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CANADA’S ONLY DAILY STUDENT NEWSPAPER • FOUNDED 1906
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2013
VOLUME 107, ISSUE 48
PSC policy proposal One Love rally flounders passes persuasively USC event fails to attract student interest Aaron Zaltzman ASSOCIATE EDITOR The recent changes made to the Peer Support Centre operations were codified into official University Students’ Council policy at last Wednesday’s meeting. The changes had ignited a firestorm of anger at the USC from those who felt they were destroying the character of the Centre. Needless to say, there will never be another complaint again now that the policy has been passed. “There was no direction to how the space should be governed, or what it was supposed to do, because the Peer Support Network and the previous [Campus Issues] portfolio has always grown very organically,” explained Sam Krishnapillai, the vice-president internal for the USC. “The space is a service to students and there was no mandate for it, no reason for it to exist. The core of this policy is that we want to have a direction for the space and what it should be used for.” The policy was passed nearly unanimously after some debate among the councillors. Krishnapillai explained the changes codified in the policy were meant to conform to the USC’s existing Workplace Conduct Policy. “[It includes] things like maintaining a professional looking environment, being welcoming to all undergraduate students, resources being available and volunteers being there to help people navigate those resources,” Krishnapillai said. The changes were brought about in response to concerns from students who felt the space was not a welcoming environment. “The USC has done three official town halls in March 2012, April 2013 and September 2013. Something that was identified by students who came, including regulars of the Centre, was that the space was not approachable,” Krishnapillai said. “There was the worry that people who come in might be intimidated
There was no direction to how the space should be governed, or what it was supposed to do, because the Peer Support Network and the previous [Campus Issues] portfolio has always grown very organically. —Sam Krishnapillai
USC vice-president internal
by the cliques.” “There was a lot of feedback from students at large who used the space and felt like they had to walk back out because it was incredibly cliquey or it didn’t look like anyone would help them,” Krishnapillai said. The new policy would ensure that the Centre complies with certain standard procedures, such as always having a volunteer manning the reception desk, and personal effects not being left in the space for extended periods of time. The original changes received no small amount of negative feedback from regular users of the space. Alex Lu, a third-year science student, wrote a letter to The Gazette in November arguing the changes hampered the Centre’s ability to address the needs of specifically disadvantaged groups. However, while Krishnapillai acknowledged the negative feedback, she said the majority of it was unconstructive. “I feel we were given a lot of ‘This really sucks’ and not a lot of ‘Here’s why it sucks.’ Without knowing that I couldn’t do anything, so that was the purpose of the town hall and the anonymous survey that was sent out,” Krishnapillai said. “If they still have concerns with the space, I encourage them to speak with their councillors.”
Iain Boekhoff GAZETTE
NO LOVE FOR ONE LOVE. It was a paltry showing at the USC’s One Love Rally Thursday night, as a large number of students attended disguised as an empty seat. Approximately 200 students showed up to the event, held in Alumni Hall, which has a seating capacity of over 2,200.
Iain Boekhoff NEWS EDITOR Only about 200 students showed up to Thursday’s One Love event at Alumni Hall, substantially fewer than expected. Adam Smith, vice-president events for the University Students’ Council, was one of the event’s chief organizers. He said 1,000 tickets were available, and when asked how many were sold, he said, “I would assume it was like 150.” The remainder of the attendees received free tickets as members of the USC, a faculty council, campus media, or through ticket giveaways on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets were sold for $5 in advance and $10 at the door, but Smith said that plan changed when sales didn’t pick up. “Originally the plan was to [charge $10 at the door]. In practice [we] didn’t. We had announced it was only $5 at the door. Given the ticket sales, we saw no reason to,” Smith said.
[The decision was made to go from $10 down to $5] when we started the process in September,” Sam Krishnapillai, USC vice-president internal, said. However, that change was only advertised midway through the day of the event. A news story on the USC website from the day before the event read “Students and community members can purchase tickets either online on the USC’s website, in person at Western Connections for five dollars, or pay $10 at the door Thursday night.” In fact, Krishnapillai and the TeamUSC twitter account tweeted on Thursday until as late as 1:30 p.m. that tickets were $10 at the door. Jessi Cruickshank, MTV personality, flew in from Los Angeles to host Western’s One Love for the second time this year. She was backed up by presenters Shane Koyczan, a poet, Mark Henick, a mental health advocate, Caroline Pugh-Roberts, a former human-trafficking victim
and activist, Sonya Barnett, the co-founder of Slut Walk and Molly Thomason, a singer-songwriter. They had come to Western to promote inclusiveness and diversity on campus through topics such as anti-bullying and mental health awareness. The University Students’ Council organized the event. “It was the first time we’ve ever tried [having a second One Love] and I think it was a success, and we got great feedback from the students that were there,” Smith said. Smith said the funding for the presenters came from grants, the Western administration, and money from various budgets within the USC, like the initiative or campaign spending line in the student events portfolio, because it was not budgeted for. The USC refused to disclose the amount of money spent on this event. Spencer Brown, USC vicepresident finance, did not return multiple calls inquiring about the
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thegazette • Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Caught on Camera
Bill Wang GAZETTE
CROSSWORD By Eugene Sheffer
HAPPY FOUNDERS DAY. Alumni, faculty, students and guests of Huron University College celebrated its 150th anniversary yesterday. The affiliate college served hors d’oeuvres in the Great Hall and displayed an archival exhibit of photos, memorabilia, and historical documents.
