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The Ubyssey Feb 8, 2000

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Array entists
ie AMS health and
lental plan runs into
another obstacle
olleyball Birds' playoff
res become a little
earer
ram %
e Design Arts
allery not camera shy
"Grain"
not so Super since 1918
www.ubvssev.bc.ca
Bus fare
will rise
by Joni Low
TransLink's proposal to increase transit
fares by 15 per cent as early as June has
triggered a wave of disapproval at UBC.
The Draft Strategic Plan put forward
by Translink, formerly BC Transit, calls
for improved services. By .. law,
TransLink cannot incur a deficit, so it
plans to increase its revenue to fund
changes to the transit system. Under the
proposal, bus, SkyTrain, and SeaBus
fares would be raised this year, and
again in 2003, by 25 cents for one and
two zone trips, and by 50 cents for three
zones.
But critics say that the proposed fare
hikes will work against TransLink.
"You're hitting the folks that can least
afford it—the people that are already
doing the right thing," said Gord
Lovegrove, UBC's director of transportation planning.
"And when you look at who the riders
are, a big chunk of them are students."
Alma Mater Society Coordinator of
External Affairs Nathan Men agrees
that raising fares will not help increase
ridership.
"It's a very regressive move, in terms
of what TransLink's been putting out in
their propaganda."
But TransLink spokesperson Ken
Hardy defended this increase. He said
that the increase in fares will help fund
not only future transit improvements
but existing ones. In 1999 alone, $50
million was invested in the system to
finance the addition of 101 new buses
and increased hours of service.
aAn increase in equipment and refinements to services, such as a mini-bus
system connecting low-ridership areas
to the main routes, are among the other
projects which will be funded by surplus
fare revenues.
"Vancouver has one of the lowest
transit fares across Canada, and we have
not seen an increase in fares since
1993," said Hardy.
According to Lovegrove, however,
this "reverse loyalty" tactic fails to
charge the very people who worsen traffic congestion and pollution in the
Lower Mainland.
"[TransLink's] excuse is that they
haven't had a fare increase since 1993,
but they have never had parking taxes or
license fees, so [their excuse] is a moot
point'
But the fare increase is only one element included in TransLink's Draft
Strategic Transportation Plan, which
also calls for drivers to pay a vehicle levy
continued on page 2
RTA headed to courts
by Alex Dimson
In a decision that may have further implications for the jurisdiction of the
Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), the BC
Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a
UBC student resident in a housing conflict
with UBC.
In a hearing Friday, Amir Attaran, a
lawyer for UBC's Student Legal Fund
Society (SLFS), presented arguments on
behalf of Farag Omar, an Acadia resident
The UBC Housing and Conferences
Department set a limit of four years on the
length of time residents could live in
Acadia. After his four years had elapsed,
Omar was asked to leave. Citing regulations outlined in the RTA, the provincial
legislation that governs the relationship
between tenants and landlords, Omar
refused, prompting UBC to appeal to a
provincial arbitrator.
Last September, the arbitrator ruled
against the university, allowing Omar to
stay in Acadia. UBC then applied to the BC
Supreme Court for a judicial review on the
basis that the RTA does not apply to Acadia.
University residences are not currently
included under the RTA. The central issue
in last month's Alma Mater Society (AMS)
elections concerned efforts by the AMS to
amend the RTA to include residences.
But although Supreme Court Justice
Stewart ruled in Omar's favour, the SLFS is
not entirely satified with the decision.
Robin Branson, a member of the SLFS
legislative committee, said that although
Stewart was criticial of UBC, he declined to
rule on the issue of jurisdiction itself—one
of the main reasons the SLFS became
involved in the case.
"We have received a large number of
complaints mainly from Acadia residents...we were hoping that the ruling
would allow these complaints to be
resolved under the RTA," said SLFS
President Tara Ivanochko.
"A lot of students feel that their rights
are really up in the air...sometimes the university acts bound by the RTA and sometimes it doesn't," added Branson.
This is the first time an SLFS case has
been heard in court Ivanochko explained
that the SLFS is very selective in which
cases it pursues, picking only those that the
society believes will benefit a large number
of UBC students.
Both Branson and Ivanochko have indicated that as a result of the ruling, the SLFS
will likely try to challenge UBC's stance on
the RTA, possibly through another case.
Branson said that SLFS members will meet
later on this week to decide their strategies.
UBC Housing could not be reached for
comment before press time, but has previously stated that it opposes including residences under the RTA, since, it claims, the
unique environment of residence could be
lost
In last month's aAMS elections, the Action
Now slate had included a stance on the RTA
as part of its campaign, but after a vocal outcry from student residents who opposed
including residence under the RTA, the
Action Now slate was soundly defeated. The
elected Students for Students candidates
promised that they would not support the
RTA's implementation in residence.
The SLFS was founded in 199 7 as a consequence of a successful legal challenge of
UBC's tuition policy. Each UBC student
pays $1 towards the society, whose case
work is done on a pro bono basis by
lawyers and law students.^ THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8. 2000
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SUMMER CAMP COUNSELORS ON
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Positions available for talented, energetic,
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all team sports including Roller Hockey
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MAH-KEE-NAC www.campmlcn.com
(Boys): 1-800-753-9118
DANABEEwww.danbee.com (Girls):
1-800-392-3752
Interviewer will be on campus Tuesday,
March 7th, 10am to 4pm in the Student
Union Building, rooms 214/216.
MUSICIANS WANTED Grace Vancouver Church needs musically diverse artists
for Sun. evening service. $35 per night,
call 871-4331.
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Accommodation
ACCOMMODATION AVAIIaABLE IN
THE UBC SINGLE STUDENTS RESIDENCES January-April 2000. Rooms
are available in the UBC single student
residences for qualified women and men
applicants. Single and shared rooms in
both "room only" and "room and board"
residences are available. Vacancies can be
rented for immediate occupancy in the
Walter H. Gage, Fairview Crescent,
Totem Park, Place Vainer, Ritsumeikan-
UBC House and Thunderbird Residences (availability is limited for some
residence areas and room types).
Please contact the UBC Housing Office
in Brock Hall for information. The
Housing Office is open from 8:30am -
4:00pm weekdays, or call 822-2811
during office hours.
News
nnouncement
GLOBALIZATION AND SOCL\L
JUSTICE - j\MNESTY UBC'S 5TH
ANNUL STUDENT CONFERENCE,
SAT FEB, 26 @ SUB. Reg. fee $10 if
before Feb. 15.  Morning workshops will
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arising from it. Afternoon sessions will be
on Issues of Social Justice. For more info
call 822-9098 or email
amnestyubc@hotmail.com
TODAY!!!! RAISING THE ROOF
"Toque Tuesday" February 8th, 2000. Buy
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ATTENTION ENGLISH GRADS!!! The
final deadline for grad photos is Feb 29,
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Drop in the English dept. for more details.
AIMS EXCECUTIVE 2000/2001 If
you are interested in joining the executive for the upcoming school year please
contact us ASAP  Next years executive
will be determined at end of Feb. If
interested please send email to
aims@interchange.ubc.ca
expressing reasons for interest in field
and for joining our executive.
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continued from page 1
of approximately $75, beginning in 2001, and increased parking
charges, beginning in 2005.
Lovegrove would like to see the fare increase delayed until the
I vehicle tax and parking fees are installed to make the increases
I more equitable among commuters.
Meanwhile, negotiations between UBC and TransLink continue
I over the U-Pass, a student transit pass which would be valid across
I three transit fare zones.
TransLink is scheduled to make a price offer for the U-Pass this
| week, which will then be brought by jLovegrove to the AMS council
meeting Wednesday.  Lovegrove
I supports a pass that costs under
$20 per month.
Meanwhile, Maryann Adamec,
I AMS president-elect, believes that
making the U-Pass non-mandatory is important to the negotiations.
"My personal opinion is that
there be opt-out provisions in a
plan like this, because it's supposed to provide a service—not a
hindrance—to students," said
Adamec.
Commuters who live far from
campus where service is inadequate should have the same
options as UBC residents, she added.
During his term as coordinator of external affairs, Allen has
I been pushing for several other conditions surrounding the U-Pass.
He would like UBC to partially subsidise the cost of the pass with
extra money made from the sale of south campus endowment
lands.
But Adamec insists on unifying the student voice first before
forming a formal agenda for the transit pass.
aAllen also expressed concern over the future of the U-Pass given
the upcoming turnover in council when the newly elected executives take office at the end of month.
"The current council knows the ins and outs of the
university...I'm a little worried that the lack of continuity between
councils, and the new faces, may alter the nature of the negotiations [for the U-Pass]," he said.
