w w w .w e sterngazette.c a • @uw ogazette
Shake it like a Polaroid picture Western Harlem Shake video goes viral. >> pg. 3
thegazette Re-voting since 1906
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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Due to elections changes, there will be no Gazette tomorrow. We will resume printing Friday, February 15. Volume 106, Issue 73
USC election goes off with a glitch Aaron Zaltzman News Editor Well, at least it’s not a hack this time. However, in what’s becoming a familiar occurrence, the University Students’ Council election was disrupted when voters looking to cast their ballots in this year’s election reported a multitude of problems. Reports of the issues, most regarding who voters were and were not able to vote for, began trickling in soon after voting opened at midnight on Tuesday. The balloting was shut down soon after and recommenced Tuesday at noon. “Shortly after voting opened, the USC began to receive messages regarding affiliate students being able to vote in science elections, senator-at-large candidates not showing up on the ballot, and we called our IT manager and chief returning officer to determine what was happening,” Jeremy Santucci, vice-president communications for the USC, explained. “At 12:44 a.m. we decided to close the ballots in the interest of fairness to the candidates who were affected by the problems with the ballot.” While the bugs were reminiscent of last year’s hack, Santucci said the problem this time was purely internal. However, he stated the issues had been fixed before voting reopened.
Adam Fearnall, USC president, summed up the technical issues as a case of broken telephone between the ballot information and sorting program. “The problem was in the program that translates the list we get from the registrar’s office into categories to assign to voters,” Fearnall said. “Something about the two didn’t talk together properly.” Though not as destructive as last year’s hacking, the issues are concerning to those involved in the election, particularly after Western’s Information and Technology Services assured their program was secure and ready for the vote. Fearnall explained the fundamental problem was in the transfer of voting information between Western and the USC. “We rely on Western for their data—we don’t have access to students’ emails or logins,” Fearnall said, explaining how the USC uses Western’s voting program for their elections. “The process just isn’t very strong, and somewhere in the process of getting the list and putting it into the system, something got garbled.” The USC first began introducing online voting into their elections in 1997. However, between hacking and technical issues, it may be time to review the procedure, according to Santucci.
“We’ve identified the system as being flawed [...] and we’re going to be taking a serious look at the voting system in general, and how we can improve it to prevent any debacles such as this,” Santucci said. “Once the elections are over, we’re committing to exploring everything available to us and making sure the election system is as tight as possible.” “It wouldn’t be a bad thing for us to look at it to see if we can make some upgrades. I think there’s probably a better system of relaying the information that we can work out,” Fearnall said. “It’s frustrating for candidates, for me, for the USC and it’s a big deal.”
The presidential candidates, however frustrated, remained in high spirits as voting reopened. Vivek Prabhu said his team was soldiering on through the disruption. “We’ve been through it before, so it’s a similar kind of emotion,” Prabhu said. “I think the most important thing is to make sure you’re motivated and confident, and that people still have a reason to vote.” Ashley McGuire said her team was keeping up their energy, but expressed some worry about those who had already voted. “I’m hoping they send an email out, and that they promote it. I
hope people realize that they have to revote,” McGuire said. However, she added her “team is looking forward to the next three days, they’re really excited for it.” Pat Whelan said his team was still just as focused and excited as before the problems. “Mistakes happen, but I don’t think this is going to affect voting at all. It’ll be kind of a bizarre victory party at noon, but other than that I don’t think very much has changed,” Whelan said. “Our energy is back up for sure, and we’re just continuing to get people to use our tools and let them know voting is back on.”
Western Momentum loses, gains demerits Alex Carmona News Editor
Naira Ahmed Gazette
University Students’ Council presidential candidate Vivek Prabhu and the rest of Western Momentum saw their demerit point count fluctuate yesterday, after a successful appeal and new infraction reduced and then added points to the slate’s tally. Prabhu was assigned eight demerit points for pre-campaigning last week after the elections committee noticed his YouTube video was posted over two hours before the soft start time of 11 p.m. However, according to both USC President Adam Fearnall and Prabhu himself, the video was meant to be posted privately until 11, as is standard practice, and only remained public for a short amount of time. “We were charged the full demerit point value because the claim was that we released our
video early. The thing is, we originally made it private, but then it was unlocked briefly so I could see it on YouTube, and then it was locked again,” Prabhu said. Western Momentum appealed the elections committee’s decision, and, according to Fearnall, their pre-campaigning infraction was reduced from eight demerit points to four. “By the letter of the bylaw they did break the rule, and then we looked into the severity of the penalty,” Fearnall explained. “We asked ourselves ‘Did they receive an unfair advantage? Did the early posting of the video influence votes?’ We didn’t think there was any influence of voters as a result of the video being posted early, and we looked at whether they left the video public for the whole time, or if they had made it private and we were confident they had gone from public to private very quickly, so there wasn’t
a lot of opportunity for other people to see the video early. We largely agreed with the decision [to assign demerit points], but we felt that we could reduce the penalty to half the points due to the lack of influence.” Prabhu almost made up for the reduction in demerit points, however, after being assigned another three points yesterday for the distribution of food in the University Community Centre without the permission of Pashv Shah, chief returning officer. “We held a small pizza partytype canvas for volunteers, not for voters or potential voters. There was a miscommunication as to the actual permission of us being able to do that because it was public space, even though it was a private meeting—I didn’t think I had to ask permission for that, because the pizza wasn’t given out to the public. I wasn’t looking to take advantage of anything,” Prabhu concluded.
thegazette • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Caught on Camera
Crossword By Eugene Sheffer
Andrei Calinescu GAZETTE
THE HIGHEST PUNISHMENT. Bangladeshi students protested the sentencing of liberation war criminals in Dhaka on Monday to show solidarity with the mass protests occurring in Bangladesh.
