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Dalhousie students call for oil divestment Whelan says divestment at Western not a priority for USC Megan Devlin NEWS EDITOR The Dalhousie Student Union unanimously passed a motion last Wednesday which calls on the university’s Board of Governors to end investment in the fossil fuel industry. Divestment is a movement gaining momentum across North America that endeavors to limit fossil fuel companies’ monstrous economic power by ceasing investment in them. “At Divest Dalhousie we believe it’s morally wrong for an institution of higher learning to invest in the destruction of the planet,” James Hutt, spokesperson for Divest Dal, said. Western also invests heavily in the fossil fuel industry. Western’s pension fund has approximately $66-million invested in the energy sector, spread across various stock portfolios, according to the 2012 Pension Investment Annual Report. Of this money, over $10-million is invested in seven big oil companies across various funds. The university holds shares in Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Suncor, BP, EOG Resources and Enbridge. However, University Students’ Council president Pat Whelan said he has not heard a call from students to take a stance on oil divestment. “I think there’s some students interested in doing it, but I don’t think it’s a widespread belief,” Whelan said. Whelan said his USC tries to
At Divest Dal we believe it’s morally wrong for an institution of higher learning to invest in the destruction of the planet —James Hutt
Spokesperson for Divest Dal
focus on issues that directly affect students while they’re studying at Western. Oil divestment wasn’t on his radar as a high priority. “I think that every student government needs to respond to their student body […]. I guess the situation at Dalhousie is a little different than it is here,” Whelan said. “I know that our priorities are really focusing on academic issues, support for students on campus, financial aid, things that are directly affecting life for students,” he continued. Hutt said divestment is incredibly important when considering the moral implications of investing in the oil industry. “We’re going to a university that is a leader in sustainability, but we’re investing in the very industries that are ensuring the catastrophic effects of climate change,” Hutt said. Dalhousie’s endowment fund is $411-million strong. However, since its Board of Governors doesn’t publish its finances, it is currently
Bill Wang GAZETTE
ENDING OIL INVESTMENT. Divestment motions, such as the one passed at Dalhousie last week, say it is a conflict of interests for institutions of higher learning to invest in industries that destroy the environment. Western has over $10-million invested in the fossil fuel industry, but USC president Pat Whelan says divestment is not a USC priority.
unknown how much or in what these dollars are invested. Hutt explained one of the goals of the motion was to make the finances the Dalhousie Endowment Fund public knowledge. The other goals included divesting fully from fossil fuel companies within four years. Hutt stressed it was a conflict of interest for institutions like Dalhousie who claimed to be leaders
in sustainability to invest in ecologically harmful industries like oil. Whelan, however, explained he believed broader social issues like oil divestment were best left to other levels of government besides the student council. Should the issue be brought to council, he said, he would advise councillors to focus on the more pressing issues to the student body such as support services for
students, the educational experience, and the cost of attending university. A Divest Western Facebook page has been started, and it currently has just under 100 likes. “If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage,” the page’s description reads — referring to the profits investors can reap from holding shares in oil companies.
SOGS sued for defamation by member Richard Raycraft NEWS EDITOR Western’s Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) is being sued by one of its members for defamation and breach of contract. Eric Sadowski, a PhD student in Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, is seeking damages in the amount of $200,000 for breach of contract and $300,000 for defamation. “The allegations surround an ad-hoc committee of SOGS which tabled a report condemning Sadowkski to SOGS council,” a press release Sadowski sent to The Gazette read. Sadowski alleges this report was defamatory and harmed his reputation. The release also
said that SOGS is noted in default for failure to file a statement of defence, and that SOGS council is “in disarray.” None of the allegations have been proven in court. Sadowski is seeking damages from SOGS president Kevin Godbout and 14 others, all current or former students at Western. Godbout declined to comment in depth, except to say that SOGS was prepared to defend itself in court. “It’s not appropriate for me to comment in any depth on the matter. The matter is before the courts,” he said. “What I can tell you is that we’re taking steps, and our defence counsel is taking steps, to have the
note in default set aside and we expect this to happen as a matter of routine.” “SOGS intends to vigorously defend its claim, or the claim against ourselves, and it’s our position that it has no merit whatsoever,” he said. The allegations come following an attempt to remove Sadowski from his position as chair of the SOGS Health Plan Committee following a number of disputes between himself and other members of SOGS. According to Sadowski’s statement of claim, a report by an investigative SOGS committee recommended that “Mr. Sadowski be removed from the HPC for a period of six months,” and that
“Mr. Sadowski has proven he cannot maintain a diplomatic position and ensure the proper function of a committee, and therefore, should not be in a position of authority.” According Sadowski’s statement of claim, “This report is generally defamatory because it is specifically intended to attack Sadowski’s character and professional status within the health policy community and was aimed to lower his reputation in the eyes of his peers and, in general, at UWO.” “I just want to clear my name and I want democracy to work properly,” Sadowski told The Gazette. “I feel as if I have been treated unfairly.” The investigative committee was struck following two incidents
involving Sadowski. In the first, Sadowski and Ayo Abiola, vice-president student services at SOGS and a defendant in the lawsuit, allegedly had a disagreement about the committee procedure at a HPC meeting. Sadowski asked Abiola to leave the meeting, according to the statement of claim. In the second, Sadowski allegedly made unauthorized modification to an online draft of a SOGS bylaw, which was a work in progress. The committee investigated from November 2012 to August 2013, when its recommendations to remove Sadowski were defeated before SOGS council. The statement of claim was filed shortly after.
thegazette • Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Caught on Camera
Kelly Samuel GAZETTE
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BLIZZARD. Only a few days ago, London and UC Hill (pictured here from the top of UC Tower) were still clinging to greenness — until Sunday, when the city was hit by an abundance of snow.