Adamec is confident, however,  that the transition will be
smooth, and does not feel that these issues should be rushed mere-
1 ly for the sake of accomplishing them during her term.*t*
"My personal opinion is
that there [should] be
opt-out
provisions in a plan like
this, because it's
supposed to provide a
service-not a
hindrance-to students."
-Maryann Adamec
AMS president-elect
STUDENT SOCIETY OF UBC
ams
UPDATE
visit us at www.ams.ubc.ca
m
A\«
&
Employment Opportunity
Health & Dental Plan     Inside UBC Coordinator(s)
Student Assistance
Fund Available
\^J   Students needing financial assistance with
the AMS-GSS Health and Dental Plan can
apply to:
www.gss.ubc.ca/heaKh/applicaUon.litiiil
As part of the referendum passed last fall, money from the
Health and Dental Plan premiums will be set aside to help
students in financial need. For more information, contact
Roger Miller at president@gss.ubc.ca or Ryan Marshall at
president@ams.ubc.ca
All applications are confidential.
If you have any questions about the AMS please email us:
feedback@ams.ubc.ca or visit www.ams.ubc.ca
Successful applicant(s) will be responsible for production of the Inside
UBC Handbook, a detailed guide to the UBC, Alma Mater Society,
university and student life, campus resources and other topics of
interest to students. Apply with cover letter, resume and a
representative sample of recent work by Feb 15/2000.
Responsibilities of the Inside UBC Coordinator:
■ confirming the print specifications of the project
• creating a budget for the project, submitting the budget for approval and adhering to
the approved budget
developing and adhering to the entire timeline of the project, from conceptual
;   planning to actual distribution on campus -■■•■;.,. o
• working with the advertising coordinator to organize and coordinate advertisements
■ contacting all clubs, constituencies and subsidiary groups to contribute articles and
club blurbs to the Inside UBC handbook
• contacting necessary universities offices to contribute and confirm submissions for
publication
■ may involve taking pictures for publication in the handbook
■ ensuring accurate information is contained in the Inside UBC handbook
• responsible for.ensuring that all spelling and grammatical enors are fixed
- must submit a draft copy of the handbook to the AMS Executive Committee and
Communications Coordinator for feedback and approval before going to print
• may design print advertisements for commercial clients from time to time
- other duties, as assigned by the AMS President and the Communications Planning
•responsible for distribution of the final product ' ' •" . '
• must submit a detailed report outlining recommendations for next year
Resumes should be submitted to •
p Inside UBC Coordinator Search Committee'J; 'yy         p.p- p"Mi
C/0\Room 238               ■'.•,.<•■ "■■■;■/ %-v*■■.-■^■:   oo -■■-' •-':   '.*C'--.'J
■Student Union Building •'^op-i.vu        ' S* ■ '   '?••■•%
6138 SUB Boulevard
Vancouver, B.C.
V6T1Z1 Closing Date is Feb 15/2000 THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8.20001
Dentists pull out of health plan
 by Irene Ptett
Fear of disciplinary action from the College'of Dental
Surgeons of BC (CDS) has prompted some dentists to think
twice before joining the UBC dental network a major feature of the new student health and dental plan.
The mandatory Alma Mater Society (aAMS) medical plan,
which came into effect last month, provides students with
an additional discount for using specific dentists. The 'dental network is composed of dentists willing to offer an extra
20 per cent discount to all UBC students.
But the CDS, the body which regulates and monitors BC
dentists, issued an advisory notice in January, warning dentists that joining such a network "could possibly lead to concerns about professional conduct" This letter prompted
two dentists to withdraw from the network, and has led others not to join at all.
Student Care Networks (SCN), the insurance broker
administering the medical plan, emphasised its special
dental network in its negotiations with the .AMS.
The standard plan covers 70 per cent of the basic fee for
an annual dental check-up, cleaning, and fillings but if students go to a network dentist, the fee is reduced by a farther
20 per cent In exchange for providing this discount to UBC
students, the dentists' names are listed on the health plan's
website.
A week ago, 24 dentists were listed on the SCN website;
at least two of these have since pulled out
But in the notice issued by the CDS, President Jim Brass
warned dentists to proceed with caution "before entering
into any arrangement with a third-party payer, or a dental
delivery program that might be considered improper or
unprofessional." The notice mentioned that an unnamed
BC university implemented a health plan on January 1,
2000.
Entering into such agreements, reads the notice, could
place dentists in conflict with the Dentists Act and Rules,
which govern the professional conduct of BC dentists.
In an interview with the Ubyssey, Brass said that the
notice was not intended to threaten dentists with disciplinary action, but was instead designed to outline the areas in
which dentists run the risk of breaching the Act
Such breaches include any arrangement which interferes with a person's freedom to choose a dentist allows
financial considerations to affect the dentist's judgment in
a patient's treatment applies disaiininatory billing based
on insurance coverage, or carries out improper promotional activity.
"We're not saying you can't do it We're just saying if
you're going to do it here are things you should know
about" said Brass. "We can't tolerate a reduction in quality
or service that [dentists] would normally provide."
Breaches of professional conduct can lead to disciplinary
action, including fines, or even removal of a dentist's
licence to practice.
But SCN's Pacific Director Kristin Foster doubts that dentists would be improperly influenced by the 20 per cent discount
"Dentists are not hurting so badly for income that they
will make an unprofessional choice to provide poor service
because of the fee," she said, emphasising that the students
have control over their choice of dentist
Foster did acknowledge, however, that cash-starved students may select a network dentist for the extra discount
She believes that a student discount may be the only way to
convince students to visit a dentist
Foster confirmed that two dentists recently withdrew
from the network.
But she said that SCN consulted the CDS about the dental network well before last October's referendum, when
UBC students voted in favour of the health and dental plan.
Foster explained that she understood that although dentists
would have limits on the type of advertising they could
direct at students, the network itself wouldn't be a problem.
"I had the general understanding that they disapproved,
but that we met with their guidelines," said Foster.
But Brass says that there was not enough consultation,
and that the CDS had a concern with the brochure initially
submitted by SCN about the network.
"We did not consult with [SCN] extensively at all," said
Brass, adding that the CDS will only deal with complaints as
they arise, and will not impose disciplinary action in
advance.
One of the dentists who pulled out of the network, who
asked not to be identified, said that the CDS threatened dis
ciplinary proceedings if another dentist in his office didn't
withdraw from the network. As a result of the threat he
said, his office reluctantly withdrew from the network.
He believes, however, that the network is beneficial for
students, who may not have much money to spend on dental care.
Brass, however, said that he had not heard of this case.
SCN was founded in 1996, and has instituted student
health and dental policies at various universities, including
McGill, Concordia, and Queen's. According to Foster, as
dentists in Quebec and Ontario became more aware of the
network's benefits, they were more eager to join, despite
criticisms from the provincial dental authorities*!*
Fighting for education
  by Alex Dimson
Roughly 2000 students from around the
province rallied downtown last Wednesday L/
to protest funding cutbacks to post-secondary
education.
The day of action, organised by the
Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), a
national student lobby group, was one of
many held in cities across Canada.
"Hey Liberals listen up, fund education or
your time is up!" the protesters chanted as
they inarched agaLost a backdrop of bank
high-rises.
The event kicked off at a rally in front of
the Vancouver Art Gallery where Mark
Veerkamp, the BC Chairperson for the CFS,
asserted students' right to a greater amount
of the projected federal government budget
surplus.
Although BC tuition rates have been
frozen since 1994, tuition levels in other
provinces have increased by an average of
$1800, according to CFS figures. Over the
same period, federal education transfer payments have been reduced by $800 million.
Veerkamp believes that instead of tax
cuts, federal education transfer payments to
the provinces should be increased By doing
so, he believes, the provinces and the country will be "assured of having an educated
workforce well into the future."
"The federal government has decided to
make corporate tax cuts. How is that going to
help us?" Veerkamp asked a cheering crowd
Many students are complaining that even
at its current level tuition in BC is too high.
Frank Tettvald, a iMrdyear Simon Fraser University
student who was at the protest estimates that Ms student debt will be $20,000 by the time he graduates.
"It is ridiculous for the government to expect us to
come out of university as productive members of society, when the only thing we'll be doing is paying our
loans back," said Torvald.
While most of the students' anger was directed at
federal transfer payments, Ben Swanke, a retired
union activist, condemned the federal government's
recent decision to repay the big banks $ 100 million to
compensate them for high default rates on student
loans. He called the banks 'corporate welfare bums,"
and accused the government of "wanting to impose a
complete corporate colonial system on the whole
LEARNING OH IHE STREET: Students of all ages marched through
Vancouver for Access 2000 last Wednesday, tab* westover photo
John Fitzpatrick, secretary-treasurer of the
Vancouver District Labour Council, indicated his support for the student protest
'It's great to see students taking a stand and saying
'we're going to fight hack," he said.