Free parking downtown this month Last year, it wasn’t enough that you were frantically looking for parking downtown for Christmas shopping, you also had to fumble with change and then dash into stores trying to beat the meter. But never fear, the City of London has passed a temporary by law that will relive some stress this season — or at least your fumbling the change. For the month of December, the City of London is offering free street parking throughout downtown, Richmond Row and Old East Village. The street meters will have specific maximum time limits posted on
the meters — so you still have to dash, but now it’s free, so leave your change at home. Shoppers are being told to look for specially marked street meters with a notice saying, “Free parking — Courtesy of the City.” All downtown pay-and-display meters will be under the holiday parking exemption for the month. The idea is to encourage more Londoners to flock to downtown shops in the core. However, the generosity of our city doesn’t extend to regular parking lots, but only outlined curbside meters. All other signage laws are expected to be followed. For specific roads and streets
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covered by the holiday parking exemption, the information can be found on the City of London’s website. —Jeremiah Rodriguez
Employers seeing skill shortage Major Canadian companies are seeing a skill shortage amongst their employees, according to a survey done by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Canadian literacy and numeracy rankings have fallen on an international scale, John Manley, president and CEO of the CCCE revealed in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto. Canadians aged 16 to 24 performed lower than 23 other developing countries. Manley said Canadians should expect something better from an education system so heavily supported by the government. Ross Laver, vice-president policy and communications for the CCCE, was able to give more insight on the topic. “We are just trying to highlight the challenges and to suggest that the issue of skills is wider than simply finding people with specific skills to fill specific jobs” Laver said. He went on to highlight that the survey reflects the opinions, not of the broad business community, but of the largest Canadian employers. “We need to pay attention to the broader challenge of ensuring that our education system is adequate to the needs of a modern, knowledgebased economy,” Laver said. —Megan Devlin
Too busy to volunteer for The Gazette? We’ll still be here in January, when you have no excuse. UCC 263
The Cryptoquip is a substitution cipher in which one letter stands for another. If you think that X equals O, it will equal O throughout the puzzle. Single letters, short words and words using an apostrophe give you clues to locating vowels. Solution is by trial and error. © 2002 by Kings Features Syndicate, Inc.
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thegazette • Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Gazette chats with Paul Wells Policy papers force Richard Raycraft NEWS EDITOR On Friday, Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells visited Western to talk about the state of federal politics and his new book on Prime Minister Stephen Harper, The Longer I’m Prime Minister. Wells, who was a Gazette editor during his time at Western in the late 1980s, sat down to talk about writing his book and his time at Western. What motivated you to write this book? I would probably write a book about any prime minister. I have a weird sense of responsibility. As political editor at Maclean’s magazine you have way more time, way more freedom than almost any other political journalist. It happens that Harper is a fantastic subject — he is polarizing, controversial, makes people angry, and is bizarrely viewed by most of my colleagues as not a personally interesting guy, which means I got him almost to myself. You say in the book that people who misunderstand Harper’s popularity in a way misunderstand Canada, can you elaborate? In some ways it’s as simple as when you’re running in an election for national office, you’re trying to pick a lock — you’re trying to figure out the electorate. When I say Harper understands Canada better than a lot of his detractors, it sounds like a bold thing to say, but to me it’s almost by definition he understands the country better than the people he keeps beating. I think Harper conservatism will finally be defeated when he faces an opponent who has minimum of self-awareness and understanding
that disliking Harper doesn’t make you more Canadian. There’s a very elevated level of brand satisfaction among Conservative voters even now, even when he’s in trouble. I don’t ever say that most Canadians support Harper, I just say that enough do.
ambitious. I had prof who told me I should write to Conrad Black and ask for a job at the Daily Telegraph. I thought he was crazy, and then nine years later I was working for Conrad Black kind of accidentally. It’s here at Western that you start to think about what’s possible.