CROSSWORD By Eugene Sheffer
Faux money, ‘mo problems Looks like you’re going to have to stop paying for beer with monopoly money for a while, because the London Police Service is telling retailers to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills. The warning comes after a string of phony money has begun turning up at various spots in the city. Ken Steeves, the corporate communications and public relations officer for the LPS, said the police have noticed the bills for the last two or three weeks, finding approximately 10 to 15 fake $20 bills. “For the most part they’re being given to businesses, so restaurants and retailers,” Steeves said. “Some of them do not even have the reflective strip, that’s what should be most noticeable.” “Over the last month or two we’ve had approximately 30 $100 bills as
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well,” he added. Steeves said the police conduct an investigation whenever a retailer informs them of being paid with counterfeit money. He also said the police do not have suspects at this point with regard to who may be producing the bills. Steeves said the counterfeit bills have been primarily the old, paper style rather than the new polymer one. The LPS provided a link to the Bank of Canada fraudulent money prevention page, which offers guides on how to spot counterfeit money and what to do if you suspect a note is counterfeit. —Aaron Zaltzman
Saving history for 2 cents worth of time The Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project is working towards preserving a historical landmark site in London Ontario. George McNeish is spearheading the Two Cents project, which seeks to raise $45,000 to help the church move to a new location. Dating back to 1848, the chapel was built for escaped slaves from the United States, who came to London by way of the Underground Railroad. It was one of the only black congregations in the city of London and the surrounding area when it was founded. The idea, McNeish explained, is to take what 15 minutes of labour was worth in 1848 when the chapel was originally built — about two cents, or $2.50 in today’s dollars — and donate that towards the project to help preserve the chapel. They would need 1,800 people to donate to reach their $45,000 goal. McNeish said the reason for saving the chapel is to push more resources towards research and the potential to understand and preserve more of our collective history. The 25-member preservation project hopes to move the church from its current location at 275 Thames St. to beside Beth Emmanuel at 430 Grey St. For more information about the chapel or to make a donation, visit fscpp.ca. —Chris Miszczak
City eyes garbage pick-up changes If you’re sick of forgetting to take out the trash because of London’s eightday garbage cycle, your troubles may soon be over. The Civic Works Committee will review a staff report detailing the costs of a five-day and seven-day garbage pick-up cycle. Currently,
London is the only municipality in Ontario that uses an eight-day garbage collection cycle. “This is a report that comes to us every now and then with different options,” Ward 12 councillor Harold Usher said. “We always review [the report] because we always have the public expressing concern or frustration with it, but it doesn’t mean that it is everybody who is doing that.” This is a report that is reviewed about every five years — the last time being in 2007. Over the years people have expressed concern about the eightday garbage collection schedule, whereas other municipalities use a five-day or seven-day cycle. “Some people would like to know that they have a specific day every week — the same day every week that their garbage is picked up, more for convenience to remember than anything else,” Usher said. If the schedule were changed to every five workdays, the weekly collection day would shift after a holiday. The alternative seven-day cycle would mean collectors working holidays to ensure the garbage is picked up on the same day each week. However, a change to the garbage collection cycle will mean a cost increase for Londoners. “If we pick [the garbage] up every five days it will cost an additional $7 per household per year, and if we pick it up every seven days it will be $10 more per household per year,” Usher said. London’s current eight-day cycle has been in place since 1996. “At that time in 1996 [councillors] were able to save over a million dollars by going from the five-day schedule to the eight-day schedule, and that’s the same thing that will happen now,” Usher said. “People have to decide if they would rather save the money, or whether they are prepared to spend the money for the additional convenience.” —Dorothy Kessler Correction In the article “USC attends CASA conference,” published Tuesday, November 26, it was stated that the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is a member of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). This was inaccurate. The two groups work together but have no formal affiliation. The Gazette regrets the error.