After the rally, students inarched to the Plaza, of
Nations, where a concert put on by local bands and
several speeches by members of the Vancouver community ended the day.
In Victoria, the site of the province's other major
protests, students at the University of Victoria held a
one-day strike to support the day of action, picketing
the campus while other university, college, and high
school students protested in front of the provincial
legislature.*?*
more Day of Action coverage on page 4
Support at home for Mexican students
by Mason Wright
BC Bureau Chief
VANCOUVER (CUP)-While
thousands of students across
Canada participated in last
Wednesday's Canadian federation of Students (CFS) protest
against the federal government
cuts to education, a smaller
group declared international
solidarity with their Mexican
counterparts.
As over 2000 post-secondary
students marched from the
Vancouver .Art Gallery to the
Plaza of Nations on Wednesday,
a group of around 30 demonstrators split away in search of
the Mexican consulate to oppose
last week's arrest of 400
Mexican students who were
protesting tuition increases.
"The [CFS] already has their
demonstration planned out,"
said activist Blain Butyniec, who
alerted students about the
events in Mexico earlier in the
day as they gathered at Simon
Fraser University.
'We think it's only fair that
we take some time to support
our fellow students in Mexico."
But the group of protesters in
Vancouver were forced to postpone their demonstration until
last Friday as a result of confusion over the location of the consulate building.
Reports from Mexico indicated that military pohce arrived at
one of the schools of the
National Autonomous
University of Mexico last
Tuesday, arresting the students
who had been on a nine-month
strike in favour of free education.
The Mexican consulate in
Vancouver, however, would not
confirm these reports at press
time.
In his speech in front of the
Art Gallery, CFS BC Chairperson
Mark Veerkamp mentioned that
Mexican students planned to
march to the Canadian consulate in Mexico City in support
of the Canadian day of action.
Veerkamp later said that the
CFS is behind any future
demonstrations in support of
the students in Mexico. "I think
anything that we can do to show
solidarity to those Mexican students is important"
He added that support for
universal access to education
'is not just happening in
Canada."
Meanwhile, students from
Concordia University, McGill
University and the Universite
du Quebec a Montreal wound
through Montreal's downtown
core last Wednesday, eventually
gathering near the Mexican consulate, where they aimed to
show their support for Mexican
students.*?* THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8,2000
feedback@ubyssey. be. ca
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Owned and operated by the Canadian Federation of Students.
Access 2000 roundup
compiled by Alejandro Bustos    Toronto, Ontario
National Bureau Chief
Thousands of students in more than 50 communities
took to the streets last Wednesday as part of the
Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) Access 2000
campaign.
The CFS, Canada's largest student lobby group, is
calling on the federal government to restore $3.7 billion in provincial transfer payments for post-secondary education Access 2000 is focusing on the fact
that since taking office in 1993, the federal Liberals
have cut $7 billion from post-secondary education
and training.
St John's, Newfoundland
aAbout 1500 university, college and high school students walked out of classes to protest government
cutbacks. The protest was so boisterous that at one
point a reporter from a local radio station asked if
there was a party going on
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
More than 200 students at the University of Prince
Edward Island (UPEI) participated in a Kraft Dinner
lunch. The gathering was meant to show the impact
that high debt loads have on students.
Montreal Quebec
About 200 students from Concordia University,
McGill University and the Universite du Quebec a
Montreal bundled up and marched in -15 C weather.
The government has gone too far and cut too
much from our programs. You can see it at McGill,
you can see it across the country,' remarked Kate
Meier, vice-president external at McGill's Post-
Graduate Students' Society.
.Anti-corporate sentiment also echoed from many
of the marchers who chanted such slogans as, "We
want education, tax the corporations."
Ottawa, Ontario
Protest organisers estimated that up to 3000 university and high school students, as well as faculty,
marched downtown before reaching Parliament Hill.
"I think today shows what we know already—that
Hie majority of Canadians are with us in the fight for
a restoration of education funding," said CFS national campaigns coordinator Pam Frache.
On Parliament Hill, federal New Democratic Party
Leader Alexa McDonough was among those who
addressed the crowd, joining student advocates in
calling on the federal government to reinvest the estimated $95 billion federal budget surplus in social
programs.
"If the Liberals have the guts, we have the solution!" said McDonough "Let's reduce tuition fees!
Let's phase out tuition fees!"
Student demonstrations slowed the flow of traffic
into York University. .Although the Toronto
Transit Commission did not send its buses onto
campus, protesters also blocked the entrance to
the university for a few minutes while they
marched and informed drivers about the protest.
Later, they allowed cars to enter campus two at a
time.
In downtown Toronto, an estimated 2000 to
3000 supporters swarmed Queen's Park in an
impressive wave.
"I've jumped through hoops long enough,"
Ontario CFS Chair Joel Harden told the crowd.
"Today we're taking a different route. Today you
have to listen to the thousands of us."
Among the speakers at the Toronto protest
were Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian
Auto Workers' Union, Ontario NDP Leader
Howard Hampton and Canadian Association of
University Teachers President Bill Graham.
"The province of Ontario provides less to our
universities than the private sector," boomed
Graham over a loudspeaker. "This government is
dedicated to the pursuit of private welfare."
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Following a march through downtown Winnipeg
students went to the University of Winnipeg to listen to speakers and bands. Students played a
friendly game of street hockey, the prize for which
was the "Chretien Cup."
More than 1000 students from Manitoba's
four major universities walked out of classes.
Calgaiy, Alberta
Students at Mount Royal College in Calgary raised
placards and attended a rally to show their support for Access 2000.
Within an hour, about 60 signatures were gathered for a petition asking for a tuition freeze.
Many students also filled out protest postcards
that will be sent to MLAs and MPs.
Victoria, British Columbia
On Vancouver Island, more than 1000 students
from the University of Victoria (UVic) and
Camosun College gathered in front of the provincial legislature waving placards.
'Let's be fair, the money is there—spend the
surplus now," they chanted along with the radical
cheerleaders, a group of students who waved
pom-poms made out of garbage bags.
Earlier that day, about 200 students from UVic
barricaded entrances to the university campus.*!*
—with files from Canadian University Press
Mote social space for SUB
by Gtenda Luymes
If you spend any tune on campus
you've probably noticed the construction outside the SUB. This
renovation, and two other projects on campus, are part of the
Alma Mater Society (AMS)'s
attempt to create more social
space ibr students.
In the SUB's south alcove,
near the cafeteria, a new lounge
is being built which will include
ten internet terminals, sofas, and
chairs reserved mainly for student use. The lounge will also be
available far speakers and meetings.
On the second floor of the
SUB, an outdoor courtyard is also
undergoing renovations to make
it more attractive to students.
The renovations include a reflecting pool new lighting, two disability access ramps, and
expanded accommodation for
350 people.
Michael Kingsmill the .AMS
designer, believes that these two
projects will offer students more
alternatives when deciding
where to spend their free time.
The courtyard he said, was once
dreary and unpopular, but could
attract students with its new features.
The fountain will be illuminated at night and will really add
to    the    atmosphere,"    said
Kingsmill
According to AMS Director of
Administration Tina Chiao, the
courtyard renovations were
prompted by the need to replace
a membrane under the courtyard floor that had been leaking
for five years. Costing roughly
$420,000, the changes-which
have been delayed due to weather and equipment delivery problems—are expected to be completed within the next month.
The SUB renovation projects
are funded by both ihe AMS and
UBC. A $15 levy collected from
each student each year by the
AMS goes towards paying refurbishing costs.
On the other side of campus, a
project to renovate an old, rundown barn near the B-Lots into
social space is also proceeding.
The proposal which is expected
to cost $ 1 million, includes plans
for bookable meeting rooms,
social space, and possibly an
a\MS-run pub. The barn's renovations are not likely to be completed for at least two years.
The horse barn commons is
to serve principally as social
space for students, but also for
faculty and members of the community," said Brian Sullivan,
UBC's vice-president; students.
Last summer, the AMS devoted $50,000 towards this project,
and is currently soliciting funds
from the community. The .AMS
has also applied for federal and
provincial grants to help fond the
project, and is expecting to hear
from the governments sometime
this month. ♦ THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8.2000   g
Role playing
ew book on sexual identity has raised a lot of eyebrows.
by Tom Peacock
b;
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your
role
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IA J
ert and I are
.walking through
'Winnipeg's
Exchange district, our
heads bowed against
the arctic wind the city
is so well known for.
We are talking, but I
can barely hear anything above the gritty,
swishing of cars passing by, spraying the
dirty slush that covers
the city's streets.
