavior is indistinguishable from social behavior,” a concept that would be inconceivable in Western culture. If you have any questions about the behaviour or location of your junk, please e-mail your questions to me at the address listed above or meet with me in the Imprint office Mondays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and loiter with me.

right conditions, stem cells have the ability of giving rise to all cell types. Furthermore, in vitro meat production would help reduce the devastating effects the meat industry has on the environment, such as cutting down forests for grazing and growing crops just to feed these animals. In an effort to speed up in vitro meat development and create competition, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered a reward of $1 million for the first scientist to successfully produce in vitro meat and bring it to the market. Full details of the contest can be found at: www.peta.org. Food for thought: vegetarians are less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, various types of cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters are.

chicken...

The link between HIV and TB

paul collier

The problems associated with HIV are well known.

peter n. trinh

Many efforts around the world are focused on its treatment and prevention. What is neglected, however, is the fact that HIV infection leaves patients more prone to opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis (TB). In fact, one in four TB deaths is HIVrelated — a rather unsettling statistic since TB is curable. Furthermore, although TB killed more people with HIV than any other disease in 2008, only one per cent of those with HIV had a TB screen. To make a bad situation worse, in Sub-Saharan Africa, HIV has caused the incidence of TB to triple since the 1990s. In some countries, 80 per cent of TB patients are co-infected with HIV. “These findings point to an urgent need to find, prevent, and treat TB in people living with HIV and to test for HIV in all patients with TB,” said Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization. — With files from BBC News and peta.org welsweisi@imprint.uwaterloo.ca


Sports & Living

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009 sports@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Campus rec for the cup A campus rec hockey team works it’s way through a competition to win a party with the Stanely Cup Caitlin McIntyre sports editor

W

ith the hockey season coming to a close, many of the Waterloo campus rec teams are playing their last games of the year. This past Monday, March 23, the “Givener’ Generals of Canada” pitted off against “Victoria’s Secret,”

tying their final game of the year with a solid three all. The Givener’ Generals was formed by a group of UW students three years ago to join the ranks of other campus rec teams. “We’re just a group of friends, pretty much,” John Glover, a third year environmental student and a left wing on the team, told Imprint in an interview. He was

joined by the semester’s team captain, a third year environment and business defence player named Mike Tollis, and Dylan Powel, a third year defenceman in English language and literature. “It’s kind of just expected that every semester we’re going to throw a team into the allstar contact division,” Tollis said when asked about the team’s three year run. “Our first year, second term, was the first season as the Gens. We’re on our fifth or sixth season now and everyone has played on the team at least once…we’ve developed a lot of solid friendships on the team, even as new guys came in.” The Gens pride themselves in bringing a new level of passion to the Campus Rec playing field, stirring up rivalries and upping the season’s intensity through their complete dedication to their team. “We really built the team on being Canadian, a strong love of hockey, strong friendships,” Powel said. Even the Gens’ name is a mirror of their hockey spirit. “Obviously it’s a play on words,” Powel, who was responsible for creating the name, commented in the interview. “It was really meant to depict true Canadian spirit.” Though their league play for the year may be over, the Givener’ Generals still have one more battle to face before the year is out. Each year TSN hosts their annual “Team up and bring home the cup” challenge, asking Canadian hockey teams to send in a photo of their team, along with a 200 word essay that is then used to judge the applicant’s team on its team spirit, creativity, and passion for the game. The grand prize for the competition is a Stanley Cup party, hosted by legend Mark Messier. The party would

include a visit by the Stanley Cup, a home theatre system, an LCD TV, food, and leather chairs. With only two days before the end of the contest Waterloo’s Givener’ Generals entered into the competition, making it into the top 10 of 500 entered contestants. This incredible accomplishment has already ensured the team a $500 consolation prize, one they will be guaranteed if they don’t get the first prize. “We’ve made it into the top 10, and now we need people to vote us in at the website, teamup.tsn.ca,” Powell said. The voting goes until April 18, and anyone who registers

on the website can vote as many times as they want. There’s even a chance for voters to win themselves, prizes listed on the website. “We really need people’s support,” Glover said. “If UW students supported us, it could mean the difference between where we stand now and the grand prize.” The competition is a big chance for University of Waterloo students to get recognized on a national scale for having the athletic spirit, even beyond our varsity teams, that our students work so hard for. cmcintyre@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

photos by caitlin mcintyre

Top Right: The Givener’ Generals’ personal cheering squad sits by the sideline of the Monday night game, waving a sign in support of the boy’s Stanley Cup party challenge. Top Left: The team strategizes on the bench between periods. Bottom Right: Gens (light-coloured) book it down the ice after freeing up the puck in their end. Bottom Left: Gens defence check an offending player as their Goalie goes down for the save.