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 â€˘ Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Whelanâ€™s speech gets positive reactions Iain Boekhoff NEWS EDITOR The reaction to University Studentsâ€™ Council president Pat Whelanâ€™s keynote speech Monday evening has been mainly positive. â€œPatâ€™s speech, as always, was well-written and accessible to students,â€? said Emily Soti, Kingâ€™s University College Studentsâ€™ Council representative. â€œThe great thing about the speech is that you knew it was genuine coming from Pat.â€? Whelan gave the address to a crowd of students and Western administrators in the Mustang Lounge. He said the USC should focus more on student advocacy both within the Western sphere and externally to local, provincial and federal governments. Western president Amit Chakma was in attendance at the speech, as was provost Janice Deakin. Chakma said he was understanding of Whelanâ€™s position. â€œI appreciate Patrickâ€™s determination to position the USC as an active advocating body for students, rather than simply a voice for them,â€? Chakma said in an e-mail. Lindsee Perkins, Social Science Studentsâ€™ Council representative, said listening to students and engaging with them is something
the USC has emphasized this year. â€œPat has emphasized his importance of the student voice since he started campaigning last year. Heâ€™s allowing students to ask questions and get answers which gives the USC some direction on what students are thinking,â€? Perkins said. The USC is launching Concrete Speech and the Idea Forum next week as places for students to voice their opinions and direct the USC in their vision. â€œConcrete ideas will come from the student body, they just need a way to share it,â€? Perkins said. Whelanâ€™s speech was augmented by a video produced by the USC. The focus on student advocacy and engagement is a priority for this yearâ€™s USC and they are creating more ways for students to interact with the USC so the organization can better represent student interests. Wider student engagement is an important area the USC wants to improve in â€” as there were very few students in attendance who were not a part of the USC in some way. â€œThough I wished the turnout was higher, I think the addition of a video was a great idea by the exec because now they can share a little bit of the status of the USC with more people,â€? Soti said. Whelan framed his speech and the video in terms of the changing
Kelly Samuel GAZETTE
THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS. Pat Whelanâ€™s â€œA Seat At the Tableâ€? speech, delivered Monday, drew positive reactions from University Studentsâ€™ Council councillors, Westernâ€™s administration, and Western president Amit Chakma, who was in attendance.
landscape of education and he stressed the need for studentsâ€™ concerns and opinions to be heard by those making decisions on funding and the direction of the university. Chakma agreed that everyone needs to be consulted in order for the university to set on the right path for the future.
â€œAs post-secondary education evolves, we all need to be at the table to identify the issues and actions that can make a real difference in the way that education can be experienced and be put to best use by all of us,â€? Chakma said. Whelan echoed former president Adam Fearnallâ€™s vision that the USC
Class size debate reignited
should focus more on advocacy. â€œThough, as he said, the speech did not really touch on anything new, I am happy that the USC openly said that times are changing and we are going to ensure that students get a say in how they change,â€? Soti said. â€œIt definitely helps me set a vision on how to do my job better.â€?
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Sunridge Dental Taylor Lasota GAZETTE
Hamza Tariq GAZETTE STAFF Recent reports that Mount Royal University in Calgary has cut some courses due to budget constraints have reignited the debate about the difficulties of enrollment in popular courses and about the quality of education in large class sizes. According to John Doerksen, Westernâ€™s vice-provost academic programs and students, Western follows a decentralized form of enrollment, which gives the faculties more autonomy with course offering and resources. â€œSome of the large enrollment courses offered at Western offer really outstanding learning experiences and one of the things we are very committed to is the quality of that academic experience,â€? Doerksen said. â€œWe do that through lots of programming and the teaching support centre and so forth. Thereâ€™s a lot of instruction given there on how to teach effectively in large enrollment courses,â€? he continued. Doerksen mentioned that he received positive feedback from students in large enrollment
courses such as first-year psychology, calling it a vibrant and excellent learning experience enhanced by technology and teaching assistants. A study conducted by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario in 2011, however, reported a number of issues students face in large enrollment classes, which included feelings of anonymity and isolation, lack of student engagement and distractions among the top problems. Citing the study, Richard Wiggers, executive director of research of programs at the HEQCO, said that the focus wasnâ€™t the size of the class but how the students are being taught. â€œThere are many ways that even in a larger class with a larger number of students the teaching and the learning can be effective, and some institutions and faculties are trying to address that,â€? Wiggers said. Wiggers mentioned peer mentoring, teaching assistants, blended learning and technology as tools being employed by universities to enhance the studentsâ€™ academic experience. â€œI think trying new approaches and new methods of dealing
â€” whether with large classes or just a different generation of students â€” and trying to find more ways of being effective as teachers is what really matters the most,â€? Wiggers said. He also commended Westernâ€™s efforts in this regard. Mount Royal did receive some relief from a $2.1-million infusion they were provided by the Alberta government to help with their deficit, but university spokesperson Paula Arab stressed that it wasnâ€™t enough. â€œThe $2.1 million that was restored represents just 2.6 per cent of that cut. We are still facing a $3 million operating challenge next year. The restored funding has to target enrolment pressures,â€? Arab said in an e-mail. Arab said the university hasnâ€™t made a final decision on the received funding yet and would take the course of action that maximizes benefits to students. Mount Royalâ€™s average class size is 27 students but the budget cuts issue has raised a wider debate of increased enrollment and large classes that are common in larger Canadian universities.
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thegazette • Wednesday, November 27, 2013
wednesdayword Dolorous Adjective. feeling or expressing great sorrow or distress.
The last “Gazette Tested” dealt with the best place to take a dump, and this one’s very similar. Many of us have been in relationships that have gone a bit sour and need to be ended. Often, the location where this occurs is beyond control. But if it is foreseeable, and it happens at Western where’s the best place to do the dumping? Here at The Gazette, we sat down and wracked our brains (and hearts) to determine the best location to dump a once-significant other. And boy, was there a variation of opinion. Let’s be frank — campus is a far from ideal place. But if you’re forced to do it on Western’s property, you may as well pick a spot that isn’t awful. There’s plenty of quiet nooks, and intimate spots where the deed can be done without too much fuss. But conversely, there are a number of places you’ll definitely want to avoid. The following is a series of plugpulling places that are relatively reasonable, according to your very own Gazette. Enjoy, and good luck, if you need it.