We're headed
towards a coffee shop
that Bert managed to
find the day before.
He's only been in Winnipeg for twenty-four hours,
since arriving from his hometown Toronto, but he
quickly found the nearest decent coffee place. He
likes them. He doesn't go out much. He's sociable,
but he's not one for clubs; he likes to just sit and
talk. And, as I am soon to find out, he's a master of
the art
It was only after Bert Archer finished college
that he came out, I discover—once we've settled
down in some nice big chairs in the warm and
crowded, but quiet, shop. He'd already had a
boyfriend, but they had kept their relationship
secret When they broke up, and Bert
wanted to get noticed, he got active.
He bought a t-shirt that brandished
the slogan 'I can't even think
straight" He marched, he sang he
nicked his way into the gay community-
Then, for some strange reason, he
found himself with a girlfriend. It didn't last. It couldn't, of course. He was
gay. No two ways about it But then
again, as he now qualifies with a
laugh, "I didn't necessarily think girls were icky." Oh.
Okay, so, was he bisexual? No. That word was usually
just an excuse, he explains, nothing else. ,As he would
later write, "too many of those who had ended up gay
had gone through a self-professed bisexual period for
that to be taken too seriously." Besides, three out of
four of Bert's first partners were as straight as they
come. Was there something more to this? Bert
thought so. Bert thought that the very ideas of sexual
identity and sexual attraction were about due for
some rethinking. So he wrote a book.
As Bert re-tells his story—boarding school in
Victoria, his mother dying when he was fifteen, the distance that grew between him and
his father, his coming out, and, eventually, his placing
of himself within a sexually liberated landscape—his
book, The End of Gay and the Death of
Heterosexuahty, begins to appear as a watermark in a very interesting life.
But the book is more than a simple autobiography. Bert recognised that the mainstream way
of thinking about sexual identity needed to be
examined more carefully. For this reason, a lot
of his book is historical and analytical.
Nevertheless, it's still very digestible. "The style
that I find the most valuable is totally accessible,
conversational, humourous and entertaining,"
he explains. "Everyone has loads of things to do,
and I can't blame anyone for putting a book
down that's starting to bore them." Bert, who
moonlights as one of Toronto's best-known book
critics, holds this engaging style throughout his
book.
f course,
Bert's own life
is tightly
bound to his work.
There is no safe distance between his
experiences and his
theories of sexual identity and attraction. "My own
experiences,' he later tells me, 'are one of the main
reasons I'm more and more convinced that your
brain does play a much bigger role in your sexual
attractions than people think it does.'
Unlike most of us, when it comes to that most
sticky of issues, Bert has come to the point where he
doesn't take much of anything for granted.
Bert has tried a lot of things. He's had sex with a
seventy-year old, with someone a hundred pounds
overweight, with a young man dressed as a woman
who wanted to dominate him ('I had to ask myself if
I was any less of a man after that,' he says with mock
machismo). He's had sex with his best friends, with
random men and women through tele-personals, and
with prostitutes.
'Frankly,' he admits, "I'm usually hard pressed to
come up with a reason not to have sex. I've had sex
with lots of people that I've been completely unat-
tracted to, just sometimes actively to see what it's
like."
But the fact that Bert is so promiscuous—or liberated or experimental, or whatever you or he decides
to call it—seems unimportant when you meet him.
He's not, as he terms it, a "femmebot," an overwhelmingly feminine, immediately identifiable gay,
white male. Instead, he's a slight thirty-year-old guy
who looks a bit like Moby. His eyes flash with intelligence, and his speech is so deliberate and careful that
it forces you to quickly re-jig your questions all the
time so that they'll fit into the totally altered place
where your mind is being led—a place where, as his
more and more convinced that
brain does play a much bigger
in your sexual attractions than
people think it does."
book states, "we can talk about sex like, say, we talk
about food."
Later in our conversation, as we discuss how he
finally got around to writing his book, Bert
admits that he has been fascinated with the idea
of reading, writing and propagating ideas since he
was in high school. "In grade ten, I became really
excited about it—how to communicate, how to convince people of things, and how to express things in
words."
Bert's also a damn good listener. I ask him about
this after I watch him spend over half an hour—after
an already long question period following one of his
talks—entertaining questions from a stereotypical
"femmebot," who has become totally flustered by the
whole "end of gay' thing.
aAn open mind, Bert explains, is an essential component for anyone who's trying to tackle his controversial theories, or five according to his ideas. 'It's
something you do,' Bert tells me. "Something you
think about, you work at, you wonder, 'okay, why am
I attracted to this person and not others? Why do I
take some people seriously and not others?' .And you
eventually decide what criteria are valid and which
ones aren't"
Bert's own levelheadedness means that there is
not the slightest crack in his presentation, not even a
remote indication of any normal human weakness.
It's almost off-putting. But then, there's a lot of
humour and good interesting conversation as well, so
it's not really an issue.
Nevertheless, the fact that Bert always makes such
complete and utter sense means that I find myself
bringing up more and more extreme examples of sexual perversion and sexual exploitation, in hopes that
his arguments will falter. But it doesn't happen. Of
course, Bert admits, bad behaviour is bad behaviour,
but sex isn't the cuplrit It's ourselves and our underhanded treatment of the subject
"Society has loads of checks and balances," says
Bert, when I ask him whether the rules of sexual etiquette that we adhere to exist for a reason, "all under
the assumption that sex is a huge, big untameable
force that if you don't keep absolutely in check will
bust loose. Most of this comes from a total lack of sexual experiences, a lack of incorporating sex into different parts of our fives."
Pornography? Bert sees it
as a valuable educational tool,
and a lucrative business for
those smart enough to to take
advantage of people's insatiable appetite for the stuff.
Prostitution?  "We  decide
what   exploitation   is   good
based on the trade-offs," he
says.   "People   decide,  with
prostitution    that    involves
women or younger people, that there is no
balance possible, that the person on the
receiving end is always in the abject position of absolute victimisation, and that's not
necessarily the case. There are certainly
cases of abuse, rape, or men and women
who have no idea what they're doing 'cause
they're so fucked up on drugs, but those are
different issues, different kinds of transactions."
Basically, Bert just wants us to reassess all our basic beliefs about
sex and sexual identity. "If you
think hard enough, you can see that this
is really right; you can see that sex is not
so cut-and-dry the way we've been saying
it is,' he says.
If 'this is really right,' well, then we
might consider the idea of gay sex (or
straight sex if we identify ourselves as
gay) happening without there being a fundamental change in our sexual identity; that in fact we could have sex with a
same-sex partner, enjoy it, and by all
accounts, still be straight; or, have sex
with a member of the opposite sex, and
still be gay. Hence the end of gay and the
death of heterosexuality.
Granted, this is a lot for some people
to stomach.
aAnd what about Gay Pride, and all it
has accomplished? Bert believes that the
revolutionary, slogans  of the movement's early years have
served their purpose, that
now it's time to move on
to more subtle forms of
affirmative   action.   He
compares the gay movement  to   the   women's
movement, and the shift
in the latter's arguments
towards notions of equivalency   as   opposed   to
equality.   'Women   are
now saying, Tes women
are different, but difference is not inferiority.' If you try to introduce that kind of subtlety into the original argument,' Bert says, 'you just lose
all the force of it, and things go way
more slowly than they did.'
But in spite of the fact that Bert's theories may be more subtle, less differentiating, the title of his book is downright
confrontational. So calling the book The
End of Gay... was a tough choice for him
to make. "I would have liked to call it the
beginning of something, ' he says, "but I
didn't have a word for it"
For obvious reasons, the title doesn't
wash too well with the gay community,
some of whom still march, dance, and
champion their "difference." I ask him what sort of
feedback he's gotten from members of the community, and he tells me that, for one thing the gay press'
response has been quite universally negative.
As the light outside wanes, and we get up to
leave, I ask Bert what he expects people to do,
now that the book is written and the word is
out that sex is no big deal, and that sexual identity is
not necessarily fixed or binding. It's fine and good on
paper, but what about out there, in reality?
"A lot of people's first impressions of what I'm trying to say is that I'm arguing that everyone should be
sleeping with everyone else, and I'm definitely not
saying that at all. I think most of what I'm talking
about should be going on in your head. Most of it
should be you realising the nature of yourself sexually and then doing with that whatever you want"** 6
THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8, 2000
The Merry
Wjves ot
^yno NTcolai
m>
'WFeb
F#10,11 & 12, 8pm; Feb i#3$W»
Han Shun Concert Hall
.-««,Ghan Centre for the Performing Arts
ll^"icfcets: Rig $18 St/Sr$12
cBc*ra{ik.^. Ticketmaster
I lu r baalm. AWtftl
j CMtl 10UW*W, Stndra SWngw
Z&tf Madeleine Sophie Bar atAward
SUBJECT: "The creative and reponsible use of freedom."