The book is pretty substantial and you interview some pretty interesting people close to the prime minister. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of writing it? I took a lot of consolation as I was writing the book from reading the memoirs of writers. Very few writers enjoy writing a book. It’s lonely, and it requires focus and discipline that I don’t have. There’s a reason I’m a political columnist — because I like to sleep in and rant. A book is a heavier enterprise. I found most of it unpleasant. What writing a book does afford is that it’s an incredible luxury to anyone who’s got space allocation as something they have to live with all the time. I’m at the point now that if I write anything longer than a tweet, I have to remind myself that I’m allowed. That’s something I wish more young journalists would realize — that you can tell a story in all the detail it needs to be told in a book.
How have Western and The Gazette prepared you for the type of work that you do? I wrote something for the Alumni Gazette along the lines of everything I know about journalism I learned at The Gazette, and I meant it. Dealing with people who are angry at you because you’re covering something, how to organize notes, how to write a feature, you learn that in student journalism. Young people today that want to go into journalism, I tell them go to journalism school if you can’t find a job without going to journalism school. But whether you do or not, actually doing [journalism] is way more important than the actual education, and it was at The Gazette that we actually did it. I think I had 500 stories before I graduated.
How does it feel to be back at Western? I get more and more sentimental about it when I come back. There was no grand process of decisionmaking that made me decide to come to Western. I just kind of washed up here by an accident of geography. A year out of Western it was clear to me that this was the place that you learned to be ambitious — intellectually ambitious, personally
Do you have any advice for any aspiring journalists or political pundits out there? Read widely and historically in the field. The moment you’re born in and the place you’re born in are pure accidents, and you should never let them limit you. When I wanted to be a columnist I read columnists going back to the 1930s. I read British and American columnists. That’s not ever a chore — it’s only ever pleasurable, but it shows you how good you should try to be. This interview was edited for length.
One Love poorly attended >> ONE LOVE continued from pg.1
event’s finances. Not everyone was happy with the way the event went, however. Laura Hounsell, a 29-year-old social work student who was attending her first One Love event, found what was advertised didn’t translate into what was presented. “It seemed very poorly organized in general. There wasn’t really a coherent transition between performers. The theme didn’t seem to translate throughout the different people that were speaking. They
missed the boat, it just wasn’t on par with what they were advertising at all,” Hounsell said. “I was disappointed. I thought that it was going to be about diversity and embracing difference that it would be a little more LGBTQ friendly, and based on what they say it’s going to be that whole one love idea, and it didn’t really come across that way at all,” Hounsell said. The USC felt differently about how the event went. “I thought the event went really well considering it was the very first time we had done something like
that during the school year. We got really great presenters and we felt like that was a good group of people that came out and it set a very intimate setting,” Krishnapillai said. However, Hounsell found that maybe the topics may have been too heavy right before the most stressful time of students’ careers — exams. “I’m a social work student so we talk about these issues all the time and it wasn’t brought about in a way that was really helpful for the student body at this time of year. It seemed really inappropriate to be honest.”
USC to take stance
Spencer Fairweather GAZETTE
Richard Raycraft NEWS EDITOR The University Students’ Council executive has been tasked with researching and writing policy papers on international students, teaching quality, and public-private partnerships within the university. A motion to draft policy papers on the three issues passed unanimously at the USC meeting on Wednesday evening. Stephen Wright, the Faculty of Information and Media Studies councillor, put the motion forward. Wright came up with the three topics working with the Provincial and Federal Affairs Standing Committee, where he sits as chair. “What we want to do is set the priorities that the USC will ultimately have standing policy on,” he explained. “So delegates that either go to [Canadian Alliance of Student Associations] or [Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance] can have a policy to look back to say that ‘This what Western students think about this issue, and these are the ideas that are important to them as far as the specific policy issues go.” Wright and the committee have been working on coming up with these issues since late October, before the motion was brought to Council. “We feel we struck a good balance between saliency and what really matters to students,” he said. Pat Whelan, USC president, explained how the policy papers will be created. “The first thing that [the USC executive] sort of does is a scan
about what students think about the issues,” Whelan said. “The next step is to work with the staff at the USC as well as the volunteers to research best practices at other universities and other public institutions across the province, but really anywhere in the world.” The “Advocacy Group”, consisting of the president, vice-president internal and vice-president external, will then informally bring the papers before council before sending them to two standing committees for review. They will then be sent to council again for debate. The topic of focusing on international students and their needs came up as an important issue in light of Western’s goal of internationalization. This was especially important because international students will be discussed in a motion at the next OUSA general assembly in the spring. Wright explained that the issue of teaching quality arose from speaking with students. “Teaching quality is something that came up organically in our conversations and it’s definitely a priority for the majority of us,” he said. “This includes language barriers with instructors and TAs has been a problem for a lot of students, as well as coming up with methods for evaluation, ensuring that transparency in student evaluations is upheld, and that is as comprehensive as possible,” he continued. Public-private partnerships are also an issue of concern as Wright says it’s important to ensure new sources of revenue do not infringe on academic freedom or research.
