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TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2014
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Candidates call for a re-vote as USC moves to investigate elections >> pg. 2–3
VOLUME 107, ISSUE 77
USC unveils highly anticipated budget Iain Boekhoff NEWS EDITOR After toiling away for months, University Students’ Council vicepresident finance Spencer Brown finally got to break out his vintage blue loafers for the grand unveiling of the 2014–15 USC budget. Brown presented a balanced budget at last Wednesday’s council meeting, while also limiting the burden on students, who will basically only see inflationary increases to their student fees. “I am very satisfied with it, I think it is the best budget for the USC yet,” Brown said in an e-mail. “I say that because I think next year’s should be even better and so on.” The USC has faced several years of fiscal pressure, notably having to make up a $450,000 shortfall with the affiliate agreement two years ago. Even with a “skeleton staff” and services and space operating at maximum capacity, the USC will face deficits in the upcoming years even without any growth in the organization. However, this budget aims at streamlining costs to those that use USC services, rather than have the student body as a whole
pay regardless if they use the service, increasing the capacity of the USC to perform its core mission of advocacy, while also limiting student fee increases. “We got rid of the stabilization fund, and balanced the budget, becoming fiscally responsible again,” Brown said. “We also tried to get back to our mandate and add volunteer services and advocacy to enhance the student experience.” Though the USC is projected to finish 2013–14 with a $35,000 deficit, Brown’s budget for next year is nearly balanced, with a projected deficit of only $4,400. The budget also proposes the creation of a few new full-time positions and departments. A new student advocacy office will be created to ensure consistency in advocacy points through the turnover that occurs within the USC every year. A volunteer department will professionalize and codify volunteer positions within the USC to create defined outcomes for volunteer jobs. Like the student advocacy office, this department will work through Government Services. Finally, the budget recommends that the internship program expands — in fact doubles — the
number of interns, and this will require a new human resources staffer. A focus on an increase in volunteers is seen with an additional increase in the number of associate vice-presidents. They will report directly to the executive and oversee commissioners and coordinators within their portfolio. Currently, there are six associate vice-presidents and the budget proposes an increase to 10. This would be coupled with an increase in commissioners and coordinators as well. “Often the limiting factor on the government side is not money, but time. We don’t have enough time to do the things we want to do,” Brown said. “So if we have more well-trained people on the government side we should be able to provide more for students.” The budget also looks to shore up drains on the USC’s finances. The health plan’s current administration fee of $1.50 is insufficient to cover the bill the USC receives from Western for administering the plan. This means there will be a $1 increase in the administration fee to all students under the health plan to cover both the health plan and dental plan’s administration,
rather than having students who opt out also have to pay the difference. In addition, there will be increases to user fees for the clubs system to shift the cost to users rather than have those who are not involved in clubs pay for something they do not use. Currently, all students subsidize 93 per cent of the clubs system. To remedy this, there will be a slight increase in the fees per member that clubs pay the USC. Food services is projected to have an outstanding year, with The Spoke making $229,000 and the Wave also making a profit of $16,000. However, not all of the USC’s services have been as successful. Creative Services, which is a the newly created service for graphic design, promotional materials, printing and desktop publishing, is projected to have a loss of $120,000. In addition, despite a balanced budget this year, the USC is projecting deficits in the next few years. By 2015–16, accounting for anticipated growth, the USC is projected to have a deficit of over $116,000. Brown said creativity would be
necessary from future USC budgets in order to make up the projected deficits. “We could do more user fees, we could raise prices, we could trim the organization,” Brown said. “The point is there is tons of options available and we don’t have the information to make any moves right now, the only takeaway people should be taking is to start thinking about creative solutions.” Brown said creating the budget was a big undertaking and he is happy that the majority of the work has been done. “I had never done this before so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a lot of hard work and I am proud with what we got down on paper,” Brown said. “I have to give major credit to Pat [Whelan], he really cared about the budget this year and I believe it really shows in the product we created. I couldn’t have done it without him.” Consultations on the budget between councillors and Brown will occur throughout the next two weeks. The USC will have a special meeting this Wednesday to debate the budget and will vote on whether to approve or reject it on March 12.
Mike Laine GAZETTE
thegazette â€˘ Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Caught on Camera
Spencer Fairweather GAZETTE
HAIL TO THE KING. This Friday marked elections for Gazette front office staff. Next yearâ€™s torchbearers are, from left to right: Richard Raycraft, managing editor, Iain Bokehoff, editor-in-chief and Brent Holmes, deputy editor. These three dapper gentlemen will represent the front office for Volume 108 of Canadaâ€™s only daily student newspaper.