Sports & Living

32

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

He looks cool...

juggling with FIRE

Chris Colliver (president) and others of the UW’s Juggling Club took to the SLC parking lot to juggle fire on Wednesday March 25. They kept their flames lit despite the rain and tepid temperatures. graphics by armel chesnais

photos by JuliA hawthornthwaite

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Comics & Distractions

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Crossword

1

Paul Collier 14. Calvin’s final vehicle

20

1. Standard or average

51. Lair

21. Series of waste tubes

24

4. Samsara believer

53. Rabbit (French)

22. Masculine honourific

27

9. Industrial emission

55. Cash dispenser (acronym)

29. Hasten (Old English)

13. Day before (pluralized)

56. Wall Street (two words)

30. Were Elves once

15. Decorate

60. Kick

32. Monster

16. Employ

62. Asinine

17. Spool

63. Plateau with clifflike edges

33. Rope with weights thrown to entangle animals

18. Unborn vertebrate

64. Privy to (two words)

19. Extremities

65. Inventor of dynamite

20. Assets purchased for future returns

66. Himalayan legend

25. Ornamental carp

14

28

40

34. Most superior (abbr.) 35. Twisted metal arm or neck piece of jewellery

67. Pitchable shelter

37. Total lunar illumination (two words)

68. Valuable property

38. Drink a small amount

69. Friend

39. Back of the throat appendage

51

55

56

60

61

1

U

36. Central idea

6. Melody element

49. Imply

37. Subprime repossession

7. Intoxicated

52. Taboos (hyphenated)

29

40. Injure severely

8. Clear blockage

54. Military land forces

31

42. Endeavour

9. That’s what ___ said

57. Transport vehicles for hire

33

43. Cream puff

10. Christmas sweet pastry (two words)

58. Femur, tibia junction

11. Excretory products

61. Explosive (acronym)

8 7

7 9 4

1

3 5

8 1 5

9 2

3 4

3

Cryptogram O jmw mb vnmvjn oxn obxoty wm eol fuow wunl fokw. Wuow’e ful wunl ymk’w snw fuow wunl fokw. -Aoymkko

P

2 9 6 8 1 7 5 4 3

3

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39

45

46

47

52

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58

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17

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44 46

eIGHTY PERCENT OF SUCCESS IS SHOWING UP -WOODY ALLEN

5

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41

March 20 Cryptogram Solution

C

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10

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12

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March 20 Sudoku Solution 1 7

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27

7 3 8 9 5 4 1 6 2

36

March 20 Crossword Solution

33. Lebanese capital

6 4 5 7 9 2 8 3 1

35

68

12. Holism (German)

49

32

67

48. Early afternoon nap

3 2 9 1 8 5 6 7 4

31

66

5. The same (Latin)

8 7 1 4 6 3 2 9 5

30

65

59. Thaw

48

26

64

47. Maintenance

5 6 7 3 2 9 4 1 8

29

12

23

63

4. Hilt

9 8 2 6 4 1 3 5 7

22

62

31. Move forward

4 1 3 5 7 8 9 2 6

19

11

42

50

45. Eyeball back wall

6 2

18

38

44

3. Original Superman

1

10

16

34

43

2. Thoroughfare

Sudoku

9

15

41

44. Pieces of identification (abbr.)

47. Function

8

37

1. Pass away

46. Computer brain (acronym)

7

25

41. Nail polish remover solvent

28. UN public wellbeing organization (acronym)

6

21

Down

27. ___ Just Not That Into You

5

33

40. 1/8 million bytes (abbr.)

26. Mesazoic, Elizabethan, Modern

4

17

50. Mousse

24. Soft leather

3

13

Across

23. Simplest film transition

2

33

T

23

42

21

39

16 18

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32

30

28

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19

Logic Problem By Bogdan Petrescu

You have two trains 100km apart travelling towards each other on the same track at 50km/h. A bird flying at 70km/h starts at the same time and at the same place as one of the trains, and travels towards the second train. Once the bird reaches the other train, it turns around and travels back towards the first train and repeats this until the two trains collide. At this instant how far has the bird traveled?

Logic Problem Solution Starting off with string one and string two, burn both ends of string one and one end of string two. String one will burn up in 30 seconds, at which point you start burning the second end of string two. From the time when you start burning the second end of string two until the string finishes burning up is 15 seconds.


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We spent the winter exploring issues involving crime on campus, the the economic crisis, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. But what did we miss? What kinds of stories do you want Imprint to pursue? And are there any changes you’d suggest to the way we cover the issues we do?