thegazette • Tuesday, December 3, 2013
tuesdaytweet 34% of Canadians are trading in their summer snowshoes for their winter snowshoes
I want to protest but don’t I need a reason? Art project presents the dark ironies of attempts at student activism Jenny Jay GAZETTE STAFF Scott Buttenham, a third-year Media and the Public Interest student at Western, embodies the spirit of standing up for what you believe in, even if you have to do it alone. Buttenham spent his Monday morning passively displaying art on picket signs in front of the University Community Centre. In a project he refers to as “Slackers against Slacktivism” Buttenham created and displayed pictures of people with picket signs, which outline the ironies and inconsistencies of student activism. “With this project I have depicted many of the challenges and obstacles that students have faced within the activist sphere, particularly within the university setting,” Buttenham says. The satirical pictures feature students holding picket signs designed to exaggerate the ironies of student activism — one picture features a student holding a sign reading, “Save the Pandas: End Animal Abuse,” while sporting a Canada Goose jacket and Ugg Boots. Another features a student
with a picket sign resumé depicting satirical half-hearted attempts at community involvement. While the picket signs may be over the top, they were definitely effective as students shot curious glances at the individual with a hope to share awareness. “I just think that we need to be just more conscious of what we perceive as student activism and moral fulfillment and actually try and see what impact we’re making and what that impact is,” Buttenham says. Student activists, he says, tend to promote buying merchandise that support a cause, or “clicktivism” — when an individual likes, reblogs or shares articles, information or views through social media — and these forms of activism may not be as effective as an individuals hopes. “Sharing a thing on Facebook — what does that really do? Just buying a shirt or a bracelet that says I love boobies — what does that really do?” Buttenham asks. “I think people need to get into the streets and gain knowledge about what these issues are all about.” Buttenham believes that individuals need to recognize that while sometimes joining a club or
Bill Wang GAZETTE
PICKETING THE PICKETERS. Yesterday, Scott Buttenham (right), a third-year Media and Public Interest student set, up satirical picket signs outside of the UCC. The signs point out the flaws of student activism demonstrating the ironies of unaware protestors.
buying a t-shirt might create personal satisfaction, unless students are actively becoming a part of the issue at hand, it could end up being self-fulfilling rather than making an actual impact. “I do want to at least get the ball rolling in people’s mind, and have them become more aware of the university setting as something that
is not what it’s cracked up to be in terms of free speech [and] student activism,” Buttenham says. He hopes that this project will get students thinking about the effectiveness of their actions and to challenge the system to create a better one. “My personal goal is to simply have conversations, to learn from
Everything lost is soon found again
people and have people learn from me. I think that being on the ground and having those conversations with people is one of the best ways of facing any kind of issues — it’s not sitting behind a computer screen, it’s not walking around with a bracelet on — it’s having those exchanges of ideas that gets the wheel going,” Buttenham says.
Robert Redford stars in inspiring oceanic survival film Conrad Floryan GAZETTE STAFF All is Lost GGGGF Director: J.C. Chandor Starring: Robert Redford Robert Redford is one of the greatest Hollywood legends of the last half-century. The icon makes a rare late-career starring appearance in All Is Lost, a showcase of human survival, unalloyed cinema and a man named Redford. The unnamed main character (Redford) wakes up in his sailboat somewhere in the Indian Ocean to find that water has flooded his vessel after having collided with a wayward shipping container. Unfazed, he surgically repairs the damage, but soon enough his spirit is tested as he battles vicious sea storms and dwindling supplies. Redford is the only character in the movie, isolated in the liquid desert. Although he utters only a few words during the entire film, the ocean roars, howling: “I’m gonna eat you up!” Director J.C. Chandor has crafted a confident film that doesn’t need to resort to a pedestrian backstory or subplots, because the humble premise is rife with gravitas. It’s particularly effective because it allows Redford to shine, echoing decades worth of personal movie magic. His craggy face radiates charisma. Redford has a distinguished voice,
Christmas is coming and with it comes the nectar of the gods, the greatest beverage known to humankind — eggnog. Spiking eggnog is relatively easy as it mixes well with everything — rum and Bailey’s are particularly effective. For an added treat, mixing alcohol, ice cream and eggnog will make for a delicious mixture suitable for any festive celebrations. When at a party or just celebrating the end of exams, this milkshake recipe will bring all the boys to the yard. —Brent Holmes
Courtesy of Lionsgate
and depriving him of his instrument highlights his oft-underappreciated acting prowess. Here he is tastefully understated, in a role where many an actor would have seized the opportunity to chew the scenery. All Is Lost is a notable entry in the survival film subgenre, a gripping type of film because it’s fascinating to wonder just how strong a human can be when faced with the greatest odds. Speaking of subgenres, this is also a sailing film, and it poignantly transports the audience to life on a sailboat, which includes intriguing particulars like a sea anchor and a makeshift bilge-pump.