CROSSWORD By Eugene Sheffer
To re-vote or not to re-vote? Errors in council election spark debate Richard Raycraft NEWS EDITOR An ineligible candidateâ€™s appearance on the Social Science Councillor ballot during University Studentsâ€™ Council elections has raised calls for a re-vote, including from the current Social Science Studentsâ€™ Council executive. David Aideyan, a Huron student, mistakenly appeared on the ballot. He received 194 votes in the election despite not actively campaigning and informing the Governance Office of his ineligibility. Calls for a re-vote focus on the fact that it was generally a tight race with one
Solution to puzzle on page 8
candidate, Tanya Bhakshar, missing out on a council position by one vote. Pashv Shah, chief returning officer for the USC, said Aideyan accidentally appeared on the ballot due to a communication issue. â€œI immediately suspended his account on elections night,â€? he said. â€œIt was assumed by myself that the suspension on the elections night account meant he wouldnâ€™t be visible as a candidate for the remainder of the elections.â€? â€œBut thatâ€™s not what happened â€” they were still technically allowed to be a candidate on elections night,â€? he continued. That wasnâ€™t the only issue for the Social Science councillor election. Several spelling errors were also reported, with candidate Andy Nguyen appearing as â€œAnfyâ€? Nguyen. Nguyen confirmed to The Gazette that he had e-mailed Shah the error, but to Shahâ€™s personal e-mail as opposed to his CRO e-mail. Shah said that because of this, he didnâ€™t receive the notice in time to change the ballot, and the name erroneously appeared. Shah expressed his belief that the votes received by Aideyan did
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not affect the result of the election, mentioning that the final ballot was sent out to all the candidates prior to the election. â€œObviously there was an error made in the initial ballot, but I do stand firm in believing that when the ballot was sent out to both the individual in question, who was a Huron student, as well as the remainder of the candidates, they had an opportunity to contact us to say there was an error made, and we could have fixed this error before the ballot was released,â€? he said. â€œThere was no intent to campaign or intent to gather votes, which means the votes that he did gather were misinformed votes, which means they would have been split evenly amongst all the other candidates if the individual was not there.â€? Shah has denied requests for a re-vote. Aideyan could not be reached for comment. Disagreeing with Shah is Lisa Le Nguyen, the current Social Science Studentsâ€™ Council president, who believes that a re-vote is in order. â€œThe fact that one person had 194 votes that could have been allocated elsewhere, that makes the election invalid, completely,â€? she said. â€œI think the only thing that could be done is a re-vote.â€? Le Nguyen and the rest of the SSSC executive support a re-vote, including Mike McGregor, vicepresident academic. â€œWeâ€™ll be calling for a re-election of the Social Science councillors,â€? McGregor said. â€œSeeing as there was an ineligible student listed on the ballot who got almost 200 votes surely would change election outcome, seeing as one of the positions was decided by a single vote.â€? Jack Litchfield, SSSC presidentelect, said that while a re-vote would be nice, it might be impractical given current circumstances. â€œIt would certainly be ideal for a more accountable election, but at the same time as weâ€™ve seen with the re-vote for Health Sciences, I donâ€™t think itâ€™s very practical,â€? he said, also mentioning time constraints on holding a re-vote. For Le Nguyen, however, the way forward is clear. â€œI think the only thing that could be done is a re-vote,â€? she said.
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. ÂŠ 2002 by Kings Features Syndicate, Inc.
thegazette • Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Elections mishaps pile up USC to investigate Previous years’ problems not yet fixed elections problems Dorothy Kessler GAZETTE STAFF The University Students’ Council’s online election system is drawing criticism from candidates and students, after the election was plagued by technical glitches and problems for the third consecutive year. This year alone, there have been several problems with the USC elections with two appeals being filed to the elections committee. “As an organization which depends on annual elections, the technical glitches that we have seen over the last three years are highly concerning,” Matt Helfand, USC president-elect, said. This year, there were three main issues that plagued the elections. All the problems had to do with the improper classification of students with the registrar — an issue seen in previous years. “We had an issue with the Health Science president’s ballot, where around 400 students would not be able to vote for the Health Studies ballot because they were registered under Health Science instead of Health Studies with the registrar,” Pashv Shah, the chief returning officer of the elections committee, said. This problem was fixed by 10:30 a.m. on the first day of voting, which affected two and a half
hours of elections. An appeal was filed by Gurvir Talsi and Megan Simpson, who were running for the position of Health Studies Students’ Council president, on the basis that their voter turnout may have been affected by the glitch. Shah explained that the elections committee determined that the glitch did not result in a significant difference and that Tara Chen, who won the election, would have won again if a re-election were held. The second issue was with third and fourth-year medical science students. For academic purposes, they are actually Schulich students, but are still eligible to vote in undergraduate elections for the Faculty of Science. However, they were mislabeled and were unable to vote — the students should have been listed under the Science faculty for voting. As a solution, the committee combined the two voting blocks for the election. A third issue occurred with the Health Science presidential elections, as Fazi Toor was disqualified and his name was initially kept off the ballot. Toor then filed an appeal that was granted and led to a reelection being held last week — from which he was disqualified again, making Morgan Jennings the winner in that election. Last year, problems with the
classification of students under the wrong faculty also led to issues with the USC elections. “[Last year] we had Huron students that could vote for main campus positions,” Shah said. “This caused a few issues and caused the elections to be delayed [by] 12 hours.” Last year, the ballots opened at midnight but were shut down 45 minutes later due to problems regarding affiliate campus students voting for main-campus positions — something affiliate students are not eligible to do. The ballot was later re-opened for noon the following day with the glitches fixed. “In our role as the elections committee, and my role as a CRO, we have to make sure the elections are as fair as possible. Not everyone is aware of all the minute details that result in a specific decision, and that can result in arguments or misconceptions about the committee’s nonpartisan and unbiased view,” Shah said. Helfand was hopeful that Western could look forward to a smooth running of the online elections next year. “We intend to very carefully look at the way we run elections, and during our term we intend explore all options to ensure that our election process is fair and glitch-free,” Helfand said.