Western fellow wrapped up in mummy reconstruction Andrew Wade, a postdoctoral fellow in Western’s anthropology department, recently reached the last phase of his work with the Redpath Museum at McGill University to build up the facial reconstructions of three mummies. In order to make the discovery of these mummies more accessible to the public, the museum reconstructed them with the help of Victoria Lywood, a forensic artist at John Abbott College, by first making three-dimensional prints of the models and then using facial tissue depth measurements. “We scanned the mummies in April 2011 and have been studying the data since then,” Wade explained. “The discovery of a small ball of linen in a large cavity in the teeth of the mummy of the young man was one of the most exciting of these findings, as it represents a first in the literature—dental packing, [which indicates] early dental intervention.”
Solution to puzzle on page 8
According to Wade, the purpose of making the reconstructions open to the public is not only to attract people’s attention, but to see the science that went into the studies, and how it contributes to modern disease discoveries. These reconstructions will contribute to a larger project at Western—developing a large-scale radiological database for mummy studies. “We’ve currently got 125 human and animal Egyptian mummies in the database, and we are continuing to solicit studies from museums and researchers worldwide,” Wade said. —Xiaoxuan Liu
Jubilee marred by scandal Last Wednesday, the first 26 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Awards were handed out at Hilton London. However, the selection of London recipients has been surrounded by controversy over some contentious nominations, which includes the decision by Mayor Joe Fontana to nominate all current city councillors, criminally convicted former councillor George Avola and councillor Denise Brown’s teenage son. However, at least four councillors are not receiving a medal, and others have said should they receive one, they will give their medal to someone more worthy. “The mayor told me approximately a week prior that he had
nominated all of council,” Brown said. “I do not know the exact dates, but I did not approve my own nomination, neither did any other councillor.” The process, according to Brown, was for every councillor to nominate people who had accomplished much in the London community. Brown also said she regretted her decision to nominate her son, saying she acted out of motherly pride in nominating, but was wrong as an elected official to nominate a family member for the award. “I nominated him because he did not complete only 40 hours of volunteer work for high school,” Brown said. “Before he even entered high school, he had over 200 volunteer hours. Now, as he attends college, he continues to volunteer with children at risk and a youth detention centre.” Brown stressed neither she nor her son will be receiving the award. “I made a mistake, I am sorry, but I am still very proud of him,” Brown said. Thus far, five of the 14 council members nominated have rejected their nominations—Joni Baechler, Nancy Branscombe, Paul Hubert, Matt Brown and Bill Armstrong. Council nominated nearly 300 people for the award, but while most did not win, all of them were invited to celebrate at the Hilton. Overall, 60,000 medals will be awarded across Canada by February 26. —Iain Boekhoff
Re-vote in the USC elections February 13 & 14 voteusc.ca
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 • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Harlem Shake goes viral
USC proposes Gazette keeps office space Jesica Hurst News Editor
Courtesy of Khang Ho
Kaitlyn Oh Gazette Staff On Sunday night, three Western students filmed the now-viral YouTube video Western Harlem Shake. The video has over 330,000 views on YouTube and has garnered coverage in local media. The Harlem Shake, a dance move by New York DJ Baauer, is a fast-spreading meme gaining popularity among university campuses. Harlem Shake videos typically last 30 seconds, and begin with one person in a mask or costume dancing, then others suddenly appear and join in. “The main purpose of the Harlem Shake was to show off Western school spirit,” Jack Kalb, one of the co-creators of the video and social science student, said. “We just thought it would be a fun experience.” The original idea came from Patrick Gioseffi, the Facebook event creator and first-year media,
information and technoculture student. “On Saturday night, I had seen different Harlem Shake videos and I saw different universities posting Harlem Shake videos of their own floor or residences,” Gioseffi said. “And [I thought] ‘let’s do [one].’” The Western Harlem Shake was not initially meant to be big, according to Gioseffi. “Originally, I just thought [it would be] a couple of people on my floor in residence and we were going to use an iPhone [to film],” he said. Upon seeing the event, Kalb and co-creator Alex Stern, a second-year social science student, contacted Gioseffi to join the project. From there, first-year science student Khang Ha volunteered to film the video and the event snowballed. Within 24 hours, over 400 students had joined the event on Facebook. “I was just fascinated with the fact that so many people were willing to step up and help out,” Gioseffi said.