The film is an allegory for life’s struggles, particularly the battle with the worst-case scenario. Problems arise, we gather ourselves to fix them and then something else springs up; this is the perennial struggle, which we endure because death is the alternative. Redford — a famed former matinee idol — contextualizes the allegory as a struggle with old age and death. He looks deceptively young — thanks to plastic surgery and dyed hair —but this screen God is 77 and he’s going to die eventually. His on-screen struggle is palpable because he’s in almost every shot. It’s wrenching to
witness his ordeal as he’s constantly soaked and assaulted. The picture graces us with a few magical moments. At one point it rains and Redford rolls up his sleeves to wash himself after spoiling for days in the dingy cabin. It’s a pure and transcendent moment. It isn’t clear if our man survives his ordeal, but that’s beside the point. This film doesn’t have an explicit message — rather, it’s organically in tune with the rhythm of life’s struggle. We go through ups and downs, ebbs and swells, and hopefully have the chance to see a film like All Is Lost once in a while.
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thegazette â€˘ Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Home-make your holidays Three thrifty gift ideas for the craft-inclined Janice Fung CONTRIBUTOR Oh, the holidays. The time when everyone puts on a fake smile as they look at their empty bank accounts and scramble to present their loved ones with presents they hope wonâ€™t ruin any friendships. As
finals become the priority for most students, no one has much time to go out and purchase gifts for each and every family member, roommate, friend or significant other out there. Homemade gifts might be the next best option for those last minute and perpetually broke individuals. While do-it-yourself
gifts could run the risk of having a reaction along the lines of, â€œOh... you made me this...â€? here are three homemade gifts that your friends and family would actually want to receive. You might even want to keep these gifts for yourself!
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Getting On â€œBorn on the Fourth of Julyâ€? This British series is reinvented for HBO and unlike many imports from across the pond, Getting On does not fail to excite or provide the laughs. The series is horrendously melancholic yet it is the few (somewhat brief) moments when the show bares its heart that really prove the series is fantastic. Opening with the death of an 87-year-old might seem an overtly cynical way to premiere a series. However, head nurse Dawnâ€™s (Alex Borstein) apathy towards the death reads hilariously as she plays on her iPhone. This is the type of humor that Getting On nails with precision and ease. Centreing on a geriatric ward in a California hospital, the series does an admirable job of not making fun of the elderly but rather the
indecision of the medical professionals within the ward. The pilot takes place on both the Fourth of July, which is coincidentally DeDeâ€™s (Niecy Nash) first day. Nash does a great job of playing the â€œstraight manâ€? in an environment filled with absurd characters. Often, this character can be relegated to blandness when facilitating the jokes of the other characters. Nash, however, portrays DeDe as a distinct character whose humanity makes her the character to root for. A more baffling character is the antagonistic Dr. Jenna James (Laurie Metcalf) who is perpetually uncomfortable in the ward saying â€œshe is a real doctorâ€? who works in the hospital. Metcalfâ€™s portrayal is seemingly straightforward â€” sheâ€™s not happy with her circumstances but she will assert her dominance in any way she sees fit. Near the beginning of the
Courtesy of HBO
episode, at perhaps its most absurd, the nurses discover one of the patients has defecated on a chair. This sets off a chain reaction of bureaucratic messes where the difference between â€œfecesâ€? and â€œa fecesâ€? is comically explained by Dawn to the less experienced DeDe. Complicating matters, Jenna insists the stool be preserved for her research. Getting On manages to successfully turn pooping into a major plot point. When dealing with the sister of the dead character from the beginning of the episode, itâ€™s done in a sensitive and almost moving way. This moment at the end of episode shows the heart of the series. Getting On is a fantastic show with splendid performances while itâ€™s an incredibly dark and ugly series, itâ€™s also ridiculously hilarious. â€”Bradley Metlin
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thegazette • Tuesday, December 3, 2013
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
— Bill Gates