Jeremiah Rodriguez NEWS EDITOR After several hours of debate last Wednesday, the University Students’ Council voted to form a committee to look into problems plaguing the last three elections. An ad-hoc committee of seven elected councillors will be elected at tomorrow’s council meeting to investigate problems such as the mix-ups of faculty voting blocks, the mislabelling of candidates, and the case of a Huron candidate running in the faculty of Social Science on main campus. The motion was put forth during the “new business” period of Wednesday’s meeting, which some councillors argued had failed to give adequate time for review through existing USC committees. Supporters of the motion, like law councillor James Hirsh, argued that election problems needed to be addressed by council now. “It seems clear that there are certain systemic problems with the elections that have gone on and some investigation seems to be required. It’s unfortunate that no one has taken action on it earlier,” Hirsh said. Speaker of council Andrew Lalka explained that a two-thirds majority was declared necessary to support last Wednesday’s motion, a decision meant to address the dissenting councillors’ concerns.
“The first is the right of all members to receive advance notice for the purposes of consideration. The second is to protect the rights of absent members,” Lalka wrote in an e-mail. “Those who were not able to make it to the meeting might have been more inclined to be present, or may have been able to have passed along their thoughts, comments, and questions had they have known that a particular item would be discussed.” The motion’s author, Jack Litchfield, argued the upcoming turnover of council prompted the motion’s creation. “If there had been more time, we could have gone through the proper channels but I got seriously injured during the break and I wasn’t able to do the due diligence I wanted to,” Litchfield said. “But if we held off there’s a good chance it never would have happened at all […] We’ve already had to schedule more meetings just to deal with the budget and we only have a few more meetings before we turn over to the new council,” he added. Engineering councillor Tom Grainger, who asked to table the motion, was not available for comment. On March 26, the committee will release a compiled report based on their findings and afterwards, a new committee will be formed with councillors from the 2014–15 legislative year.
thegazette • Tuesday, March 4, 2014
tuesdaytweet Just finished my morning workout, heading to Holywood Blvd today
— @TOMayorFord on his first morning in L.A. after Jimmy Kimmel invited him to the Oscars
RENT: Audiences will take it, not leave it Sarah Botelho GAZETTE STAFF The whimsical cast dances across the stage, spiraling in and out of tableaus. Dressed in a wash of coloured costumes, their voices blend into the harmonies many know and love. Perfectly synchronized, they come to a halt — a single spotlight moving towards Mimi and Roger. The cast is frozen as the couple sings deep into each other’s eyes under the gentle spotlight. The two of them share a kiss as the final notes resonate, silenced by the yell: “Okay, awesome job everybody! Fifteen minutes for lunch and then we’re back to it!” The above description is from this year’s Theatre Western cast, as they performed the song “La Vie Boheme” from RENT this weekend at one of their final rehearsals. It’s shaping up to be a success for Theatre Western. “It’s a hard show,” says Rafaella Rosenberg, the show’s co-director. “We chose it because a lot of people tend to do fun shows because they draw a big crowd. But RENT covers a lot of different topics that aren’t easy to talk about, so it’s a very important thing to do.” Rosenberg is right — this show demands challenging vocal performances, top-notch acting, and even a little dancing ability. RENT tells the story of a group of bohemians living in the East Village of New York City, struggling with life, love, AIDS and the impacts they have on the world. It’s no surprise
Photo courtesy of David DiBrina
WE MIGHT PAY SOME “RENT.” The cast of RENT practices for their upcoming theatrical run beginning on Wednesday night. There likely will be large amounts of jazz hands and other fun musical things.
that the content of RENT has always leaned more towards the racy side, but Rosenberg and her crew vowed to preserve as much of the story’s original content as possible. The show’s producer, Kyle Fish, agreed with this, acknowledging that Theatre Western was given some broad guidelines to follow with respect to the show’s content. “USC basically said, ‘put on a really great show’ and we were able to make this the show it needs to be,” he says. “We aren’t doing a whitewashed version, cutting parts out.