“It was incredible how we were able to get over 300 students to come in less than 24 hours after the Facebook event was launched,” Kalb added. Both Kalb and Gioseffi were surprised by how popular the video became. “We knew it would be popular with Western students, but never like this,” Kalb said. Jacqueline Angelakis, the infamous girl with the crutches in the video and health sciences student, expressed her opinion on the video. “I’m really proud that the school was able to get so much popularity from the video,” she said. “The videographer and everyone did a really great job.” As for other schools trying to outdo Western’s Harlem Shake, Gioseffi only expressed good will. “It’s pretty cool to see that other schools are starting to try to do their own videos,” he said. “I think it’s a pretty cool movement and it’s […] fun.”
After dominating headlines last month, the issue of The Gazette office space has almost been put to rest. According to the University Students’ Council, the executive met last Friday and approved the 2013-14 budget—a proposal stating The Gazette would remain in its current office, room 263 of the University Community Centre. Tony Ayala, vice-president finance for the USC, explained the USC board took input from students, staff and managers to determine what the space needs of the organization were before beginning to compile their annual budget. “For room 263, we made sure to continue to consult with all of our relevant stakeholders before making a final decision,” Ayala said. “Once we had heard from all groups, we were able to determine that the best use of the space was for it to continue to be the offices of the Western Gazette.” Ayala said the board is confident they are presenting a comprehensive space usage plan as part of this year’s budget, by servicing a wide variety of student wants and needs. “Room 263 was one variable in a large conversation about space that ultimately resulted in the plan proposed in the budget. We are excited about our plan because it allows the USC to continue to move toward developing exciting creative spaces for our students,” Ayala said. “It is our responsibility to make
sure that as many students as possible are able to engage with all aspects of their USC.” Even though the executive approved the budget, Ayala explained it still must be evaluated by the budget review sub-committee and presented to council. The USC will also be engaging in public consultation processes to ensure students feel like the budget represents their needs.
I think we’re all very happy that we can continue to work in an adequate and welcoming environment next year. —Gloria Dickie
Editor-in-chief of The Gazette
Gloria Dickie, editor-in-chief of The Gazette, is pleased with the USC’s decision so far. “This is the outcome that we were hoping for, and what we expected given the multi-faith talks, and given that we’re such a large group that requires this space,” Dickie said. “After multifaith said that they weren’t overly interested in moving, it didn’t really make sense they would move us.” “This office is very important to a lot of our editors and our staff, and I think we’re all very happy that we can continue to work in an adequate and welcoming environment next year.”
Data loss scandal continues Affected citizens launch support website On January 11 the Canadian government announced the information of 583,000 students who received loans from the Canada Student Loans Program between 2000 and 2006 had been lost. However, the initial incident occurred in November, with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada taking over a month to inform the affected students and the public. The response of students ranged from serious concern to frustration and outrage. Many students were forced to pay for credit rating notifications in hopes of monitoring whether anyone had profited from gaining access to their personal information. Now, those affected by the loss have come together to form a Facebook group to voice their concerns, in addition to launching a new website, studentloanprivacybreach.ca. The website provides detailed information on the fiasco, as well as support. “[The government] has not taken it seriously and all communication about it has been limited to perfunctory expressions of regret and reductive statements about the importance of this breach,” Arzie Chant, a third-year biology student at Western affected by the security breach, said.
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Initially, a 1-800 number was set up so students could call and find out whether or not they had been affected. However, by mid-January, the HRSDC decided to post letters to the affected students. The letters mailed to affected individuals included confirmation they were affected, description of the specific information lost, an offer to place a note on credit ratings for the next six years and reassurance the privacy commissioner was investigating the loss. In an ironic turn of events, the CBC reported on Friday that several of these letters were mailed out to the wrong recipient, creating yet another privacy breach for those involved. Markuss Pridgeon, director of media relations for studentloanprivacybreach.ca, said students were frustrated with receiving such a scripted response and felt Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
for Canada, failed to be forthcoming. “We have asked Finley in the [House of Commons], and on Twitter, and are getting the same result—no answers,” Pridgeon said. According to Pridgeon, he believes some individuals have been tasked by the government to monitor the information on the Facebook group. “In all honesty, […] they must think we are stupid and don’t have access to resources, or they just don’t fully understand the gravity of the situation that their negligence has placed us all in,” Pridgeon lamented. Pridgeon, who also does double duty as an IT specialist, stated he had a strong understanding of the situation, and said “I can tell you, for a fact, that the government is in a great deal of trouble.” “In my personal and professional opinion, HRSDC has no security policy set up because, if they did, this would have never happened.”
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thegazette • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
word of the day Winsome Adjective. Attractive or appealing in appearance or character.
Alice to teach audiences about theatre Bradley Metlin Gazette Staff Western’s faculty of education is putting on a production of Alice Through the Looking Glass, a story most people know fairly well. A young girl named Alice ponders what life would be like behind a mirror and, to her surprise, she is able to move through the mirror to another universe. Amanda Adam, who portrays one of the Alices in the show, advises audience members shouldn’t expect a rehashing of the animated Alice in Wonderland. “Throughout this story, you really see Alice change and mature a lot differently than you would see in the Disney animation version. It’s definitely a different take on it.” Though stressing the differences, the set design is still colourful and this production of Alice Through the Looking Glass is not all doom and gloom—at least according to codirector Amy Whitfield. “A musical wasn’t an option this year for us, so we were trying to think of what’s still fun, light—that people would still want to come see to relax,” Whitfield explains.