Choose your own focus, e.g. Literature, Art,
Capitalism, Philosophy, the Environment,
Interpersonal Relations, Economics, History, etc.
ELIGIBILITY: Open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduate and
graduate students of UBC and affiliated
theological colleges.
Decline: Friday, May 28th, 2000
Prize Awarded: Friday, September 29th, 2000
PRIZE: $1000
Application forms may be picked up Monday to Friday,
10a.m. to 4p.m. at St. Mark's College, 5935 Iona Drive.
b c     LIBK
Thank You,
UBC LIBRARY SURVEY
Participants!
Congratulations,
winners of the prize draw:
Caroline Byun, Kevin Frankowski,
Kerry Harmer. Negin Mirriahi, Jonathan osten,
Sophia Siu, Yvonne Yuen
prizes Included gift certificates for UBC Bookstore,
Sage Bistro, Birdcoop and 5th Avenue Cinemas
The survey will greatly influence
plans for Library services and collections.
watch for a summary of survey results,
to be published in Spring 2000.
Shaky road to CW playoff
 by Naomi
Since the first weekend of the season, the UBC women's vo
ball team has been in second place in the Canada West coi
ence. With one weekend to go in the regular season, the 14-61
squad is still behind the 19-1 University of Alberta Pandas in
standings. And, if they keep playing like they are right now, th
be biting .Alberta's heels right up until the playoffs bitter enc
The Birds have been able to defeat highly ranked teams
year, including a split with Alberta two weeks ago, but the rei
losses to unranked teams—the University of Winnipeg Wesi
and the University of Calgary Dinos—have some players frus
ed.
'I don't think we played well both nights/ said UBC po
Sarah Maxwell after Saturday's match. 'I don't think we're sei
that our time is precious...I try to press the urgency...with
team but I feel that we're not appreciating that. We're not th
ing 'Okay, we only have three weeks [until playoffs].' Does
not upset or worry anybody?'
Eveiything seemed fine going at the outset of Friday's ma
The Birds jumped out 8-2 and doubled that lead to take the
25-11. Calgary wasn't playing well, and UBC's offence 1
advantage.
Despite the quick start, that set was the anomaly in the w
end. The Birds went on to sweep the match 2 5-20 and 2 5-17 \
Karen Moore leading the Birds with 9 kills and Maxwell adc
12 digs. But considering Calgary's zero per cent kill efficie:
UBC's win wasn't surprising. However, even with the three
victory, there were still concerns.
'There's still some inconsistent times in the games,' said 1
setter Kathryn McKenzie, "but I think we're headed in the r
direction...just a bit of fine tuning.'
UBC head coach Erminia Russo also addressed the incoi
tency.
"We came out great in the first game...and that's a pretty g
kicking in rally point, but we got lulled into things...It was s
that was unexpected, more scramble-type, and we need to be j
tie better at that It's great if we're able to turn it on, but I tl
what happens sometimes is you can't'
Saturday, the Birds weren't able to turn it on. The first gi
was won by UBC 25-22, but unlike the previous night, the gc
was tight, with the Birds giving up a five-point lead. The gc
was tied at 18, 19, 21, and 22 before Kaley Boyd smashed d(
Calgary's serve-return to end it.
Calgary took their first lead of the weekend midway thro
the second set and and watched as the Birds' offence backfi
and helped the Dinos to a 25-19 victory. The Dinos came
strong in the third set, but UBC won it by an identical 25-19 so
After falling behind 5-1 in the fourth set, UBC regrouped to go on their own 7-1 run with Leah Allinger providing
blocks and hits. But a UBC net serve and a block gave the Dinos the final two points to end the fourth set 26-24.
The fifth set stayed within two points until a wide UBC cross put Calgary ahead 13-10. Two bad UBC service rei
tions finished the match 15-10 for the Dinos.
"We go through the game and it doesn't feel bad at the time,' said frustrated libero Joanna Langley after the ga
'It's just, a couple things don't go our way and we just can't string more points than we need...That team didn't bea
out there, we beat ourselves on errors.'
This is the home stretch,' said Maxwell. "I think giving it our maximal effort is all you can do. You can't control th
other things. You can't practice being clutch, you just have to be clutch all the time.' •
'I just think it's unacceptable some of the performances that we're getting,' Maxwell continued. 'Leah [.Allinger] o
ing off the bench, that's one person who showed guts tonight and I didn't see that from anybody else...We're really f
trated, but the thing is, all we have is practice. We can't control the weekends, so we're trying to focus on [practice].'
The Birds only have one week of practice left before their final regular season games next weekend in SaskatchewE
playoffs begin February 18.*>
The fourth-place Birds will return to War Memo
Gym this weekend to play the University of Manit
Bisons at 6:15pm Friday and Saturday.
MEN'S HOCKEY
The men's hockey team visited the number one-ran
University of Alberta Golden Bears this weekend «
didn't come away empty-handed. UBC lost a close
game on the first night, with forward Glendon Comin
scoring to continue his nine-game point streak. Roc
goalie Robert File played well on both nights, making
saves on Saturday's 2-2 tie.
UBC is six points out of a playoff spot with four gar.
remaining. They will host the 18-3-3 University
Saskatchewan Huskies at the Thunderbird Wir
Sports Centre Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm.
TRACK AND FIELD
The UBC track and field team competed at the Maniti
Cargill Indoor meet on the weekend. .Among the I
competitors, high jumper Sarah McDiarmid finisl
first with a 1.70m jump; Steve Walters, Chris Willia,
Alex Inglls and Laurier Primeau won the men's -
400m relay; and Kerry MacKelvie finished the 150
in 4:41.12, placing first.*!*
MY FINGER! 75-ft tall UBC middle Kaley Boyd gets her
finger caught in a ventilation shaft, tara westover photo
MEN'S BASKETBALL
The Birds played at Saskatchewan and came away with
a split. On Friday, Kevin Keeler's team-leading 26 points
and nine rebounds weren't enough as UBC was defeated
87-78. Saturday, UBC won 79-63 with rookie Brian Host
and Zaheed Bakare contributing 17 points each.
The third-place Birds will host the University of
Manitoba Bisons at War Memorial Gym on Friday and
Saturday at 8pm.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
The UBC women's basketball team lost in a close game
against the University of Saskatchewan on Friday by a
final score of 67-66. Jessica Mills led the Birds with 21
points. In Saturday's game, UBC came back with a 83-56
victory. Carrie Rogers finished with 2>1 points and seven
assists. THE UBYSSEY * TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8. ZOOOI
Comeback Birds keep winning
 by Naomi Kim
The Birds have several points to make.
The first is, they're not done yet. The end of the season
may be rapidly approaching but the UBC men's volleyball team is doing everything it can to prolong it The
Birds have won eight of their last nine matches in a conference whose five teams are all in the top ten in the
country, and they toppled a number one-ranked team for
the second time by sweeping the University of Calgary
Dinos at War Memorial Gym this weekend.
But winning a game is only part of the challenge in the
CIAU's new volleyball system. With each set affecting the
points given to the winning and losing team, the other
points that the Birds have to make are in the standings.
"Anytime you can beat the number one team in the
country is a humongous win," said head coach Dale
Ohman. "But unfortunately, we have a whole other scenario we're part of and that's trying to catch up to people.'
The fourth-place, 12-8 Birds are only three points
away from a playoff spot, despite having the same record
as the top two teams. Early in the season, the playoffs
were a long shot. But the Birds have stayed alive by chipping away at the deficit with much-needed wins—and
points—against some of the best teams in the country.
"Coming into tonight, people were thinking that we
were out of [the playoffs], but the way tilings are shaping
up, who knows?" said UBC power hitter Jeff Orchard.
"We've just got to win each game as it comes and if we
can do that, we'll see what happens.'
Friday's match began with mistakes by both teams.
The Birds gained a small lead halfway through the set,
but a series of UBC errors tied the game at 19. The T-
Birds geared up, however, and aided by Calgary's
mediocre play, managed to win the set 25-22. Calgary
evened the game by playing a tight second set and holding the lead for a 25-22 victory.
In the third set, with the UBC's outside hitters under
wraps, middle Ryan Cawsey found room and stepped up.
UBC broke a 9-9 tie and ended the set on a roll, winning
25-15.
"Before we started the fourth set," explained Ohman,
"we talked about the fact that we had to play those last
two sets like they were the most important sets of our
weekend."
But the game was also important for Calgary, and fortunately for them, UBC's blunders, including two final
net serves, helped the Dinos win the fourth set 25-21.