RENT covers a lot of different topics that aren’t easy to talk about, so it’s a very important thing to do — Rafaella Rosenberg
We’re doing it in all its glory.” This dedicated ensemble has been working long days and nights since the first week of January. But Fish reported that the sometimes eight hour rehearsal days weren’t as bad as they sound. “We’ve got a really great cast, crew and production team,” he says. “It’s been great. But it is a lot of work in two months.” But what if musicals aren’t your thing? The cast and crew of RENT were quick to jump in and add a variety of reasons why one should
make their way out to the Mustang Lounge to see this show live. “It’s the first time in years that Theatre Western has done a show with such serious undertones,” Lauren Rebelo, co-director says. Peter Karle, music director, shared his own psychological interpretations of the play. “By the end, every single character has kind of enveloped inside of every single character,” he says. “You can see their characters fading away and a bit of the people trying so hard to let go. That’s the beauty of the show.” Karle volunteered the idea that there truly is something in RENT for everyone. “They can see the hurt, they can see the joy; they’re going to cry, and they’re going to love,” says Karle. “And that’s why people are going to love coming to see RENT — because they’re going to get their emotions sold to them.” Patrick Callegaro, the show’s second producer, revealed how proud he was of how far the cast and the club of Theatre Western have come in the last two years. “I think this is a great ending to a great season,” he says. “We walked away with DISH awards this year for Boeing Boeing, and I think that if they weren’t cancelled, this show would have a good chance of walking out with some.” RENT will be opening up to all students on Wednesday March 5 at 8:00 p.m. The tickets are $12 for students and $15 to the general public.
Know what nutrition is in your instant food Janice Fung GAZETTE STAFF As Western students get back into their midterm grind, many are tempted to turn to frozen foods and instant meals to fill them up. While frozen pizzas and instant noodles aren’t known for their health benefits, there are a couple things that students should look for on the packaging of their foods that can help them make healthier decisions. Lisa Cianfrini, registered dietitian and co-teacher of food and nutrition at Brescia University College, gives students a couple of tips on choosing healthier instant meals. Cianfrini suggests that students focus on what is written on the back of the package instead of looking at the front. “A lot of front of packaging labeling is not regulated. ‘Natural’ is not a regulated term. It doesn’t mean anything. So what I tell people — ignore it! Just ignore everything that is on the front,” Cianfrini says. Cianfrini encourages students to look for the nutritional fact table and the ingredient list on the back of the packaging. “On the nutrition facts panel, there’s a five per cent and 15 percent rule,” Cianfrini explains. “So when you’re looking at percentage daily value, when there’s five per cent or less, it’s a little bit. And when there’s 15 per cent or more, it’s a lot. So if
there’s something you want to get more of, you want to try to get 15 per cent or more per serving.” Typically people try to increase their intake of vitamins and minerals, but it is equally important to recognize what should be limited in prepared meals. “[Prepared foods] tend to be higher in fat — saturated and trans fats — and sodium. You want to try to find [foods] that [have] five per cent or less of the per cent daily value [of fats and sodium],” Cianfrini says. For things like sugar, which don’t have percentage daily values, Cianfrini recommends the lower the better. “Just keep in mind that every five grams of sugar is about a teaspoon of sugar. So sometimes you can find meals like chicken teriyaki that have 27 grams of sugar, that’s like having five teaspoons of sugar,” Cianfrini says. Chianfrini also recommends looking for shorter ingredient lists as it means there are fewer additives and preservatives in the food. “You [also] want to look for things that have whole foods. So you want to look for things that have vegetables […], that have some source of protein, or a legume or whole grains,” Chianfrini says. Overall, you want to make sure that you understand what is listed in the ingredient list to ensure it’s
Bradley Metlin GAZETTE
real food. Western’s on campus grocery store, Grocery Checkout, offers a variety of healthy convenience-type foods. Jason Marcus, assistant manager of the store, provides students with a few recommendations. Firstly, he suggests an instant noodle option that can be prepared within four minutes. “We just launched a rice ramen noodle soup,” explains Marcus. “It’s a gluten-free option with a ricebased noodle. It has less sodium than your regular noodle soups like the Nongshim noodle bowls [which are] notorious for high
sodium. These are a little more on the healthier side of things. ” Canned soup is also a convenient option for students. “All it takes is just a few minutes on the stovetop. We do have some organic options that, again, have less sodium and less items that aren’t as good for your health […] like the Campbell’s soups,” Marcus says. Finally, Marcus recommends Annie’s macaroni and cheese. “It’s kind of like Kraft Dinner, but an organic version. It has 80 per cent organic ingredients,” he says. While these tips can be helpful for the next trip to the frozen aisle
of the grocery store, it is always better to prepare food for oneself using wholesome ingredients. Cianfrini’s final recommendation for students is to learn to cook for themselves, rather than rely soley on instant meals. “I guess I’m a big proponent of learning how to cook and take care of yourself. At the end, you save money, it doesn’t take more time, and it’s better for you. So instead of loading up on these processed foods, learn how to make a couple staple things and make them for yourself and freeze them. It’s so much better for you,” she says.