Even though a musical wasn’t an option this year, Whitfield says the group has spun it a bit so they could still include some music elements. The production is part of an elective course in the faculty of education called Theatre Production. As such, all the talent—whether it’s actors, makeup artists or propmakers—come from the faculty, but this comes with its own challenges. “Keep in mind that all the actors are volunteers,” says Laisa Gillis, the stage manager. “They’re already in a busy program, so it’s really been managing their time so that I don’t waste it and so we use it as best possible and we get to where we need to be in the show.” The theme of education runs throughout the production, everyone noting the relevance performing has to various aspects of teaching. Chris Quitasol, who plays Tweedledumb, notes, “It’s important for teachers to be diverse in what they can do. On top of that, I think it’s important that teachers can act. Sometimes you’re not in the best of moods.” Adam echoes this idea of teaching as performance. “As a teacher, you’re always on
Courtesy of Sarah Elminshawi
the spot. If someone messes up a line, it’s your job to come in and save the day. [It’s] the same thing with teaching—if someone asks you a question, you have to be able to answer it.” While a focus on education has been important for the production, the idea of collaboration has also been a key component—even more so for this production, as everyone
Cousins play Third Thursday Ross Hamilton Gazette Staff
GAZETTE: Could you give us an intro-
duction to Cousins? How did the band come about? file photo
together since mid-2009. I recorded a record myself around that time, and then sort of built a band around that record, called Out On Town. The stuff on that is a lot different to the stuff we do now, but it was the starting point. I had been performing solo and working on recordings at home, but that was the first time I’d made a record with full instrumentation and everything, and so I put a band together just to perform it. The band has changed a lot since then—at that time there were four of us, and now there are two of us full-time, and a third member some of the time. Most recently and most steadily, it’s been me and [drummer] Leigh Dotey. GAZETTE: How would you describe
your sound, and how has it changed? AM: I think originally the sound was
a little bit more melody-driven. It had a slower pace and the songs took a more narrative-based form than they do now. From playing together [as a band] it’s gotten heavier, louder and faster. We don’t play punk music, but some of our punk and rock influences have
come to fore, whereas previously we were more focused on folk and melody. Now it’s become a mixture of those two things—it’s heavy but it’s not aggressive music. It’s sort of sweet I think. GAZETTE: Who are some of the people and bands that have influenced your music? AM: One of the influences I look to
directly for songwriting is a guy by the name of Chris Cohen. He used to play in Deerhoof, The Curtains and Cryptacize, and he always puts out really powerful studio stuff. I don’t think our music sounds like his, but I’ve definitely been influenced by his songwriting. I’ve also been listening to a lot of West African psychedelic music from the 60s and 70s—we have a friend who has a good library, plus there are so many reissues and compilations coming out now of this American-influenced music from places like Ghana and Nigeria, and I find that stuff really inspiring. GAZETTE: How will the space at
Museum London affect your performance and what sort of atmosphere can we expect at the show?
AM: The last time we were there [at
Museum London in 2010] was the first time we had done something like that, so it was quite challenging. We’ve done a few shows since in similar spaces where the sound carries and you have to be a little more careful about your volume because of the acoustics. But all the people in London always do such a good job with sound and preparation, so I think it’s going to sound really cool. It’ll be loud, and hopefully pretty energetic and weird. GAZETTE: Your last album, The Palm
At The End Of The Mind, came out last year, are you currently working on a follow-up? AM: We toured almost all of last
year, and in November we went to Toronto to record a new record, which should be coming out in May or June. We don’t have a date yet, but luckily we’ve made some time this year to work on new material and get it recorded. So we’ll be playing a few songs from the record we did last year, and then a handful of new material that people haven’t heard yet.
asked what Adam believed the most enjoyable part of working on Alice Through the Looking Glass was, without any hesitation she replied, “Working with everyone and seeing everyone’s talents blend so well.” Alice Through the Looking Glass will run from February 13 to 16 at the Althouse Auditorium. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10 for students.
Colouring a Paper Eight The London 8 showcases work Robyn Obermeyer Contributor
February 21 will see the next Third Thursday event at Museum London, with a musical line-up headed by Halifax-based indie rockers Cousins. Guitarist and lead vocalist Aaron Mangle chatted with The Gazette about their performance.