Tough love A list of reasons I for One Love can’t stand lists On Thursday, the USC executive got some tough love. A scant 200 people or so showed up to Thursday’s One Love event — most of whom were councillors, coordinators, commissioners, or other USC volunteers. Many of them received their tickets for free and were begged to attend in a desperate last-minute attempt by the USC executive to fill seats. On Thursday, students spoke loud and clear: Contrary to the USC’s assumptions, O-Week is nice, but they don’t really need to do it over again. One Love works well in O-Week when everyone exists in a state of permanent hype, but the end of November is probably the worst time to schedule a doover. Everyone is busy with term papers and studying — attending a repeat of something you already did during O-Week when you should be studying for five exams is not going to be high on the average student’s list of priorities. The event should have been scheduled for “Frost Week” in January, when students are unburdened by schoolwork. For that matter, we aren’t sure why this event was even held in the first place. Was there ever any demand for a second One Love rally? If Thursday’s insubstantial audience was any indication, probably not. Without ever clearly defining what the event was, or promoting it very heavily, the poor attendance comes as no surprise. One Love promotes positive values, which we support. No one wants to be the one to suggest that the USC shouldn’t host an event promoting universal love and tolerance. But the people who would benefit most from One Love’s message are not the ones who are going to be buying tickets — and they certainly won’t pay to go after having attended during O-Week already. The fact that the event was held in Alumni Hall, a venue that holds 2,274 people, is a testament to the USC’s deeply flawed assumptions about what students want. Barely 10 per cent of that number showed up, and fewer still actually purchased their tickets. Between the airfare, hotel stays and payment for the celebrity speakers, and utter failure to sell tickets, One Love was probably a financial catastrophe for the USC — but it’s unclear exactly how much students will have to pay, since the USC refuses to divulge the budget for the event. The executive learned a tough lesson on Thursday — let’s hope they take it to heart. —The Gazette Editorial Board
Hit ‘em where it Hurst Jesica Hurst ONLINE EDITOR If you’ve spent any time on the Internet in the past few months, you can sympathize with me when I say that list articles are the absolute worst. You know the ones I’m talking about. They spread around like a wildfire, clogging up your Facebook and Twitter feeds, discussing anything and everything from the “19 reasons your mom is your best friend” to the “6 ways to use your penis properly” (I’m not joking, that’s an actual article). While some of these lists can be somewhat entertaining — I mean, who can avoid looking at a post that includes 18 GIFs of people falling down — the ones that bother me the most discuss more serious topics like relationships, maturity, mental health and politics. The other day I came across an article on the digital magazine Thought Catalog titled “9 Ways Most People Ruin Their Own Relationships.” The author listed nine ways and followed each of them up with a short blurb explaining why each contributes to the death of relationships. But that was all. The author provided no explanations as to why he chose those nine reasons, no links to where he obtained the information from and no introduction or conclusion explaining that this piece was only based on his opinion. This is not a rarity. Several websites like Buzzfeed feature
list articles similar to the one above that also fail to include any of this important information. This is problematic because the points in these list articles — which are usually meant to be taken as advice for the reader — are not backed up by logical arguments or evidence. One way to make a point is with an argument based on a series of premises. This requires explanation and several logical steps that could not possibly fit into the one or two sentences that make up these list articles. All the reader is left with is a collection of conclusions, with no argument to back them up. This would be less of a problem if these lists were supported by actual evidence, such as an expert opinion or statistics based on a credible study. Most of the time, however, these lists do not even contain that. For example, in the article listed above, the first piece of advice is to “have a roommate you love,” because “there is nothing greater.” If the author had provided reasons why there is nothing greater than this, or provided a statistic showing that roommates tend to be lifelong friends, this piece of advice could have been very useful. Without such support, it’s useless because to the reader it is little more than the author’s thought vomit. So the next time you see someone share an article like “23 Reasons You Are Sabotaging Your Career,” think critically about the list’s strength before you pass it along. They may be entertaining, but one would get a lot more use out of a dry yet well-researched article that thoroughly examines the issues — even if it doesn’t feature GIFs of puppies.