thegazette • Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Neeson won’t be stopped
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Robert Nanni Jr. GAZETTE STAFF GGGFF Non-Stop Director: Jaume Collet-Serra Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Corey Stoll, Nate Parker Non-Stop is an action-filled, mystery-laden film that seeks to keep viewers on the edge of their seats waiting for what will happen next. Although it does exactly that, it does so at the cost of casting Liam Neeson as Bill Marks: An undercover, alcoholic U.S. federal air marshal with a fear of flying. As overused as stock characters get, Neeson takes the cake on this one, once again playing the role of a stubborn man who has been personally attacked and is determined to have justice served. Following Marks’ airplane’s departure to London, he begins to receive a slew of cryptic text messages asking that $150-million be transferred to a specified bank account. In doing so, the unnamed extortionist puts the account in
Marks’ name in an attempt to frame him. Adding to this sense of panic, the mysterious texter threatens to murder someone on the plane for every 20 minutes that pass without having received the desired funds. Staged almost completely on a trans-Atlantic flight, Non-Stop follows Marks’ search for the extortionist-turned-murderer. To make his job significantly harder, Marks deals with the murder of another air marshal, as well as the poisonings of a passenger and the captain. In addition to this, terrified flight attendants and travellers start to ask a lot of questions for some odd reason. Facing his problems with brute force, unnecessary violence and angry threats, Neeson never fails to escape his typecast role: Ablebodied, yet deeply troubled. Among personal issues, he encounters some chemistry from Jen Summers, the female lead played by Julianne Moore, and is accused of hijacking the plane, terrorizing its passengers and blackmailing the airline. Following three deaths just more than one hour into the flight, the vicious texter initiates a bomb with
a 30-minute time limit, forcing Marks and his crew — picked from the selection of travellers — to work quickly. Throughout the entire movie, the audience is tasked with determining the culprit for a duration longer than most Hollywood films of this sort can sustain. Due to the efforts of Collet-Serra, this is not a production in which people can figure things out mid-movie. Is it the nerdy looking man who, despite being on the flight to London, claimed to be going to Amsterdam? What about the elderly couple in the back row? The little girl waiting to “meet her father upon descent”? The possibilities are endless, making this movie a non-stop guessing game. Highlighting the façade of American security, Non-Stop provides 106 minutes of high-impact violence and nail-biting suspense. Though Neeson’s character is ultimately predictable, the same cannot be said for the movie as a whole. Nevertheless, Neeson provides a very particular set of skills, elevating this film to a B-status level at best.
GGGGF Black Al Trifecta Unbelievably, London’s hip-hop scene isn’t only pumping out regurgitated fluff-hop. In fact, several artists are putting out lyrically dense, deep hip-hop with fantastic production — none more so than Black Al with his latest EP, Trifecta. Consisting of a mere three songs, Trifecta is all too brief, in the best possible sense. The production and melodies — composed by Silver Soul — are so well done, it is shocking realizing they accompany the rapping of Western engineering student Fadesola Adedayo. The first track on Trifecta, called “Hellen Keller,” starts with a Tronesque 80’s electro vibe, with a tempo so chill you’re liable to catch a cold. Adedayo’s rich voice complements the melody well, and the accompanying vocals are well-composed, if a tad overwhelming when amalgamated with the dense melody.
“Dark Liquor” is arguably the best track on this EP, unapologetically intimate, and pushing Adedayo’s flow to its zenith. While at times he seems like he’s straining to keep up with the intricate beat, Adedayo manages to keep it together for the disappointingly short 1:30. The melody is simple and dark, reflecting the title well and the song’s themes of entrapment and societal dissatisfaction. The concluding track is “Bright Lights” and was obviously meant to be the crown jewel of Trifecta. The music and beat sound like they were composed by someone Kanye employs. Unfortunately, Adedayo’s voice seems somewhat ill-fitted to the track, and his rapping is a tad halting, without a seamless flow. It seems to lack a degree of intensity that a track as dense as “Bright Lights” requires. That said, the lyrics possess a degree of authenticity and earnestness that makes you want to chill, grab a beer and talk about life with Black Al. Put simply, Trifecta isn’t perfect, but it’s a damn good start for Black Al. The beats and melodies are well composed, the lyrics hit home and Adedayo is competent as a rapper. While his delivery could be tinkered with, it’s hard to deny the depth and maturity this EP displays. Trifecta acts as a tantalizing glimpse into the future of Black Al, and gets the mouth watering for a full-length release. — Cam “Smoth” Smith
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Unbelievably, Oscars OK Ellen excels and winners were warranted Holmes is on the Case
Brent Holmes ARTS & LIFE EDITOR If you’ve ever read any of my other columns on the Oscars, you’ll know that for me, the Oscars are kind of like Christmas, except every year I get coal. I was the Oscar grinch in past years, but this year the Oscars made my heart grow three sizes Sunday night — and not just because I went 21 for 24 on my Oscar pool. For the first time in forever the Oscars show was incredibly well put together. Ellen let it go with a hilarious opening monologue, ordering pizzas and giving the bill to Harvey Weinstein, and making Twitter crash. Meanwhile, Lupita Nyong’o gave an amazing acceptance speech that would melt even the most frozen hearts. It wasn’t a completely flawless execution. The long tribute montages featuring questionable movie selections such as Transformers and Man of Steel were needless and time consuming. The show went at least 40 minutes over its intended run time and near constant commercial breaks made for lengthy waits between award presentations — at one point, they went 30 minutes