Best Place to Break Up: The Wave at “Appy Hour” Normally, a restaurant is a terrible place to dump someone. They’re far too public, and generally at least one of you will be stuck with the bill if a quick getaway is made. Usually, The Wave would be no different. However, at a very specific time of the day between 2:30 and 4:00 (known as “Appy Hour”), The Wave is mostly empty, and the cheap appetizers make for a good excuse to have a bite. Also, most of the app choices come with a discounted pint of beer. Certainly, alcohol cannot be expected to make dumping someone an easy ordeal, but it sure as hell won’t hurt. Worst Place to Break Up: In Line at The Spoke Standing in line sucks normally. But standing in line for The Spoke with a weeping and devastated recently-dumped partner would be just torturous. People wading in and out of the atrium as you provide fruitless condolences sounds awful. Plus, you’re probably invested in the idea of a coffee and a bagel. Do you get out of line, losing the precious progress you had made? Do you get to the front and buy them a frozen yogurt to chill their aching heart? Moral of the story is this: Don’t dump someone in line for The Spoke. Or in line for anywhere, really. It would surely only make an unpleasant experience doubly so. —Cam “Smoth” Smith
MARY ANN’S PICKS
Best Place to Break Up: Natural Science Bus Stop The key to a pain-free break up is to keep it short, to the point, and have an exit strategy. So where better to crush someone’s heart, hopes and dreams than at the Natural Science bus stop? As your desired bus begins to load up with students, drop the “I don’t think this is working out” bomb, and at the first sign of teary eyes leap on your getaway vehicle and ride your way to freedom. WARNING: This strategy is dependent on perfect timing, so DO NOT wait until the bus reaches full capacity and you are forced to spend the most agonizing and shameful five minutes of your life waiting for the next bus after a failed escape plan. Worst Place to Break Up: Weldon Library The classic break-up mistake is taking your desired ex to a quiet setting to avoid a scene. The bereft break-ee will inevitably drill you as to why they’re inadequate regardless of setting. Stranded up on the fourth floor in side-by-side cubicles, the angry, weepy and consolatory whispering will alert the bored students around you that there is break-up entertainment to be witnessed. When you’ve had enough of the thinly veiled gawking, you’ll have to awkwardly pack up your books and either wait with your ex for an excruciating two minutes before the elevator arrives, or just bail and run down a seemingly endless flight of stairs. —Mary Ann Ciosk
Best Place to Break Up: Huron Chapel Being broken up with can be one of the most embarrassing, emotionally gut wrenching experience of your ex significant other’s pitiful existence. Thus, the optimum breakup location is one that is out of the way in a quiet place where no one can here your victim screaming in agony. What better location to do the deed than in the chapel at Huron? At night, the location is out of the way and only infrequently visited by students hopelessly praying for success on their exams. While the two of you may hate each other for the rest of your life, God may look upon you with favour.
Best Place to Break Up: UC Hill, Under the Tree This picturesque spot on campus is the quintessential dumping location. The space is public which curbs any emotional outbursts or melodrama. While public, it’s also pretty open which allows for a quick escape route if necessary. As a matter of fact, it’s a hill so if you ever need to get away, gravity really helps you out. Despite its practicality, this spot also offers some thematic significance. Being under a tree will conjure ideas of Adam and Eve but it will be a fascinating contrast for the dumpee because you’re probably not going to repopulate the Earth and be as tight as the original couple were.