The fifth set was for the win, and also the difference
between one or two points in the standings. The teams
battled it out until UBC took control halfway through the
match with the Birds' hitters and defence working hard
to protect their lead. .And Cawsey added a kill down the
middle and a final block to finish the game 25-20 for
UBC.
"This year more than any, I've realised that anyone's
beatable on any night and we're just taking advantage of
that," said Cawsey, who finished with 15 kills, 11 digs
and one service ace.
The Birds had a tough time getting
started Saturday night. Calgary came
out hard with Bill Byma, the conference leader in kills, leading the
charge, and a tip which ended the
first set 2 5-20. But UBC responded by
winning the next three sets by scores
of 25-18, 25-14, and 25-17 before giving the Dinos a chance to respond.
"The guys played so hard," said
Ohman. "That's some of the best
defensive play I've seen in a UBC
team in many, many years, and you
know, I've been here many, many
years. Everyone contributed. Our
transition game was good as I've ever
seen it"
The Dinos kept close in the fifth set
and finally took the lead midway
through. aAfter Jeremy Wilcox's cross
at the end of a 6-0 run by the Dinos
was questioned by Orchard, the UBC
power hitter was given a yellow card.
With the score 24-14 for Calgary, discontentment from the Birds and the
fans led the umpire to give the final
point and game to the Dinos.
A few brief seconds of silence followed before the UBC players started
to cheer and form their usual post-victory huddle. They had unfortunately
lost the last game, but they still won
the match 3-2. It was also the second
sweep of a number-one team this
year—the Birds beat then-number one
Winnipeg January 14 and 15.
"The ending wasn't great, but as
long as we won and that was good
enough for us," said Birds middle Ken
Kilpatrick. "It was a good, enthusiastic
last home game [this season] which
everyone was picking up for."
To make the playoffs, the Birds
must hope that either Calgary or the
University of Alberta stumble in
matches against lowly opponents
next weekend—the Dinos take on the
1-13 University of Regina Cougars,
while aAlberta will play the 5-15
Trinity Western University Spartans. Meanwhile, UBC
will travel to face the 12-8 University of Saskatchewan
Huskies, and could clinch a playoff spot with two 3-0
match wins. Otherwise, they need help from TWU or
Regina.
For UBC co-captains Guy Davis and Orchard, this
weekend was also their last home games as
Thunderbirds, since they have played out their five
years of eligibility.
TEAM WORK: UBC
Kilpatrick to smash
setter Kyle Recsky, left, puts the ball up for middle Ken
back down on the top-ranked Dinos. tara westover photo
"I don't think we've ever given up," said Davis who finished Saturday with 16 kills and 14 digs. "In my five
years here, this is definitely the best team I've been on—
maybe not the most talented—but definitely the best
team...We got one more weekend to go, but win or lose, I
don't really care too much. I mean, yeah, it would be
nice, I don't know what our playoff shots are, that's out of
our hands, but I'm so proud of the guys. I have no complaints, this is a great way to end my five years here."***
Aq u all 'mm&
■.:■■.    -    ■■  - by Naomi Kkn
UBC swimmers are heading down their
lanes, elbows high and kicking hard, on
track lor another championship season.
In the last meet before the CIAU swim
championships and halfway to the
Olympic trials, UBC swimmers competed
in Ihe BC Senior Championships this
C and across Canada—inchiding
ttiB University of Calgary, University of
Victoria, Pacific Dolphin Swim
Association, Hyack Swim Club and
Etobicoke Swimming-competed at the
;swun-
mer on the podium after winning die
women's 400m freestyle in 4:17.94. She
was followed shortiy by Mark Johnston's
first place 3:57.55 finish in the men's
400m freestyle.
: '©vertbe twoday met*!; the UBC team
collected 23 medals. Johnston waspartio-
ulariy impressive', winning the 100, 200
and 400m freestyle. ^KJioSio;-!
"Ifs realty ]^^i^/j^tOm
do where we're moving tow|^4%^n^idi.
develop a higher level of5»|fiailfflity^
their        perfor- :t^o:S:1"t':
L^-4y^'&^:2d)^jpi^6sj^r:■':'. o; >-P ;-
I... In ;; .die   jni^'ep $$&& ,.freesry.i,u
Johnston finished first; followed b£ a
strong >UBC contingent of Jake Steele m
P' p. ■'        -• '•; •'.   " ■ •' secondi and Kevin 1
mances when
they're tired and
they're in season
in work, and I
think that they're
doing that really
well,* said TJBC
head coach Tbm
Johnson.
Deglau finished first in the
200 and 40001 o    o^
freestyle, first in fflSliifil
the 100 and 200m fly, and second in Hie
ij\n ..«.*£ oaiim. lL...h^.
luu ana suum treestyie.. ■,
While hikMing the flu, teammate
Marianne Litfapert took first in the
200m individual medley (IM) and second in the 400m event Kelly Doody finished third place tibth the 200m and
400m IM. Katie Brambley also finished
"II
ChamplonsiiipsJ was
of comj
sp? iljjl€%iiliia||p8i
'■ Head Coach
-fourth.  . Slaws'
^Vah Hoof won the
■■ 400m IM, 4Me
..Mar      V<$is&Id;
^aiid'p •"'..D'SsfSSIc-j
Hersee finished
t in second and
fourth      place
respectively list:
the 100m back-
.•■'■; Hie final rafoe
of the weekend was the men's 1500m
long course rreestyie event urju s lim
Peterson and Brent Sallee took the lead
right from the starting Mods. With a
few laps to go, Peterson surged ahead of
his teammate to finish in 15:56 18
while Sallee came in at 16:05,72, over
ten seconds ahead of the University of
victoria's Ryan Kefe^y, who finished
third.
*I think it was ;tiW kind of competi-
tion that we need to prepare for the
CIAUs/saidjohnson. He added that the
BC Champio! ; chance .fori.
the team to swim in four sessions of:
competition in preparation for the six
sessions that: take pace at the CIAU
nationals.
0 A<aCOHhngtoJolmson,meUBCswim-
-meraf swam a nuxed perfo:rmance--bet-
teruinah expected in some cases, whilef
j others were not as good as anticipated. <j
1 However overall, he w^s "pretty happy \
with the. whole program and. where it
went* ■      ^^^^^B
The UBC teams have two more weeks
until Ihe CIAUs. They have some work to
do this week but after that, Johnson is ■
confident
/PieyTlbeready^'hesaid."   ^
The defending champions TJfiC men's
and women's swim teams will compete
in the CIAU championships in Guelph,
Ontario from February 25 to 27.* 8
THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8. 2000
Sophie invites you to dinner!"
CZ o & *v* i c:     €Z j** F* ■ e
Come and enjoy our 3urgers,
Chicken, Steaks, Fresh Seafood,
Pasta and Vegetarian fare1.
Receive one complimentary dinner entree when a second
entree of eo\ual or greater value is purchased.
Valid after 5pm, Sun. ro Thurs.
Maximum value of $14.95.
~**%LjM
Coupon not valid Feb. 14th. Sorry, no takeouts.
Not valid with any other offers.
Coupon expires Fed. 20th, 2000.
fiction
epic under 3000 words
snap: under 1000 words
t norrfiction
essay: under 3000 words
intantMarcb2^
final judges
to be announced
deadline: 5pm. March 1. 2000 to SUB room 245. free entry. You must be a UBC student who did not
Submissions must be typed on 8.5' xl t" paper, with title opt out of your Ubyssey fee. Students who have
on upper right-hand comer. Do not include include name made more than one editorial contributi
on submission—entries are judged anonymously. ubyssey since September 1999 are not
UBC  BOOKSTORE  PRESENTS
SsraEDTLER DAY
Pcntd
One Day Only!
Also featuring
Wednesday
February 23, 2000
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
$p Save 25%
On all regular-priced
Clothing, Gifts,
Backpacks and Fashion
Accessories
**10!£
UBC BOOKSTORE
6200 University Blvd., Vancouver, B.C. V6T1Z4 Tel: 822-2665 www.bookstore.ubc.ca
Save up to 70%
On Quality
Writing Instruments, Art,
Drafting & Office Supplies
$P Save 10%
On all in-stock
CAD software from our
Computer Shop
Boyeetfiirl
JEANNE AND THE PERFECT GUY (JEANNE ETLE GARCON
FORMIDABLE)
now playing
until Feb. 10
 by Michael Ursell
I know a girl who claims that when she was a baby, only musicals could
stop her from crying. I could never understand this. All I saw were
characters desperately looking to sing and dance about events that didn't really seem worth singing and dancing about Musicals seemed
possibly the most surreal, unabashedly ridiculous way to tell a story.