without giving anyone Oscar gold. However, if there was one thing wrong about the Oscars this year, it was that Ellen knocking it out of the park was the most unpredictable thing to happen that night. Even that wasn’t hard given that even if she just showed up she would be better than last year’s host. More than this, Ellen worked angles of the Oscars that haven’t previously been tackled before. Trying to get the most retweeted picture and crashing twitter is genius from a marketing standpoint and reaches out to the younger, tech-savvy generation. The award distribution was incredibly easy to figure out — it was obvious Gravity would clean house on the tech awards, the actor and writer picks were clear cut from the outset, and Frozen would take Best Animated Feature and Best Song. Perhaps the weakest aspect of the Oscars is that the Best Picture snubs worked against building an interesting final night. 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Nebraska were the only films really deserving of Best Picture and the former two seemed to be the only ones in the running. Snubbing Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis was ultimately a bad decision in terms of making for the most engaging night. Her and Dallas Buyers Club were solid dark horses but were never going to win the night, and The Wolf of Wall Street didn’t have a shot in hell — being one of the
most offensive films of the year — and American Hustle’s attempts at Oscar baiting were largely unsuccessful. Meanwhile, nominations like Captain Phillips and Philomena were a waste of time as they were not going to win or bring anything interesting to the Best Picture race. On the whole, it was a great night for the Oscars. Ellen was a great host and, God willing, she will be back next year. The winners were mostly good choices, albeit not adding anything new or surprising. In the coming years, the Oscars will likely have to look at streamlining their broadcast and making sure to be more critical in their selections for the Best Picture race. In the meantime, they’ve effectively killed my alter-ego of Oscar the Grouch — maybe that’s enough of an accomplishment for this year.
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thegazette • Tuesday, March 4, 2014
There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.
— Mark Twain
Budget looks Kaling called out at Oscars promising Last Wednesday, Spencer Brown, vice-president finance for the University Students’ Council, presented a budget to the rest of council detailing a number of organizational and financial changes for next year. A more complete breakdown of the budget can be seen on the front page of today’s Gazette, but two points are of particular interest. First, an increased user fee for Western’s club system, and second, a full-time USC staff member dedicated to advocacy projects. The increased user fee for the clubs system would see club members pay slightly more to the club up front, depending less on USC subsidization, which currently draws from the student body at large. Though the clubs system has enriched the lives of many students, it’s not exactly fair for everyone to pay in full towards club initiatives — many of which are niche interests or club trips, both of which cater to a small and select group of students. Though some clubs do benefit the larger student population, most of these organizations have already been absorbed into the USC itself such as EnvrioWestern, Ethnocutlural Support Services and PrideWestern. The USC should, however, be wary of pulling too much funding from the clubs system — as these groups do give inspired opportunities for students to build community, develop leadership and pursue non-academic interests. As for the plan to incorporate a full-time advocacy officer into the structure of the USC, a similar critical eye should be used as this goes forward. Overall, the idea of hiring a constant figure to offer support to the ever-changing USC external portfolio is a great idea. With so much turnover, the vice-president external and his or her student team plays quite a bit of catch-up, needing to become familiar with past, present, and future advocacy projects within their relatively short term. A staff member would not only ease with this transition, but would also better equip whichever students are elected to advocate for their constituents who, currently, have little more than year-end reports and memory to expand from. That said, the USC needs to make sure this position doesn’t become just another bureaucratic clog in an already clustered USC structure. Still, the fact that the USC is prioritizing advocacy to this extent is a refreshing reminder that not all campaign promises are forgotten. — The Gazette Editorial Board
Volume 107, Issue 77 www.westerngazette.ca
Julian Uzielli Editor-In-Chief Cameron M. Smith Deputy Editor Jason Sinukoff Managing Editor
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Seven Minutes in Kevin
Kevin Hurren OPINIONS EDITOR The 86th Academy Awards came and went this Sunday with its usual set of highlights, lowlights and awkward moments. If you want to hear more about Ellen, 12 Years a Slave and pizza parties you should turn back to the Arts & Life section. I, however, grimaced most during a moment on the red carpet. I’m not talking about a fashion faux pas or Jennifer Lawrence tripping yet again. I’m talking about a red carpet reporter asking Mindy Kaling what colour man she likes. The uncomfortable exchange began with an E! reporter questioning Kaling on her type. After jokingly replying “good looking,” the reporter pressed on — asking if any colour was okay. Taken aback, Kaling — obviously — replied with a “yeah.” The seemingly random question became relevant when the reporter then brought up Kaling’s show, The Mindy Project. In case you’re not familiar with the show, The Mindy Project was created by and stars Kaling as an obstetrician and
gynecologist who tries to balance her personal and professional lives. The show has been criticized, however, because all of Kaling’s love interests have been played by white actors. The red carpet reporter voiced what may have been on the mind of many who watch the show — does Kaling have some kind of white fetish? First off, the series, only in its second season, has plenty of time to integrate a more diverse cast — and Kaling alluded to this in the interview. Still, I have problems with the question and what it implies. Generally, the question should never have been asked. You don’t see Kaling’s white peers being interrogated on their ethnic preferences. Additionally, the question propagates an idea that an entire race can be lumped together. Though everyone is entitled to their own gauge of attractiveness, pushing an actress to cast judgements on something like skin colour is ludicrous. But even if we let these issues slide based on the assumption that the reporter asked the question because of larger critiques of The Mindy Project, it is still very problematic. At the base, it implies that Mindy Kaling — as an actor and writer of colour — has a social responsibility to put coloured roles into her show. I understand the argument. After all, the lack of roles for racial minorities performers is concerning, so when