AARON MANGLE: The band has been
involved in the course was split into different teams handling different segments of the show. While some might think this level of working together might slow things down, Whitfield thinks differently. “It was enjoyable to collaborate with people because you just keep building on each other.” This sense of togetherness isn’t just on the production team. When
Resident artist group The London 8 triumphed with Paper 8, a collaborative exhibit of over 25 unique pieces. The eight artists—Darcy Balfour, Brian Dirks, Jack Winn, Dan Tamborro, Mike Everett, Andrew Chisholm, Rick Rojnic and Cheryl Teo—agreed on only one criterion for the show—each piece was to be created on 22- by 30-inch watercolour paper. Beyond this standard, each artist followed his or her own creative impulse. The result? A diverse display of themes, colours, mediums and styles that was still unified as an exhibit. The opening reception on Friday night took place at The ARTS Project in downtown London. The music of DJ and artist Brian Jezney set the stage for laughter and discussion, giving the exhibit a warm atmosphere most art galleries lack. According to Dirks, this was the intention of the whole show. “The public usually has a reverence for artwork, which is why we made these pieces accessible. It’s very informal,” he said. The artwork was indeed accessible—rather than sitting motionless behind glass, it hung on wires from the ceiling, allowing observers to stand up close and take in every detail. According to DJ Jezney, the challenge was the whole idea of the project. “We always start off with a goal. Mostly it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but in the end we’re always doing things to push our limits,” he states. Jezney is usually a member of The London 8, but decided to
sit out this show and focus on the music instead. When asked about inspiration, each artist responded differently. Tamborro keeps his motivation close to home. “My daughter is a great model,” he stated proudly, in reference to his work titled “Heroes Never Fade.” This mixed media piece featured a little girl in pigtails and space boots, looking up at a newspaper from July 1969—when Armstrong and Aldrin first walked on the moon. Winn’s art focuses on something much more large-scale. Each of his pieces features a major scientific discovery relating to theoretical physics and universal theory. After painting them, Winn employed a rather unorthodox method of distressing the pieces— he secured them to a highway and had cars run over them, then set them on fire. The meaning behind this? “We’ve become so careless and ignorant that [knowledge] has become just trash blowing along the side of the road,” Winn says. For Everett, this project was “all about deconstructing and reconstructing an image to create something new.” He used photographs he had already taken and altered them so they told a different story—the repetition of these images emphasized a fusion of old and new. Overall, the exhibit was intimate, casual and a great exploration into what art is all about—reflection, discussion and interpretation. Paper 8 will be running until February 16 at The ARTS Project on 203 Dundas Street.
thegazette • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Editor’s Picks > The essentials for your week
IN THEATRES Beautiful Creatures
Looking for a movie to see in theatres this Valentine’s Day? Well, Beautiful Creatures makes its theatrical debut tomorrow. It’s not exactly your typical romance film, but the drama does have some love to share— supernatural love. The film, based off the novel of the same name, follows two star-crossed lovers who both uncover dark secrets about their families. Beautiful Creatures explores a mystical romance filled with twists, turns and magic. If you’re looking for unconventional love this Valentine’s Day, this film may just provide it.
ON DISC Matt Costa—Matt Costa
Matt Costa released his selftitled album yesterday. The album, recorded in Scotland, is the fourth full-length effort from the Southern California native. Costa released his last album, Mobile Chateau, in 2010 and carries through the same indie folk-rock vibe in his newest record. It’s been two years since we’ve had a whole new album from Costa, but the poetic lyrics of the 10-track self-titled release is sure to satisfy his fans.
The latest James Bond film was released on DVD yesterday. Re-introducing Daniel Craig as Bond, the film also repeated the popularity of past 007 movies. Raking in over $1 billion worldwide at the box office, Skyfall proves Bond movies aren’t losing momentum. Maybe it’s the special effects, leading ladies or Craig’s baby blue eyes—whatever it is, it’s definitely working. For those spending late nights on campus, Western Film is showing Skyfall until tomorrow.
ON THE CHARTS “Mirrors”—Justin Timberlake
These past few seasons for Southland have been rough. As a show dedicated to taking a raw and authentic look at Los Angeles and the lives of the LAPD who police it, Homeland has taken quite a few hits— including being kicked off their previous network, NBC. Now as Homeland starts up its fifth season this week, the creators and cast of the show hope that they’ve found a new home in TNT. Their new station has also been re-airing old episodes of the show except less censored, allowing fans to really get into the dark nature of the stories.
It looks like Mr. Cry Me A River has taken a long look in the mirror and decided that he’s grown tired of acting. Now, Justin Timberlake prepares to release his new album The 20/20 Experience in March— but for those squealing fans who can’t wait to get a taste, “Mirrors” has been released as one of the singles. In the song, Timberlake belts, “it was easy coming back to you once I figured it out.” I guess Timberlake has figured it out, because he’s coming back to us fully equipped with suit and tie.