Worst Place to Break Up: Dinner at The Wave If one wants to dump their former boyfriend/girlfriend in the cruelest, most inhumane way possible short of Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or phoning, take your unfortunate dumpee to dinner at The Wave. The slow service will make sure that the meal is an awkward situation of figuring out when to pop the “it’s not you, it’s me” card in a guaranteed lose-lose scenario. Will you do it early in the date, forcing you to sit with them for another hour and a half as you casually wait for your food to arrive, or do you sit through the long buildup like Walder Frey and wait until everything is perfect to bring their world crashing down? If you want to be really cruel, order dessert. —Brent Holmes
Worst Place to Break Up: The Bridge near Elgin & Med-Syd Alright, so I’m just going to tell a story; it perfectly illustrates why this bridge is the worst place to dump anyone. So as I was walking across the bridge one day (probably to Christina’s Pub), just minding my own business — BOOM! “You threw away two years to get your dick flicked!” exclaimed a girl at a decibel level too loud to be socially acceptable. As this continued for 30 seconds, I witnessed a relationship disintegrate in front of me. Neither could escape. So while I was totally enjoying this public display of un-affection, it would be hell! You want to cut the cord and get the hell out but on a bridge, you’re stuck! —Bradley Metlin
Best Place to Break Up: A Private Study Room In Weldon Ideally you want to break up with your significant other in a private location — and there aren’t many of those on campus. But a study room in Weldon comes pretty close. If you book a study room, you can get it for a maximum of two hours, meaning once the deed is done, your former lover can have some alone time. But this location plays to your advantage too. Even though it’s a private room, it’s still within a library so the volume needs to be kept down. Even though you might deserve it, your scorned lover won’t be able to lambaste you with anything louder than a hushed whisper, meaning you’ll avoid a melodramatic scene. Worst Place to Break Up: The Booster Juice Line-Up You think you’ve got it all planned out. You’re going to take your date for one last fresh, fruity smoothie before you crush his or her heart. It’s brilliant, you think. Wrong. The Booster Juice line-up is noisier than a construction site during a thunderstorm. You’ll be softly explaining to your date that things can no longer be. That it’s been a great few months but it’s just not working anymore. They’ll stare at you with a blank face. No tears. No yelling. Just an empty stare. You’ll think, “This is going well — they don’t seem that upset.” Wrong again. They just can’t hear you. —Kaitlyn McGrath
thegazette • Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Bringing literature back to London Brent Holmes ARTS & LIFE EDITOR With his Second Apocalypse fantasy trilogy complete and another in its final stages, Canadian fantasy writer R. Scott Bakker has successfully made a name for himself in the fantasy genre, being compared to fantasy greats such as Steven Erikson, J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. “All my books are attempts to embrace the genre,” Bakker says. “[The comparison to Tolkien and Martin] are apt in that I’m not interested in tearing the genre down or tearing the conventions apart, what I’m more interested in is exploring them from the inside-out.” “My fantasy series is an epic fantasy series with the exception that I import traditional literary conventions into the genre and that it turns it into a strange hybrid — philosophical themes, lyrical prose, psychological realism — a lot of the things you don’t find in typical fantasy is what you’ll find in my fantasy,” Bakker continues. Tonight, the London-based writer and Western graduate will be speaking at Western about how
technology has influenced the literary ecosystem. “The talk is about the way in which technological change has altered the ecology of literature that what gets labeled as literature, what gets studied as literature, what gets talked about as literature, particularly in academic circles and in institutionalized literary circles,” Bakker explains.
I think a large or significant part of the social problems we have find ourselves embroiled in today have to do with the way in which academic culture has alienated itself from popular culture. –R. Scott Bakker
Author of the Second Apocalypse and Aspect-Emperor trilogies.
Bakker was always a writer but got discouraged with the prospect of not being able to make a career out of it. While working on a PhD in philosophy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Bakker got started as an author when he gave a manuscript of The Second Apocalypse to a friend’s roommate who was an agent in New York. Soon afterwards, Bakker was given a book deal and moved back to London where he continues to write.
“I wanted to be able to write something literary,” Bakker states. “Unless you are actually putting yourself in contact with individuals who have certain meaningful differences in terms of belief and opinion and background, then you are really not going to do anything but reinforce whatever attitudes they bring into cultural products that they come across — and if you are in the business of reinforcing existing social attitudes then you’re an apologist and you are saying that the status quo is what we need. You find out very quickly just how many people you can provoke.” Bakker hopes his lecture will encourage creative writers and provide an idea for how they should make their way in writing. “The point of the lecture is to try to convince young creative writers to turn their back on the literary institution as it stands — it’s a hard argument to make,” Bakker says. “I think a large or significant part of the social problems we have find ourselves embroiled in today have to do with the way in which academic culture has alienated itself from popular culture.” “For me, it is always about trying to get writers to communicate to the masses,” Bakker says “The last thing any writer should do is write for him or herself.” R. Scott Bakker will be at Western for a lecture and following Q&A tonight at 6:00 p.m. in UC 224A. Admission is free.
Courtesy of R. Scott Bakker
Needs help with the delivery Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins (1971)
Courtesy of Disney
Conrrad Floryan GAZETTE STAFF Delivery Man GGFFF Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders Directed by: Ken Scott There will be around 600 films distributed to North American theatres this year. If the quota was capped at 300 films, Delivery Man would never have seen the light of day. This latest Vince Vaughn slacker-vehicle will — for about $10 — deliver a couple laughs and a movie that can’t quite connect. David Wozniak (Vaughn) is a 40-something good-for-nothing who drives the meat delivery truck for the family butcher shop. He’s so useless that his pregnant police officer girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) wants to cut him out of their child’s life. Due to a mishandling at the sperm bank that he visited so frequently in his youth to make ends meet, he is informed that he is the biological father of 533 children, 142 who are filing a lawsuit to learn of his identity. Oh
yeah, he’s also got 100 grand in shark debt. Besides a few bad breaks, he’s a pretty happy guy. It’s depressing stuff, but this is a comedy after all, so where do the laughs come from? Chris Pratt is hilarious as David’s best friend and lawyer, a disbarred loser struggling to keep up with his four young kids. Any time he speaks, he spouts deadpan humor that is often cleverly insightful about the challenges of raising children. Take this scene: With his kids present, he divulges to David how his kids have completely ruined his life, reassuring that it’s fine to speak bluntly among his kids as they aren’t attuned to the frequency of his voice. He endearingly gets across one of the film’s main sentiments: Having kids is rough and you need a sense of humour to survive it. David is a slight tweak on the archetypal Vince Vaughn slacker man-child. Here he is less motormouthed and sarcastic than usual, playing a more loveable straight man. Essentially, David is Polish, bringing to mind Vaughn’s Polish character in The Breakup, who also worked for the family business (a tourist agency). Vaughn’s prowess
as a box office superstar lies largely in his appeal to the everyman. It’s interesting how making his character Polish enhances his appeal by suffusing him with prototypical Polish undertones: Grit, family and the struggle of the immigrant. The bulk of the film is formulaic as David — armed with profiles of all the kids in the lawsuit — curiously goes from child to child, imparting his brand of fatherly guidance. These vignettes try to tug at the heartstrings, but they feel too contrived to elicit genuine emotion. There are a few lengthy montages of David sappily bonding with his kids, set to forgettable, sentimental music. To list all the sappy elements that this movie so generously has to offer, you would run out of ink in your pen and have to refill it with syrup. David wants to be a “guardian angel” to his children. Delivery Man tries to warm winter hearts by showing how good old-fashioned love and angelic people can bring joy in a difficult world. But you know what would really make people happy? Watching a good movie, which this is not.