Letter to the Editor
Evaluations not reflective RE: “Prof evaluations lacking,” Wednesday, February 26, 2014 To the Editor: Though I normally avoid picking on student journalism, I must say that your piece on student evaluations was very uncritical. It avoids the elephant in the room: That high grades and light workloads cause high evaluations, and encourage grade inflation. Further, the piece is full of factual errors, such as this: “Instructor evaluations are performed anonymously, and before the final mark is given out allowing students the opportunity to give an objective assessment.” Absolutely false! Students already have some marks in place, and most project their final grades from these. They then react to that imaginary final grade. I know this is true both because I’ve seen them do this, and because they complain about grades on comments. If a prof hands out Ds or Fs early in a course, these will anger and alienate most of those getting these grades. Second, “the standardized questions were designed to measure competence rather than popularity, which is a major point of deviation from the popular website, ratemyprofessors.com.” False! There’s nothing on the
Editorials are decided by a majority of the editorial board and are written by a member of the editorial board but are not necessarily the expressed opinion of each editorial board member. All other opinions are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the USC, The Gazette, its editors or staff. To submit a letter, go to westerngazette.ca and click on “Contact.” All articles, letters, photographs, graphics, illustrations and cartoons published in The Gazette, both in the newspaper and online versions, are the property of The Gazette. By submitting any such material to The Gazette for publication, you grant to The Gazette a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free, irrevocable license to publish such material in perpetuity in any media, including but not limited to, The Gazette‘s hard copy and online archives.
Dear Life evaluations that stops students from using popularity as a measure. I’ve found that when students like a class, all the questions answered get higher ratings, even supposedly independent variables such as “did the professor grade work promptly?” They see the class as a gestalt, not as a series of independent ratings. And if they objectively measured competence, why would some professors’ evaluation numbers change so much from course to course? I’ve seen some professors whose numbers vary up to four full points. Third, students generally spend about five minutes on evaluations, don’t sign them (and therefore don’t take any responsibility for them), and rarely comment on specific course content elements. Lastly, Charles Jones simply assumes they are objective without explaining why, despite considerable evidence that they are not. Instead, student evaluations are a form of therapy for both students and administrators that have no more objectivity than votes for performers on American Idol. They allow students getting Cs and Ds to take out their frustrations, students getting As to write “great course!” and administrators to pat themselves on the back for how rigorously they evaluate faculty. — Doug Mann Sociology & MIT Professor
Gazette Composing & Gazette Advertising Ian Greaves, Manager Robert Armstrong
someone who has experienced those struggles firsthand is in the creator’s seat, why wouldn’t they put the opportunity to good use? But what people don’t realize is that Kaling is actually helping the problem, because she is promoting a culture of interraciality. Think about it — how many couples do you see in film and on TV that are interracial? When it comes to creating roles for black actors, for instance, many point to recent film successes like 12 Years a Slave and The Help as making the Oscars more racially diverse — and they certainly are doing great work. At the end of the day, though, these are explicitly black narratives needing black casts. And that’s why, with this pattern, there will never be enough racial roles — because there will never be enough racial films. The only real way for the entertainment industry to reflect diversity is if ethnic performers are allowed to act alongside white actors, in roles which have nothing to do with the colour of their skin. Not only will this create more acting opportunities, but holistically it will improve societal perceptions of interracial relationships. So what colour of guys does Mindy Kaling like? Who cares? She treats her costars on The Mindy Project as people, not racial tokens.
Gazette Staff 2013-2014
Christine Bonk, Sarah Botelho, Tabitha Chan, Jonathan Dunn, Spencer Fairweather, Conrad Floryan, Sam Frankel, Jennafer Freeman, Janice Fung, Stephanie Grella, Dorothy Kessler, Kevin Heslop, Jenny Jay, Nathan Kanter, Katie Lear, Emory Liu, Cheryl Madliger, Sara Mai Chitty, Soheil Milani, Mackenzie Morrison, Robert Nanni Jr., Vidhant Pal, Lily Robinson, Alex Seger, Tiffany Shepherd, Hamza Tariq, Tristan Wu, Olivia Zollino
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
Your anonymous letters to life Dear Life, Never have I ever seen Big Purple Couch at a USC meeting. Dear Life, Why do I put so much time and effort into this friendship? Dear Life, When students almost kill themselves for an exam, there is something wrong with the system. Dear Life, Why aren’t more people aware or upset about the Fair Elections Act? Dear Life, Bring the Golden Roach award back. I have a nomination. Dear Life, If you can see your destination from your bus stop, it’s too close for you. wgaz.ca/dearlife
Associate Kaitlyn McGrath Aaron Zaltzman Photography Bill Wang Kelly Samuel Taylor Lasota Graphics Naira Ahmed Illustrations Christopher Miszczak John Prata Online Jesica Hurst Graphics/Video Mike Laine
• Please recycle this newspaper •
thegazette • Tuesday, March 4, 2014
factattack Tiger Woods withdrew from the Honda Classic on Sunday, marking his fourth withdrawal since the beginning of 2010. Prior to 2010, he had two withdrawals on the PGA Tour in his professional career.