Feeling the effects days later Beyoncé—“Halo” Beyoncé’s flame refuses to go out—a lip-syncing scandal and hologramenhanced performances aside, she’s insanely talented. And sometimes it takes returning to her older hits to remember that. Well before she announced the Mrs. Carter World Tour, Beyoncé was performing beautiful music. The chart-topping power ballad “Halo” received Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 52nd
Grammy Awards. With a range of melodies and a catchy chorus, this single showcases Beyoncé’s vocal powers. “Halo” has been mashed up on Glee, covered by Florence + the Machine and performed with Chris Martin in a charity telethon. While Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic penned “Halo,” Beyoncé gave the words passion and emotion. She doesn’t need pyrotechnics or extravagant outfits—her voice speaks for itself. —Sumedha Arya
Brent Holmes Arts & Life Editor GGGGF Side Effects Director: Steven Soderbergh Starring: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, and Catherine Zeta-Jones February or March is typically not the best time to see a movie—unless it happens to be nominated for an Oscar. However, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects is an expertly crafted psychological thriller where the effects take a couple of days to kick in. Side Effects is effective because it is a film about characters who are trapped under the influence of other characters’ actions. Emily’s (Rooney Mara) husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), has just been released from prison after being convicted of insider trading. She has been suffering from depression since his arrest and seeks the help of Dr. Banks (Jude Law) who prescribes a drug called Ablixa to help her. When one of the side effects of the drug results in a murder, Banks and Emily find themselves at the mercy of many
hard-to-cure symptoms. Law and Mara do a great job portraying characters who find themselves in a sinister and uncontrollable world. Catherine ZetaJones gives a fair performance as Victoria, Emily’s former psychiatrist, and Tatum performs a great service to the movie by not being in it very much. This is allegedly going to be Academy-Award winning director Soderbergh’s last film—however, one needs to prescribe several grains of salt to take with that announcement. The 50-year-old filmmaker has such a versatility in his filmography—from his independent films like Bubble (2005) to the classic Ocean’s Eleven (2001) to his Oscar-winning Traffic (2000) and Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)—one hopes we haven’t seen the last of him yet. With Side Effects, Soderbergh does an excellent job framing three starkly different views of New York. In the space of three cuts, the city is a 21st-century metropolis of white walls and glass windows to a graffiti-filled subway car to a peoplefilled street. There is a powerful clash between the ordinary middle-class
life of Emily to her husband and doctor’s upper-class existence as business moguls. Bookending the film with a similar shot of a highrise apartment to a towering prison complex is a very powerful and complex statement. The film does have its cliché moments—Banks’ wife (Vinessa Shaw) leaves him in a very familiar way, Banks says some of the most stereotypical psychiatrist lines and the filters on some flashbacks late in the movie recall crime procedurals of the CSI variety. The film’s conclusion is something that would be hard not to talk about—it would be very easy to analyze the twist in terms of the threats presented to the traditional American nuclear family, but by the end of the film, one has to wonder if the world the ‘sane’ drive off into is any less imprisoning than the one that others find themselves trapped in. The world of psychiatrists being catered to by pharmaceutical companies and getting their patients on the newest prescriptions is treated so casually and not cued in any way to make it appear hypocritical and villainous—this trick hides the film’s true point that everyone is an inmate in this corporate asylum.
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thegazette • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
—C.S. Lewis, British novelist
Demerit system in need of reform Why Harry Potter matters Special to The Gazette
Eighteen. That’s the total number of demerit points this year’s University Students’ Council presidential candidates have racked up thus far. In fact, each year, countless demerit points are doled out to candidates at a hefty fine of six dollars each and immeasurable shame. But do demerits really matter to the elections process? With a generous 30-point maximum, candidates can more or less do as they please before they’re kicked out of the elections for good. Over the past 12 years, not a single candidate has ever reached this 30-point limit, giving the impression the 30-point rule is simply too lenient on candidates. The argument can also be made that boasting any demerit points will act as a blemish on a campaign, dissuading student voters from lending their support, but are they really enough to sway voters? History would indicate their existence is, more or less, futile. Many presidential candidates have won the election with demerit points to their name. And besides, who cares about a few stingy demerit points when you could potentially gain 500 votes with an unauthorized event sure to bring you only a $24 fine. It would seem that, oftentimes, the reward outweighs the risk, and even the punishment. Moreover, beyond the overly generous limit, it’s hard to enforce or prevent infractions from happening. What’s to stop a campaign team posting their rival’s campaign materials in unauthorized spots? Ideally, there would be more enforcement when it comes to infractions, as well as early prevention. If unethical infractions do occur, the punishment needs to be more severe than a six-dollar fine—maybe a candidate should lose a percentage of votes instead. But such a scenario would depend on the guarantee of a ruthlessly neutral elections committee, which, sadly, doesn’t always exist. In the end, such a move could end up placing too much power in the wrong hands. Overall, we’d like to see candidates run as clean of a campaign as possible. After all, a candidate’s campaign is often an indication of how they’re planning to run their government. If a candidate plays dirty and tries to get away with it, you can bet their presidency will follow a similar pattern. —The Gazette Editorial Board
to the humanities Bryce Traister
Bryce Traister Chair of the Department of English and Writing Studies
Students greeted the news that Western’s department of english and writing studies will be offering a halfcourse on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels next year with anticipation and derision. One student tweeted that on hearing the news, she upgraded graduation plans from a four to a five-year degree. Another announced the barbarians were at the gates in the form of this obvious bird course. Lost in the excitement was a discussion of why, at this time, the English and writing department had decided to introduce this course. There are several reasons. First, the study of children’s literature has become a significant area of academic specialization in literary and cultural studies. DEWS has been offering a course in children’s literature for decades, so the Harry Potter course is a natural development for us, and for its instructor, Gabrielle Ceraldi. Second, the Rowling franchise is a global phenomenon that has spawned a complex industry. It has either saved
or ruined the bookselling business, to cite one example of Rowling’s impact. The Harry Potter business matters, in short, and so studying it intensively is where academic and practical considerations meet. This sort of thing, point the third, is what students want. Media pundits like to criticize the humanities for being “useless” or “impractical.” Your parents unfortunately seem to agree. University administrations are being forced to “prioritize” programming, and are tending to favour those disciplines where research has significant commercial potential, or where there is high student demand. When it comes to Harry Potter, the student demand is not merely theoretical—it is demonstrated each year in emails and conversations where students express their desire to study not just one or two books in the series, but the whole thing, including the final few novels with their increasingly challenging engagement with history, politics and religion. The Harry Potter course is about teaching students in a way that is both academically responsible, from an intellectual perspective, and is, at the same time, responsive to the demands of the contemporary university. There will also be some fun involved in a course that shows how the books you read and the language you use is important to your “real life.” Harry Potter saved Hogwarts. Perhaps he’ll save the study of the humanities as well.