How The Pirates of Penzance or even Danny Zuko from the Grease
gang could put a child to sleep was beyond me. Jeanne and the Perfect
Guy has forced me to re-evaluate the musical film genre.
Jeanne and the Perfect Guy is not some simplistic j\ndrew Lloyd
Webber production. Fashionably directed by Olivier Ducastel and
Jacques Martineau, the film leaves one with many more questions than
answers. It maintains a poignant mood while simultaneously possessing all the quirks and lightness of a musical. This play of seemingly contradictory elements is central to the film. The subject matter that
Ducastel and Martineau take on is not easy. The plot focuses on the life
of Jeanne (Virginie Ledoyen), a young beautiful Parisienne who is
addicted to sex. Yet her liaisons leave her empty, as she searches for
true love. After a moment of classic boy meets girl, love at first sight,
let's sing and dance, a complication arrives. Jeanne's perfect guy,
Olivier (Mathieu Demy), has AIDS, and the two are left to make sense
of their delicate love.
If the film is tragic, it is not the forced tragedy of the doomed
romance, a la Romeo andjuhet It is a story of love before it is a story
of the terror of .AIDS. The musical medium allows for the simple celebration of the joy between two people who have found each other. The
sound of accordions is irresistible; blissful and tender without becoming overly sentimental. The film, modern in content, is incredibly old-
fashioned in tone.
Jeanne and the Perfect Guy proves that Disney isn't the only one
who can bring musicals to the big screen. Even I was sucked into the
sights and sounds of romantic Paris. This is the classic story of handsome boy meets beautiful girl and the world sings. Even more convincing is the modern sensibility that culminates in the film's subtle
and strong finish. Perhaps musicals aren't that bad after all.*>
i me
PERFECT BLUE
now playing
by Greg Ursic
If the term "anime" conjures up images of robot-warriors, demons,
androgynous hybrid heroes/heroines, (or, god forbid, Pokemonl) or
fantasy plots, static Cubist animation, horrible lip-synching and
blood splattering across the screen in Peckinpah proportions, you're
not alone. But to think of it as being well-crafted, psychological, and
thrilling? Well, anything's possible....
Mima Kirigoe is the lead vocalist of Cham, a Japanese Spice Girls
clone. Tired of her vacuous pop idol status she announces that she
is leaving the group to pursue an acting career. Away from the
warmth of the spotlight and relegated to bit roles, Mima becomes
introspective and depressed. Her only solace is the Mima homepage: created by a devoted fan, it lyrically details her career in first
person and reminds her of happier days. At least temporarily.
After Mima accepts an acting job playing an emotionally disturbed soap opera character with a dark side, the tone of the homepage turns sinister and it becomes apparent that she is being
stalked. Soon after, two of her colleagues are brutally murdered, and
several clues point to her involvement. Tormented by nightmares
and hallucinations and unable to separate her sleeping and waking
states, Mima appears destined to life in a sanitarium. Can she stop
the downward spiral before she reaches a point of no return?
This is the second full-length anime feature that I have seen in as
many months (Princess Mononoke being the first) and I was surprised by the effect it produced. What begins as a pleasant, innocuous music video, rapidly devolves into a disturbing movie within a
movie. From the intrusive sounds (the phones sound like chapel
bells), to the brutal murders, the aural and visual experience is
extremely powerful. A continuous intensity helps enhance the seamless blending of reality and fantasy—you really can't distinguish
between the two. Is Mima really a pop star/actress, or a wannabe
with delusions of grandeur who has completely lost touch with reality?
Whenever you think you've figured out what's happening the
film takes another unexpected turn. The effect of being kept constantly off-balance in this manner is very disquieting; similar to
what it must be like for someone on the edge of madness. I know it's
a trip I don't plan on booking anytime soon. If you've ever been curious about the anime genre, and enjoy suspense, you won't be disappointed with Perfect Blue.* Culture-
THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2000
at the Design Arts Gallery
til Feb. 10
by Michelle Mossop
Psst! I have a secret to tell you. In
the   under-dwellings   of   Main
Library, where one must creep
down the stairs for fear of disturbing the stale silence, there is a hidden little gallery. You might
have been there, you might
have not, but nevertheless
it is recommended that
you do go have a peek.
The space,  operated
and run by Bachelor of
Fine ki\s (BFA) students,
is called the Design j\rts
Gallery  and   regularly
displays creative projects by students in the faculty. Grain, this week's exhibition, is a collection of photographic works by fourth year students. Using an array of techniques, Grain
pushes the boundaries of photography, tinkering with developer, colour and framing.
In 'The Last 500th of a Second,'Joseph Sugasaga uses photographs of his television
from New Year's Eve and digitally alters them to create a multimedia effect that captures millennium excitement from Times Square to the Eiffel Tower; in 'Portability,'
Daisy Chan layers her self-portraits with more images of herself photocopied on mytar,
creating an almost hologram-like effect; and, in Heather Passmore's 'Cyan (The Six
Basic Emotions),' six photographs of a face covered by hands adorned with mood-
rings have fine strings of wool framing and separating the pictures. To top it all off,
jiffy-marker squiggles on the protective glass case hint at just what the covered
expressions could be.
However, it is Emil Chang's 'Perspectives of Life' that stands out from the other
works and makes you stop to admire its simplicity. With the same spot on a beach
photographed at different times, the slight change in subject matter of people
either jogging, walking, or promenading and the consistency in environment captures the solidarity of space.
Although these photographs seem to have nothing in common, this is the exhibition's strength: it's a hodge-podge of creative students' projects tucked away in
one of UBC's best kept secrets.*
Tuesday
Feb. 8
2:30 pm
sub 241k
women s
issue
story
meeting
■tit
ention
LPre~ z)entisfry Students
The (University of Saskatchewan
College of dentistry is accepting
applications from all Canadian
and International students.
Application deadline for September, 2000:
J?ebruary 29lh, 2000
J^or more information, please contact:
Emily ^arnham or 'Tarissa Warrington
Toll-Free 1-877-363-7275
FARNHAM@admin.usask.ca
tarissa.warrington@usask.ca
www.dentistry.usask.ca
I'm ugly, and
I have no
friends.
That's because you
haven't brushed in
six months. You
should come see
me.
I'm just a
student.
I can't afford
that.
Sure
you
can!
Wow,
thanks!
No problem.
Don't forget
to floss!
Need to see a dentist? Now you can with
the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan.
You've got it. Now use it!
Learn more at www.studentcare.net
The Health Plan Office is open daily for questions and to process claims.
Room 61, lower level of SUB.
ams at your service 10
THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8.2000
■ JF m w  if™ mm
sse
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2000
VOLUME 81 ISSUE 34
EDITORIAL BOARD
COORDINATING
Bruce Arthur
NEWS
Nicholas Bradley and Daliah Merzaban
CULTURE
Duncan M. McHugh and Jaime Tong
SPORTS
Naomi Kim
FEATURES
Tom Peacock
NATIONAL/COPY
Cynthia Lee
PHOTO
Tara Westover
PRODUCTION
Todd Silver
COORDINATORS
CUP/VOLUNTEERS Nyranne Martin
WEB Flora Graham
LETTERS/OPINION  Lisa Denton
RESEARCH Daniel Sherman/Graeme Worthy
rhe Ubyssey is the official student newspaper
of the University of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run
student organisation, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the
Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion
of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or
the University of British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of
Canadian University Press (CUP) and firmly
adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey
is the property of The Ubyssey Publications
Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced
without the expressed, written permission of
The Ubyssey Publications Society.
Letters to the editor must be under
300 words. Please include your phone number,
student number and signature (not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with all
submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be
done by phone.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300
words but under 750 words and are run
according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey
staff members. Priority will be given to letters and
perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is time
sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run until the
identity of the writer has been verified.
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications
Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an
error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will
not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The
UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes or
typographical errors that do not lessen the value
or the impact of the ad.