Rundown >> The University of Ottawa’s men’s hockey team has been suspended indefinitely > although the inspection is ongoing, the team is being investigated for gang sexual assault in Thunder Bay, according to the Ottawa Sun.
Mustangs head to New Brunswick for CIS Western takes third and fifth at national championships Megan Devlin NEWS EDITOR Wrestling teams from all across Canada converged on the University of New Brunswick for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships this past weekend. The Mustangs women’s wrestling team took home third place and the men claimed fifth at the tournament. The women’s team earned 35 points — a tie with Alberta — but placed higher due to a greater number of individual placements. This is an improvement from last year, when they came fifth. Mustangs’ head coach Ray Takahashi was very happy with his team’s performance. “I’m proud of the team. Our women’s team did very well — top three in the country. We improved from last year’s fifth-place team finish. The competition was very solid and each of our team members represented Western very well,” Takahashi said. Madison Parks, Brianne Barry and Larissa D’Alleva all medalled for the women’s team, but despite the Mustangs’ efforts the Brock Badgers were the clear champions of the weekend, finishing first in both men’s and women’s wrestling. “Credit has to go to their team and coaching staff for stepping it up since they lost both titles at [the Ontario University Athletics]. Those close to wrestling knew, however, they would be strong at CIS, and they’ve always had strong teams in the past,” Takahashi said of Brock’s performance. As for individual recognition, the Mustangs’ Brianne Barry won the outstanding female wrestler award. “Brianne was outstanding. She performed with confidence and determination,” Takahashi said. “Brianne opened up the scoring with her strong ground wrestling by turning [her opponent] with
Courtesy of Ray Takahashi
GOLD! Western Mustangs’ star wrestler Brianne Barry, stands at the top of the podium. Barry, the fifth-year senior out of London, Ontario, captured gold in the 55kg weight class at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships last weekend. Barry was the only member of the women’s wrestling team to finish first in her weight class.
the ‘gut wrench’ she’s been working on.” With the award, Barry finished her tenure with the Mustangs on top of the CIS wrestling world. This was also the last year for Larissa D’Alleva, who finished off her five-year career as a Mustang with a silver at the CIS championships. “Larissa has been one our most consistent and top women Mustangs. She has had outstanding results in the OUA and CIS
championships,” Takahashi said. D’Alleva and Barry will be returning in a leadership role with the Mustangs next year, but will be competing strictly at the national level. On the men’s side, Josh Proctor and Riley Otto both claimed first in the 72kg and 90kg weight classes, respectively. However, the team finished in fifth overall, just one point behind the University of New Brunswick. “Our men’s team did very well
— we had all five in the top four and after day one — all were in medal contention,” Takahashi said. Otto used a tactical approach — scoring from defensive positions — to defeat his first opponent, Jordan Steen of Concordia University. He was also able to best Andrii Vorontsov of Brock University, who he lost to at the OUAs. Proctor also had a big win at the CIS championships, defeating Guelph’s Ben Bradford, who he also lost to at the OUA championships.
“Josh has always been a top competitor for us. It was very satisfying to see him put it all together in his final year,” Takahashi said. Takashi said that his son, Steven Takahashi, would have contributed to improving the men’s team’s results. However, he was out with a lower body injury. “The team will take a few days off and then get back to business with the upcoming Junior-Senior National Open March 20–23 in Edmonton,” Takahashi said.
Courtesy of Ray Takahashi
COUNTERED! The Mustangs wrestling team competed at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship this past weekend. The women’s team finished third, while the men’s team sat two spots back in fifth. The result marks another successful season for the Mustangs wrestlers who performed brilliantly all season long.
Naira Ahmed GAZETTE
thegazette • Tuesday, March 4, 2014
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ADD A SPLASH of colour to your running calendar and join us at Colours of Hope 5K. Western Cancer Research and Technology Transfer (CaRTT), Partners in Experiential Learning (PEL) and the Canadian Cancer Society, are hosting a fundraising colours 5K run/walk at Western on Saturday, March 15, 2014. For more info go to www.cancer.ca/coloursofhope
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PUT YOUR SUDOKU SAVVY TO THE TEST! To solve a sudoku, the numbers 1 through 9 must fill each row, column and box. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and box. You can figure out the order in which the numbers will appear by using the numeric clues already provided in the boxes.
For solution, turn to page 2