Volume 107, Issue 48 www.westerngazette.ca
Julian Uzielli Editor-In-Chief Cameron M. Smith Deputy Editor Jason Sinukoff Managing Editor
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Your anonymous letters to life Dear Life, What happened to the lull between midterms and finals this year? Dear Life, Why can’t students figure out that the 34 Medway goes straight to campus in the afternoon? It’s even a few minutes ahead of the 13 most of the time. Dear Life, I’m supposed to be researching for my essay about Facebook, but I can’t seem to get off Facebook... Dear Life, Am I the only one who hates ugly Christmas sweaters? Dear Life, The “Gazette Tested” articles are awesome. Dear Life, Did Kevin Hurren become Editor-in-Chief of The Gazette? There have been so many penises in the paper lately... Dear Life, I looked ridiculous trying to keep my balance walking down UC hill last night. I’ve never been good at iceskating, so trying it downhill was nearly a catastrophe! wgaz.ca/dearlife Letter to the Editor
Oil pullout not opinion of all
Courtesy of Thought Catalog
Gazette Composing & Gazette Advertising Ian Greaves, Manager Robert Armstrong
Gazette Staff 2013-2014
Christine Bonk, Jonathan Dunn, Sam Frankel, Stephanie Grella, Kevin Heslop, Jenny Jay, Nathan Kanter, Taylor Lasota, Katie Lear, Emory Liu, Cheryl Madliger, Sara Mai Chitty, Soheil Milani, Vidhant Pal, Lily Robinson, Tiffany Shepherd, Hamza Tariq, Josh Teixera, Anne Wozney
News Richard Raycraft Megan Devlin Iain Boekhoff Jeremiah Rodriguez Arts & Life Brent Holmes Mary Ann Ciosk Bradley Metlin Sports Daniel Weryha Nusaiba Al-Azem Caitlin Martin Newnham Opinions Kevin Hurren
RE: “Should Western invest in oil?” Thursday, November 28 Letter to the Editor: If Western pulled their investments in oil, would that really be in the students’ best interest? These companies come to Western each year to hold workshops, give guest lectures, and recruit students from nearly every faculty. Many students are studying hard to work for one of these companies when they graduate. Pulling out $10-million worth of investments would send a message that we don’t all agree with. —Shawn Wheatley Earth Science V
Associate Kaitlyn McGrath Aaron Zaltzman Photography Logan Ly Bill Wang Kelly Samuel Graphics Naira Ahmed Illustrations Christopher Miszczak John Prata Online Jesica Hurst Graphics/Video Mike Laine
• Please recycle this newspaper •
thegazette • Tuesday, December 3, 2013
factattack New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees needs two more touchdown passes for his sixth straight season with 30 or more touchdowns, which would be arecord breaking feat.
Rundown >> The Western Mustangs women’s hockey team won three straight games this past weekend as they defeated team China, St. Norbert and the Queen’s Gaels > The 2–0 victory over the first placed Gaels moved the Mustangs into fifth place in the OUA and only four games out of first.
‘Stangs win sixth consecutive national title Western cheerleaders dominate national competition Caitlin Martin Newnham SPORTS EDITOR Western’s cheerleaders headed to Brampton, Ontario this past weekend for the 2013 University and Open National Cheerleading Championships. The Mustangs’ University Large Co-ed Division won the title for the sixth consecutive year. The Mustangs outscored their opponents in the championship with scores of 209.9 and 214 points in the first two rounds, respectively. Their overall score of 421.9 was untouchable by the second place Queen’s Gaels, who walked away with a score of 410.1. Along with the Large co-ed Division win, the Mustangs All Girl team placed second with 411.3 points behind Laurier who scored 442.7 points. “That team just absolutely kicked ass — they were absolutely fantastic. Laurier did win it, and they have a very strong All Girl program there. But that’s our best showing so far, coming in second,” Mustangs coach David-Lee Tracey said. “The University of Guelph — surprisingly — they’ve won the last two years in a row and we beat them out. So I’m really happy for that team, they’ve been working their asses off.” In addition, Mustangs Jordyn Kent and Loni Maxwell took first and second place respectively in the women’s tumbling competition. This was Kent’s first year competing with the Mustangs, but her success was not surprising considering the youth of Western’s team this year. “We had 35 kids on the floor — 18 of them were rookies and 14 of them are freshmen […] the higher the level of the kids coming in, the better you can do later. We’re only going to be graduating off about
Courtesy of westernmustangs.ca
six people this year, so it has a lot of health built into [the team] and everything,” Tracey explained. “I like an energetic young team for sure, but it was abnormally young this year.” The Mustangs have an inverted “practice” schedule compared to most varsity teams. Instead of participating in smaller competitions and building up to Nationals, they compete in Nationals first and smaller contests follow. Cheerleading is not regulated like other varsity sports and teams can therefore begin practice in the summer. The Mustangs start practicing in May and ramp it up in July when they travel to Tennessee for training camp.