Tom Robbins’ capricious writing style catches the reader off guard with strange, vivid imagery and fantastical philosophies that make one see the potential magic in the world. Robbins challenges the reader to “consider the silent repose of the sausage as compared to the aggressiveness of bacon” as well as the purpose of art, while using a leprechaun’s scrotum as a simile for the appearance of mushroom caps. Another Roadside Attraction is Robbins’ first book, published in 1971, garnering critical acclaim and a well-deserved cult following. The story follows Amanda, bohemian wayfarer, clairvoyant, vegetarian and flea-trainer whose five favourite things are butterflies, cacti, mushrooms, motorcycles, and the Infinite Goof. She elopes with John Paul Ziller, an eccentric artist with a baboon companion, and the two found Captain Kendrick’s Memorial Hot Dog Wildlife Preserve
— a roadside attraction/zoo serving sausages and showcasing a flea circus among other oddities. Marx Marvellous (self-named to offend the greatest proportion of the population by implying affiliations with communism and homosexuality) is a trained scientist struggling with how to incorporate magic into his worldview. Plucky Purcell, former football player and friend to Pope John Paul, infiltrates a group of badass ninja monks and discovers the astounding secret the Vatican has been concealing for 2,000 years. Robbins skillfully weaves together theories about water inventing human beings as their means of transportation, graphic sex scenes and an action-packed narrative guaranteed to horrify any devout Christian. The peculiar cast of characters is dynamic and compelling and the logic of their worldviews forces the reader to consider life from a fresh perspective. —Mary Ann Ciosk
thegazette • Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Opinions HAVE YOUR SAY
The Gazette asked students if companies should be allowed to advertise to children.
Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.
You must be this tall to be marketed to Seven Minutes in Kevin
Social Science II “I think advertising to children isn’t bad but we need to make sure what they’re showing to children isn’t creating a bad impression on them — there’s a lot of things that children are exposed to that could be super negative and have negative effects in the long run, so I think that maybe not prohibiting advertising towards children, but monitor it.”
Science II “You have to be careful what they’re being exposed to, they can’t be that explicit — it has to be age dependent. The younger the kids, the more rated or censored the advertising should be.”
Masters I “Let’s take energy drinks for example. Society, justifiably so, feels that drinks like Monster shouldn’t advertise to youth because they’re easily impressionable. And the energy drink and the ramification side effects that they do advertise won’t fully be understood by the youth. For that simple reason, I feel as though for the most part they should not.”
Kevin Hurren OPINIONS EDITOR There are very few things I know about Sweden. I’m a fan of Swedish meatballs. I jam to ABBA every now and then. I’m assuming Swedish House Mafia has some relation. But recently I found out that this Nordic land is one of a handful of countries to completely ban advertising to children under the age of 12. Now, this isn’t news. The country has long been strict on regulating the way companies portray or target kids in their ads. What’s interesting, however, is the fact that as other global communities take harsher stances when it comes to advertising to children, North American media seems to be becoming even more saturated with pointed ads. This might not seem like a very big deal. After all, what’s wrong with little kids “letting it rip” with Beyblade or having “a passion for fun” with Bratz dolls. But giving corporations free reign over this market creates two potentially damaging outcomes. First, advertising specifically to children positions them as consumers at a very young age. On the surface level, it burdens parents with kids who are passionate and unyielding in their demand for the latest product. Because children at this age don’t quite grasp concepts of socioeconomic standing, they aren’t as astute at understanding that — contrary to what ads tell them — their parents can’t buy them everything. But continuously framing children as shoppers can have a much more insidious result. It establishes early associations between products and larger social cravings. If I want to be as happy as the kids
in the commercial, I need to spend. If I want as many friends as that kid, I need to shop. If I want to have as much fun, I need to pay up. While these associations aren’t necessarily unique to child advertising — as they are the foundation of marketing — underdeveloped kids may be less able to distinguish between realities the ad presents, and their reality. The second harmful thing that advertising to children does is cement gendered norms. It’s not difficult to distinguish between the girls’ and boys’ toy aisles at any local Walmart or Target. Boys get plastic guns, Hotwheels and chemistry sets. Girls get bejeweled combs, feathered boas and kitchen sets. Blue is for boys, pink is for girls. Advertisers rely on these gender stereotypes to market. It’s much easier to work from a foundation of sexist and limiting norms when creating a 30-second commercial than it is to open an inclusive dialogue. Why bother moving away from gender dichotomies when you can print out thousands of easy to make “pretty and pink” flyers? When it comes to preventing kids from falling in line with these gender conventions, some argue that it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the advertiser. Parents should be the ones to take their kid aside and broaden his or her horizons. But I question how effective a parent can be against a multi-billion dollar industry thriving with tried and tested gendered toys. What hope can parents have to shield their child from a constant barrage of ads on TV, on the way to school or daycare, and even on the clothes they wear? So while parents do play a role, it’s unrealistic to expect them to be the Alpha and Omega of childhood wellbeing. After all, governments already have abundant regulation when it comes to protecting children from harmful material. Why shouldn’t advertisements be treated the same way?