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Comics & Distractions

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

Ask Shaniqua distractions@imprint.uwaterloo.ca

Dear Shaniqua, Okay so I have this boy’s msn in my class and I like him and everything but the problem is that.. well when on msn I really don’t know what to talk about. And when i do think of something he doesn’t really reply with much. Am I doing something wrong? Like okay i was asking if he went to this talent show and he said no did you and i said no because i have enough of Rebecca’s singing at school. Now I regret saying that because he said ‘OMG that’s so harsh’ So how do I get the conversation going? I mean he doesn’t reply with much at all and i mean at school we can sometimes talk but i want to talk more on msn. Please help me! Convo Killer

Dear Convo Killer, That is quite the story. Now here is a story for you. I was offered the chance to give advice to you bitches, and I figured, sure, how completely utterly stupid could the students here be. Thank you for making me realise how wrong I was to think that the masses are anything less than brain dead.  So here’s how you are gonna play it. You are gonna go up to him next class and say “I’m free this Saturday, and Starlight is free cover.” Let him know you are interested. If you are to scared or stupid to pull of a line so easy it would make Tara Reid jealous, then do me a favour and never write to me again. In fact, if you can’t pull of something this simple, get some fuckin’ cats and take up knitting, because you are going to be alone forever. Next?

35

What’s your method of procrasination?

By Bogdan Petrescu and Katrina Massey “Going out with my friends.... Ceasar’s and stuff....Thursday night for sure...” Mishal Pitharioc 2B Arts and Business “Sleep.” Nushin Manjki 3A Arts and Business “GMail.” Sumiya Tasheena 1B Master of accounting

“Orientation meetings.” Barbara MacDonald 4A Computer Science

“Working out.” Zamir Jammohamec 1B Environmental Business “Movies.” Alex Patel 2B Economics

“Playing video games. And drinking .“ Lam Chum, Matthew Ho 3B Computer Science, 1B Arts

Dear Shaniqua, I was showering in the PAC gym and there was this old bald guy pretty much jacking off in the showers staring at people. He was being really obvious about it too, just looking right at people’s junk. This made me really uncomfortable, because I was one of the people he was staring at. I left and told the attendant. My question is, basically, what the hell was going on? Uncomfortably Numb

Dear Uncomfy, Christ that is disgusting. Old and bald, not even a soaped up hottie, eh? Next time it happens just tell the pervert to go fuck himself somewhere else. What you experienced is known as getting “cruised.” Obviously this lonely sex offender wanted a piece of you or at least to look at you. You did the right thing telling the attendant. For future reference, if there ever is a hot, young, sudsy, naked beefcake, send him to Shaniqua. I don’t care if he’s gay, I’ll just look. As for you, sugar, if it happens again contact campus police. Now a message to all the public flashers in the world, have you heard of the internet? People like you should be trolling around the web; that is what it was built for, after all. Go be creepy online, for the love of god. Dear Shaniqua, My boyfriend has been asking me about the possibility of doing a threesome. I’m not a prude, but I feel that sex is best when it is one on one. Should I give in and find a third, or stick it out just the two of us and risk him being upset? Confused a Trois

Dear Trois Girl, if he’s offering to invite his buffest buddy into bed with you, then I say take advantage. I know aunty Shaniqua wouldn’t mind being in a beefcake sandwich. If you don’t want double the man, maybe your boyfriend, his buddy, and I will take a trip over to PAC and start lathering up. But if your man is trying to get you to bring a gal pal into the sheets and you aren’t comfortable with any other set of breasts but yours in his face, then tell him no, simple as that. Tell him there is a lot of fun you can have as a pair, and until you’ve exhausted that (trust me, it will take a while) you shouldn’t need to find a third. Or if you want to scare him, tell him before he gets another lady in the bedroom, you get to try a strap on. If he cries to you about his unending fantasy, give him a kick in his blue-balls and tell him that you’re all the woman he’ll ever need and then some. Mmm hmm. Shaniqua out.

“I would pay money to have her bitchslap me” — Travis Myers

Are YOU sassy enough for Shaniqua? distractions@imprint.uwaterloo.ca


36

Comics & Distractions

Imprint, Friday, March 27, 2009

POSTSCRIPT

GRAHAM MOOGK-SOULIS

IMPRESSION, BY JIM & LAN

LOOSE SCREWS

GEOFFREY LEE & SONIA LEE

IN THE WEEDS KURTIS ELTON

BY MATT FIG, BRANDON FORLER, AND KEEGAN TREMBLAY

RUNAWAY RINGTOSS

PETER N. TRINH

Imprint_2009-03-27_v31_i32  

Yume Peace Project — more photos on page 17 iMprint . uwaterloo . cavol31 , no 32 F riday , M arch 27, 2009 The universiTy of WaTerloo’s off...

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