It’s difficult for the cheerleaders to compete before the National Championships because tryouts are in September and the team needs time to practice as a unit before competing. “You know what our warm-up is? Football season. The more stuff we can do at football, the better we do at Nationals. Certainly, having a good football program with an extended season just gives us more opportunities to do more stuff,” Tracey said. “I figure if we can do that stuff in the rain and you know, in the street — oops, did I say street? — It just makes it a whole lot easier when we’re in a controlled environment.” The unconventional
practice locations were necessary for preparing for the setting of the National Championship. According to Tracey, the National Cheerleading Championships is the only competition in North America that allows fans to come so close to the competition floor that they can place their hands on it. “One of our guys actually stepped out of bounds and stepped right on a kid. He landed his tumbling pass and made one extra step, boom right onto this kid. But that’s part of the game. We call it the mosh pit,” Tracey chuckled. “It’s awesome, it makes so much energy.” The Mustangs are currently
planning the competitions that they will attend in the new year. However, for now, Western’s cheerleaders will welcome a welldeserved break from practices over the holidays for the first time since May. “We go on the road after this. We’ll go to California in March, a lot of times we go to a big huge competition in Atlanta in February, and maybe one other little dinky one someplace,” Tracey said. The Mustangs can continue their season with confidence under the guidance of Tracey, who has trained the team the same way for 30 years. “We just run lots, lift lots and recruit good people,” Tracey said.
Mustangs take down Team China Western delivers 8–1 welcome to foreign hockey team Nusaiba Al-Azem SPORTS EDITOR A Chinese flag was taped to the glass in Thompson arena on Thursday, and in perfect foreshadowing for the game to come, fell to the ground early on. The Mustangs women’s hockey team took a slight break from regulation games to play two exhibition games last Thursday and Friday, beginning with their fourth-ever matchup against China’s national team. The game was part of Team China’s annual showcasing trip in Canada and the Mustangs’ 8–1
win snapped their four-game losing streak. “We’ve been struggling lately, and I think a game like this, the girls got a chance to handle the puck, talk, move the puck, and I think this is going to help our confidence,” Mustangs’ head coach Chris Higgins said. Mustangs’ forward Stacey Scott, who, according to Higgins, has been having trouble scoring recently, turned her luck around and pulled off a hat trick as well as several assists, and was an integral part to Western’s dominant offence. The team defeated China with >> see WIN BIG pg.8
Tao Feng GAZETTE
thegazette • Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Mustangs win big
Tao Feng GAZETTE
JUST LIKE BOBBY. Mustangs on-and-off forward Sydney Kidd secured her permanent position as a forward on Thursday in an extremely successful game against Team China. Kidd was one goal shy of a hat trick, and secured many assists. On a nice rush down the ice, she made a deke move that resulted in a goal. >> WIN BIG continued from pg.7
ease, scoring the first goal of the game less than three minutes into the first period. Throughout the period this offence would not relent, ending the frame with the Mustangs up 4–0. The second period mirrored the first, with a goal from Mustangs’ defenceman Sydney Kidd just over three minutes into the period. Mustangs’ forward Brittany Clapham scored four minutes later, and by the end of the second period Scott scored her third goal of the game to secure a 7–0 advantage. In addition to an assertive offence, the Mustangs made clean plays to minimize turnovers and play an effective defensive game. Team China entered the third period a little more aggressively. On a deke that led to a shot finding the back of the net, China’s Fang Xin scored her team’s only goal of the game. The Mustangs would retaliate with another goal by forward Ally Galloway to finish the game with a score of 8–1. “It was kind of a shocker I guess, because usually they put up a good fight,” Mustangs’ defenceman Michelle Saunders said. “But it’s always good to do that big of a win, especially since we’re on a losing
streak right now. It just killed it.” Mustangs’ forward Megan Taylor, who scored in the postgame shootout, said that the wide margin by which the Mustangs won could be explained in terms of type of play. “I think it’s just a different game [they play],” she said. “We’re more physical in the OUA compared to what they play so I think that probably gave us an advantage.” The Gazette spoke to interpreter Yun Hong, who translated on behalf of Team China’s head coach Zhang Zhinan. “They think Western’s team is one of the best teams they’ve encountered in Canada. They’ve played four games in Canada this time and they think this team is the best one,” Hong said. “They also think that they did not perform as well as they expect[ed] because they are not suitable for the weather [and conditions].” Higgins is optimistic about this exhibition break’s effects on the regular season. “We were struggling a little bit right now, we’ve got some injuries, we’ve got some issues just with inconsistency but I’m not worried at all,” he said. “We’ve got a very good team and you can see out on the ice, we’ll be fine.”
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UPCOMING EVENTS SATURDAY DEC. 7 St. Luke’s (Broughdale) ACW, 1204 Richmond St. N at Bernard, will be holding their annual Old Fashioned Christmas Bazaar & Silent Auction between 12 and 3.00 p.m. A chili lunch will be available for purchase. Tea room. Jewellery, treasure table, books, preserves, marmalade and Christmas baking plus many other items. Enter off Bernard Ave. Parking on Mayfair, Bernard and Raymond. Free admission. We are wheel chair accessible.
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