Health Science/Biology V “I don’t think these corporations should be advertising to little kids especially since they can’t comprehend all the information regarding the product.”
Volume 107, Issue 45 www.westerngazette.ca
Julian Uzielli Editor-In-Chief Cameron M. Smith Deputy to the Editor Jason Sinukoff Jason honey
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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.
Mike Laine GAZETTE
Gazette Composing & Gazette Advertising Ian Greaves, Manager Robert Armstrong
Gazette Staff 2013-2014
Christine Bonk, Jonathan Dunn, Sam Frankel, Stephanie Grella, Kevin Heslop, Jenny Jay, Nathan Kanter, Taylor Lasota, Katie Lear, Emory Liu, Cheryl Madliger, Sara Mai Chitty, Soheil Milani, Lily Robinson, Hamza Tariq, Josh Teixera, Anne Wozney
News Richard Raycraft Megan Devlin Iain Boekhoff Jeremiah Rodriguez Arts & Life Brent Holmes Mary Ann Ciosk Bradley Metlin Sports Daniel Weryha Nusaiba Al-Azem Caitlin Martin Newnham Opinions Kevin Hurren
Letters to the Editor
Western should also invest in TA training RE: “Training TAs can improve teaching,” Tuesday, November 19 To the Editor: First off, thanks to Kevin Hurren for his excellent article on training TAs last week. However, one important fact was omitted: PSAC Local 610, the Teaching Assistant union here at Western, successfully bargained for the creation of the Lead TA program as part of our negotiations for a new collective agreement last year. This initiative aims to enhance the training TAs receive by providing department-specific preparation and resources for TAs to utilize. Without such preparation, TAs enter the classroom with little or no preparation. Many TAs do take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Lead TAs and the Teaching Support Centre, without pay and in addition to their regular work, not to mention their own graduate studies. Commendable as this is, if Western truly desires to provide the best undergraduate student experience, the university should pay its TAs for hours spent in training. As the study cited in the article indicates, mandatory paid training for TAs can only improve the quality of classroom teaching at Western. —David Blocker President, PSAC Local 610 History PhD Candidate
“Fat-free” desserts a logical fallacy RE: “Kiwi Kraze accused of misleading customers,” Friday, November 22. To the Editor: This whole situation seems completely ridiculous. The fact that they are suing the company for more than half a million dollars seems like an outright money grab. I mean, you’re surprised that your frozen dessert product might contain something that’s not exactly 100 per cent healthy for you? Are you kidding me? It’s a dessert product for crying out loud. Furthermore, it’s not even like the amount of fat in the frozen yogurt was that excessive. Compared to ice cream, three to eight per cent is really not that much. Regular two per cent milk almost has the same amount. Also, don’t even get me started on the whole “fat-free” business. Most of the products that are marketed as “fat-free” are loaded with tons of sugar to make up the taste difference. —Jeff Genovy Software IV
Associate Kaitlyn McGrath Aaron Zaltzman Photography Logan Ly Bill Wang Kelly Samuel Graphics Naira Ahmed Illustrations Christopher Miszczak John Prata Online Jesica Hurst Graphics/Video Mike Laine
• Please recycle this newspaper •
thegazette • Wednesday, November 27, 2013
saywhat? “He’s a man, he has the heart of a warrior and is going to go out there and play regardless of the circumstance. Everybody can see it. Everybody can see it. He shouldn’t be playing.”
>> San Francisco 49ers’ linebacker Ahmad Brooks said of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Rundown >> Western swimmers Emma Sproule and Robert Wise were named the Western Mustangs Athletes of the Week > Both swimmers set Western records in their respective races > Sproule earned gold at the University Challenge Cup and Wise earned gold and silver at the Canada Cup.
Men’s basketball winning streak continues Western keeps the momentum against Algoma U Aaron Fisch CONTRIBUTOR The Western Mustangs men’s basketball team pulled off an impressive win on Saturday night, defeating the Algoma Thunderbirds 82–71. It was a close game going into halftime, as the Mustangs were only down by five points. But after a 43-point rally in the second half, the Mustangs came out with the victory. The key to Western’s success was forward Greg Morrow, finishing with a stat line of 31 points and 10 rebounds. Morrow shot 11 of 15 from the field and was a major contributor in the win. The Mustangs had a mediocre first half, allowing Algoma to shoot 62 per cent from the floor. Algoma dictated the tempo with a balanced attack working from inside out — first using the driving game and eventually spreading the floor with three-pointers. “Our defence is currently a work in progress. We need to get better at containing penetration, off-ball situations and rebounding,” Mustangs head coach Brad Campbell said. Despite the strong first half from the Thunderbirds, Western was able to keep it close because of timely three-point shooting from Mustangs’ guard Eric McDonald — sinking four of six from three-point range. McDonald shot 58 per cent from the floor in the game — also contributing with four rebounds and assists, playing 30 minutes and totaling 18 points. But with Algoma focusing in on McDonald’s three-point shooting in the second half, someone else needed to step up.