thisdayinhistory In hopes of getting students excited for Valentine’s Day, a downtown London shop known as The Condomery brought in an order of 26,000 custommade purple condoms in 1992. Designed specifically to appeal to the purple pride in Western students, and those who wanted to give their fellow students some purple pride, The Condomery promised the condoms would soon be available in grape flavour if they sold well.
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Volume 106, Issue 73 www.westerngazette.ca
Gloria Dickie Editor-In-Chief Nicole Gibillini Deputy Editor Cam Parkes Managing Editor
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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.
Gazette Composing & Gazette Advertising Ian Greaves, Manager Robert Armstrong
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Gazette Staff 2012-2013
Iain Boekhoff, Danielle Bozinoff, Jaclyn Carbone, Mary Ann Ciosk, David Czosniak, Megan Devlin, Jonathan Dunn, Chelsey Gauthier, Ross Hamilton, Danny Huang, Amanda Law, Logan Ly, Jared MacAdam, Sarah Mai Chitty, Sarah Manning, Bradley Metlin, Kaitlyn Oh, John Petrella, Sarah Prince, Chen Rao, Herb Richardson, Nathan Robbins-Kanter, Lily Robinson, Jeremiah Rodriguez, Katie Roseman, Jasleen Sembhi, Nathan TeBokkel, Jacqueline Ting, Kate Wilkinson, Zoe Woods, Kartikeya Vishal, Usman Zahid, Mason Zimmer
News Alex Carmona Jesica Hurst Cam Smith Aaron Zaltzman Arts & Life Sumedha Arya Brent Holmes Kevin Hurren Sports Richard Raycraft Jason Sinukoff Ryan Stern Opinions Ryan Hurlbut Associate Kaitlyn McGrath
Letters to the Editor
HP has merit Re: Harry Potter and the bird course? February 7, 2013 To the Editor: I found the editorial regarding the Harry Potter literature course to be contradictory in its stance and offensive to the professor who has organized the course, as well as students who are interested in taking it. Offering a course related to popular culture will not compromise the academic integrity of this university, and shows that the faculty is committed to developing courses that are current and interesting to students. What will compromise the university’s reputation is the student population’s obsession with looking for an easy way out through “bird courses”—a term The Gazette used to classify this new course multiple times in their editorial. Instead of praising this new course as a response to student interest and demand, The Gazette sold it as an easy course based on a children’s series suitable for unmotivated students. I am sure that the course will explore the larger theoretical and cultural implications of the series, as well as its relationship to mythology and other narrative forms because this is a university and not a Harry Potter fan club. For The Gazette to condemn this course before it is experienced by students or taught by the professor is troubling as it will inhibit the development of further student interest-based classes. —Emily McWilliams Arts and Humanities III To the Editor: Pieces such as this make me wonder whether some people truly understand the value and meaning of a liberal arts education. In general, the term “bird course” is used all too frequently amongst the liberal arts. No one would ever dare call a science course a “bird course”—nor should they—but when it comes to arts and humanities, it is used all too frequently. Perhaps the course should be called unconventional rather than just simply labelling it as a “bird course.” That said, I will acknowledge that the course is unconventional; however, one should not assume it will be a “bird course” simply because it does not fit one’s preconceived notion of what an English course should be. Professor Ceraldi is thinking outside the box of “conventional” English courses with the creation of 2093F/G, and in that regard she is upholding a key aspect of the liberal arts tradition. —David Ulbrych Huron (History) IV
Editor’s response: The editorial entitled “Harry Potter and the bird course?” put forth a question. Our Editorial Board discussion examined potential arguments against the course, but concluded Harry Potter was worthy of academic treatment. We would invite students to read our editorial in full, rather than stopping at the headline. Photography Andrei Calinescu Ritchie Sham Cameron Wilson Graphics Naira Ahmed Mike Laine Illustrations Christopher Miszczak Liwei Zhou Online Julian Uzielli Web Cameron Wilson Video Chris Kay
• Please recycle this newspaper •
thegazette • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
factattack Lebron James has been on fire lately. He has averaged 31 pointsper-game and has averaged 71 per cent shooting in his last five games—making him the first player in NBA history to do so.