After the first 20 minutes, Algoma led Western 44–39. At the break, Mustangs head coach Brad Campbell told his team to focus on the basics. The message seemed to be understood, as everything went the Mustangs way once the third quarter began. What stood out in the second frame was the Mustangs’ defensive intensity. Their man-to-man, inyour-face style of defence was the difference maker. This aggressive mentality was highlighted by an oncourt altercation between Mustangs’ guard Rashayne Case and another Algoma guard, which displayed the gritty nature of the Western defence. This exact defensive style of play was Western’s strategy going into the game. “[The] game plan was to get stops on defence and push the ball to score in transition,” Campbell said. The Mustangs forced 18 turnovers in the second half and consequently stretched the lead to 10 points by the end of the third quarter. With Morrow closing out the game with a vicious chase-down block reminiscent of LeBron James from behind, the Mustangs secured their third-quarter lead and never looked back. Campbell said in an email after the game that this latest win streak could help the Mustangs — who have struggled to win as of late — turn this season around. “I think our guys are starting to see how the small details/little things matter when it comes to winning games,” Campbell said. The next game for the Mustangs is tonight against the winless Brock Badgers at Alumni Hall at 8 p.m.
Mike Laine GAZETTE
Tao Feng GAZETTE
OUT OF MY WAY! The Mustangs were quick with the ball on Saturday night against the Algoma University Thunderbirds to secure their second victory of the season by a score of 82–71. With the win, the Mustangs are now 2–6 on the season.
thegazette • Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Naira Ahmed GAZETTE
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Rogers gets exclusive airing rights to NHL Hockey Night in Canada still on CBC Kaitlyn McGrath ASSOCIATE EDITOR Rogers Communications scored a major deal with the NHL, winning the exclusive rights to broadcast hockey in Canada for the next 12 years. Rogers paid the NHL $5.2 billion dollars to own “all national rights to NHL games on all platforms in all languages,” according to a press release from Rogers Communications. The deal includes both broadcast and multimedia rights, and with a price tag of $300-million per year, it becomes the largest media deal in the league’s history. Rogers, who owns the specialty channel Sportsnet, will also have the rights to all NHL playoffs games. This deal also means that Canada’s other major sports network, TSN, owned by Bell Media, will no longer be allowed to broadcast hockey. David Spencer, a professor from the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, says he wasn’t surprised that Bell came out on the losing end. “Bell has never recovered from its corporate culture that it had when it was a monopoly enterprise,” he said. “It still does not know how to compete equally very well, and it just has not developed the kind of aggressive corporate culture that I
think you see at Rogers.” But even with all the shuffling, one thing will remain the same — CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. As part of the deal, Rogers announced they would partner with the CBC, through a sublicensing agreement, and the station’s iconic Hockey Night in Canada program will live on. However, at the moment it’s unclear if the program will remain intact in name only, as the agreement gives Rogers creative control of the Saturday night broadcast. But Spencer said keeping the flagship program alive is a smart move. “People who watch Saturday night hockey, and there are many of them, will be able to turn on the TV and it won’t look any different, and that’s a good thing as far as the audience is concerned,” he said. The rights to broadcast hockey games in Canada is a lucrative business, and until now has been shared by the three major networks. But Spencer said eventually one of the networks was bound to make a bold move. “Anyone would say that sooner or later one of these guys are going to bob to the top, and it’s happened a little sooner than I thought it would,” he said. The deal will begin next year and last through to the 2025-26 season.
RESIDENCE ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE Vacancies now available for first-year and upper-year students in main campus residences. Visit our website at www.residenceatwestern.ca and login to myResidence to complete the application and provide contact information. START LOOKING FOR next year early and beat the wait lists! Visit www.varsityhousing.ca for luxury apartments and houses. $500-$600. Downtown and near campus: 519-858-2525, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
THEATRE WESTERN PRESENTS: “Boeing Boeing” by Marc Camoletti translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans at the McManus Studio Theatre, Nov. 28, 29, 30 at 8pm. Nov 30 at 2pm. Tickets $15 at western connections UCC.
SERVICES FEELING STRESSED OUT? Registered Massage Therapy and Registered Acupuncture minutes away from Western. Coverage under SOGS and USC Health Plans. Call 519-601-5436 email: email@example.com ENGLISH (ESL) TUTORING: Are you having difficulty learning English as a Second Language in addition to your academic studies? Lots of experience with graduate students from many different countries. TESL Certified Instructor. Phone or text Tom at: (226) 791-2213. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID BEING PHISHED 1. Never respond to emails that request personal financial information. Reputable companies don't ask for passwords or account details in an email.
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