Rundown >> After winning a silver medal in individual competition, the Mustangs women’s fencing team had a strong team showing as well—coming in third place in the Ontario University Athletics fencing championships.
Badgers down Mustangs to save season Brock completes comeback late to keep playoff hopes alive Nathan Robbins-Kanter Gazette Staff Heading into Thursday night’s road game against the top-seeded Mustangs men’s hockey team, the Brock Badgers knew they were fighting an uphill battle. With only two games remaining in the regular season, the eighth-seeded Badgers needed to come out with a win in order to hold onto that final playoff spot, as the UOIT Ridgebacks were sitting just one point back. Things didn’t look good heading into the third period down 3–1, but Brock was able to battle back to tie the game at three, before finally getting the all-important win by way of the shootout. “It really was a huge win,” Badgers Assistant Coach Mike Macdonald said. “They played hard to battle back from a two-goal deficit—big win for the boys.”
It really was a huge win. They played hard to battle back from a two goal deficit—big win for the boys. —Mike Macdonald Badgers assistant coach
Western, having already locked up first place in the Ontario University Athletics West, very well could play the Badgers in the first round of the playoffs, which start February 14 at Thompson Arena. Although the game meant nothing in the standings, the Mustangs still would have preferred to get the extra point. “It’s more about morale,” Mustangs interim Head Coach Pat Powers said. “Just to right the ship before you get into the playoffs. But
Piotr Angiel Gazette
last year we lost our last two games and then made it to the national championships. So it’s important, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.” For Brock, however, the two points meant everything. The UOIT Ridgebacks ended up winning their game against York 4–2, meaning they would have leapfrogged Brock in the standings had Brock not won the shootout. Badgers goaltender Dalton McGrath, after stopping 39 Mustang shots
Naira Ahmed Gazette
in regulation and overtime, didn’t even need to make a save on the final shootout attempt, as Mustang defenceman David Corrente ended up over-skating the puck as he came in for the do-or-die shot. “I’ve never seen that,” Powers said. “I’ve seen guys over-skate the puck in the slot area, [but not like that]. Dave’s been great for us in the shootout all year though, so it’s unfortunate to happen to a kid like that.”
Not to be overshadowed in the defeat was the play of two Mustang rookies—Matt Clarke and Kyle DeCoste. Clarke took over the OUA scoring lead with a three-point night, bringing his season total to 41, with 18 goals and 23 assists in 27 games. DeCoste potted the first two goals of the game for Western, his 11th and 12th of the season, bringing his point total to 26 on the year, in only 25 games.
Although the Mustangs have now gone two games without a win, something that has only happened once the entire season, looking ahead to the playoffs is now where the focus shifts. “Losses are losses, but we already got the all important point we needed,” Powers said. “Playoffs start next Thursday [and] we’ve got scouting reports on Brock and all these teams. We’ll have two or three days to prepare.”
Piotr Angiel Gazette
thegazette • Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Tapping out wrestling is a misstep for IOC The Tables Have Sterned Ryan Stern Sports Editor It’s the ultimate test of strength, pitting person versus person with one person proving victorious— and now it’s gone. The International Olympic Committee has voted to remove wrestling from the Olympic slate as of the 2020 Olympic games, and
this is a decision that I just don’t get. Wrestling is to the Olympics as Doctor Who is to the BBC—it has been around forever and it’s just not the same without it. For anyone who has ever taken a course that glosses over the ancient Olympics, wrestling was the be-all and end-all of Olympic competition. The sport may have evolved from the nudity of ancient times, but the prestige of the competition is something the IOC ignored. In making this decision, the IOC considered 39 factors, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global
participation and popularity, but with some of these factors being of little concern to the prestige of the sport, I believe the IOC gaffed in making this decision. To understand the spirit of the sport, one does not need to look back to the times of ancient Greece, but only to the 2000 Olympics and Rulon Gardner. The American Gerco-Roman Wrestler was one of the great Olympic stories, and his embodiment of the game is something that is almost unique to wrestling. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Gardner—a farmhand from Afton, Wyoming who
built his strength through manual labour—defeated reigning champion Russian Aleksandr Karelin to take the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. Karelin had previously been undefeated in 13 years of international competition, and Gardner’s victory still stands as one of the shining moments of those games. The decision to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic games does not necessarily mean the end of this sport, but I would argue wrestling embodies the Olympic spirit—and is more popular for that matter—than sports such as shooting and horse dressage.
Wrestling—both freestyle and Greco-Roman—will be competing with baseball, softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. If you ask me, wrestling deserves the spot for its prominence, history and prestige. With all the homage to past Olympic games during the various Olympic ceremonies, maybe the IOC should focus on keeping one of its marquee sports on the slate. If the athletic prowess alone doesn’t persuade the Olympic committee to re-add wrestling to the docket, it could always revert back to its original form—naked.
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Published on Feb 12, 2013