EDITORIAL OFFICE
Room 241K, Student Union Building,
6138 Student Union Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301 fax: (604) 822-9279
email: feedback@ubyssey.bcca
BUSINESS OFFICE
Room 245, Student Union Building
advertising: (604) 822-1654
business office: (604) 822-6681
fax: (604) 822-1658
ubyssey_ads@hotmail.com
BUSINESS MANAGER
Fertile Pereira
AD SALES
Jennifer RUey
AD DESIGN
Shalene Takara
Alex Dimson and Tristan Winch got then three hours later. Irene Pled was
running late hwaiiwi she couldn't dwiHtt what to wear. ClfnAa Luymes
called her friend Laura Blue to make sure ihe had her ticket!. Joni Low and
Michelle Moeeop got drank in the parking lot Greg Urac decided to scalp
his extra ticket after Michael Uracil came down with the flu and was
resigned to spending the warm ■'""" day indoors with Natasha Adda
Chin bringing him hooey tea. Graeme Worthy got frisked as he walked
Inside, but Hamwt thai bottle of gin on Bruce Arthur. Todd Silver lang^wl
because he'd started drinking hours ago. Jaime Tong and Nyranne Martin
pushed their wsy to the front, but Tara Westover stayed back; she was onfy
here for a laugh. Naomi Kim look a picture, and Flo Graham wonderad how
she could get an autograph'after the show. Tom Peamrii f'TTip^rl up and
down to get a better view, because Cynthia Lee was Mocking his sight of the
stage. Lisa Denton. Daniel Silverman, and Daliah Merzaban screamed as he
walked out on stage, as Nicholas Bradley swooned. Eyes ablate, Duncan
McHugh yelled out—"Hove you, Stephen Patrick Marriaeeyt*
Canada Post PuWkauom Sales Agreement Number 0732141
Start bus-ting your ass
Every day about 31,000 people make their
way to this campus. It may be hard to understand why all these people would want to
come here on a rainy February day, but the
fact is, UBC is the second most-travelled to
destination in the city.
aAnd no matter how you come to school
every day—even if you live here—you've
probably noticed that there are a lot of problems associated with so many commuters.
The 99 B-Line is constantly packed, parking
is impossible to find, and if you ride your
bike here, you're legs get tired and stuff. But
hey, no one said being popular is easy.
And now TransLink is considering jacking up bus and SkyTrain fares. This can
hardly be seen as a good move for anyone-
it's hard enough to get people out of their
cars and onto the crowded, late, and generally inconvenient buses as it is. If it's going
to cost people an extra 25 cents for the privilege, you might as well say 'hello' to more
cars and congestion.
The fare hike sucks, and students will be
among the hardest hit. But it's probably
going to go through—by law, TransLink
can't operate at a deficit Okay. So what this
situation makes perfectly clear is that UBC
students need a U-Pass—a universal student
bus pass—and we need it now.
The premise behind the U-Pass is simple: every student pays for and gets a discounted bus pass, regardless of whether
they ride the bus or not, and it costs around
$25 a month for eight months. In addition
to the pass, various other transit-friendly
services will be offered to get people out of
their cars.
But since not everyone rides the bus, an
outcry is sure to be raised when the U-Pass
goes to a vote.
The most obvious criticism, perhaps, is
that some people are paying for others to
ride the bus for cheap. At the risk of sounding callous...tough. We all pay to subsidise
services we don't use—we subsidise residence, and only a few thousand of us five on
campus; we all pay for SafeWalk, and not all
of us need a walk home. There are certain
things that are important enough for the
community that everyone should pay for.
And if shelling out 2 5 bucks a month makes
some drivers think twice about driving to
campus, so much the better.
There are a number of other factors
pointing to a U-Pass: not only are parking
spaces being reduced on campus, but UBC
runs a $6 deficit per parking space. That
money could be put towards much worthier
ends. aAnd in the end, fewer cars means less
traffic, less infrastructure wear and tear,
and less smog.
The real danger to the U-Pass, more than
any opposition to the pass itself, is the
threat that it will get overlooked in the
upcoming AMS executive turnover. The university can't absolve itself from this issue,
either, but the student voice has to come
from council. So don't let them screw up,
because a universal bus pass is just too
important for this community.
A U-Pass, properly implemented, will significantly improve the quality of living for
everybody at UBC. It will let everybody
breathe a littie easier. ♦
Canada lacks
culture due to
student debt
What's the acronym for
Upwardly Boring Capitalists?
More than ever post-secondary
students are graduating with
fearsome debts. According to
the Canadian Federation of
Students, student debt has
risen from an average of
$8,000 in 1990 to over
$25,000. Those thinking about
entering a university are more
likely to enroll in programs
which will lead to well-paid
jobs, rather than for any higher
purpose, in order to pay off
such an ominous debt.
We already graduate more
self-serving capitalists than critical thinkers who are so necessary in a democracy. Writers
and artists are valued only as
sugared entertainers and decorators because Canada has a
culture for mindless suits run
by mindless technocrats.
Culture suffers in a nation
bloated with Hollywood's waste,
and in turn, the nation suffers
as it produces unimaginative,
immoral (or at best amoral),
and uncritical citizens. Then
they vote for Chretien.
Do we want to perpetuate a
system that privileges the selfish, the unethical and the indifferent? We need to encourage
thinkers on campus, not technicians and profiteers. We need
grants, not more loans.
Scott Simpson
Arts 4
Commuter
chaos in BC
I have a far better idea than blowing billions of dollars on new
roads, bridges and infrastructure.
We just tell everyone from now
on they have to LIVE AND WORK
in the same city!
It is insane that half of the population in this province passes the
other half of the population twice
a day, five times a week on their
daily commute.
If someone JUST HAS TO drive
50 miles each day each way to
work, then we just bill that person
the wear and tear of that amount
of driving on the highway each
day. Say $ 1 per mile per day!
We give five years for employers to make change and hire local
residents and after that we audit
them and start charging penalties
for non-compliance! Local governments and City Hall should start
the ball rolling by requiring that
ALL employees be local residents.
We develop safe walking and
cycling routes throughout our
cities and make ALL our bridges
pedestrian-friendly.
We require that all car dealers,
when they hand over the keys to
the shiny new owner of the shiny
new car, also hand over shiny
new documents to show that the
proud owner is also the proud
new owner of a parking space in
which to keep his shiny new car!
If second-hand smoke from
cigarettes is so harmful to us, just
imagine how harmful secondhand smoke from cars must be
for us!
CWSmclaire
Richmond THE UBYSSEY * TUESDAY. FEBRUARY 8.2D00
11
Creation
a
'4#8ii
* KISS CREATIONS
at Performance Works
until Feb. 13
by Natasha Adda Chin
  	
aAn ethereal light illuminates tlie ron
tours of a woman's torso. Her feet
begin to glide against the polished Hoor,
sweeping sensuous strokes  ugaiiist the
darkness. As if in a dream, a wate
begins to chant the poetry o
Senaratne's  "Crossing the
against a trill of piano. A rus
birds and silver streams glisten amidst the mo!
the dancer's golden hair. She closes her eyes in
of surrender. I hold my breath. aAnd the dream
Creations, part of Kiss Project 2000, is a surreal journey
into the workings of the human mind. The performance
consists of six collaborative movements created^- by
renowned writers and choreographers across the country
and focuses on the universal theme of romantic love. As
the pieces move from desire to possession, despair to
potency, tensions rise and fall as swiftly as breathing.,
Transgressing the limited world of drama*
between reality and illusion continually dissblfj
Performers step off the stage and into the boundary of our
own world to transfer the question of human existence
from the actors to the audience. Moment by moment, the
pieces are spellbinding and you are immediately pulled
into the world of the psyche.
Beginning with a procreative dance, Senarathe s
Crossing the Marimba is a watery escape into the mind of
a woman. The sounds of whispers and birds in the landscape enhance the euphoria of passionate love. Cori
Caulfield's innovative choreography is also raw and
enlightening. It captures the beauty of life and
motherhood as her movements grasp the air
with electric pulses.
In I Found Donna Summer Before She
Found  God, ^^wMbw^^^a
.hujaaoyf^
"sbljils/^B^
?enee' ;• jsupj|| '%$$fii^l'f^J^fe'W^^¥er"
. f&t0Mi§^^^. i^ttd^p^tlp^de^idisco
5routineo:|To boaef iV;^a#oapcross'' between a
Broadway musical and a.S^tim^^sJiiight Live
skit gone funny).
;%That display of humour is a shocking contrast to The Love Song of J. Alfred Pm/jlpck.
Hire, tlie tension screams as|||Bi;gpi?aker, in a
fuiieral suit, recites the ^lOus hues of T.S.
poem. Between Jpf^ressejdr love and
the dark scenJey and^ltoguage are
beautifully haunting. -'
^Similarly, Kendra Fanconfs Undone is a
ghostly portrayal of a woman's unrequited
love. Tbie performance uses an overhead projector to reflect fragmented word Images onto
the white gowns of the dancing figures.
Breaking the intensity again is die fifth creation which introduces a humorous banter
between a melodramatist. a.jazz singer and
her pianist boyfriend in Thrills I Can't Define.
Sheena aAnderson's voice is pure Gershwin
and Denise Clarke's portrayal of a mad dance
choreographer i&ssui obvious crowd favourite.
Finally,   the   sixth   creation,   based   on
MacEwen's poetry, captures the intensity of
physical eroticism in The Riders. Under a
stream of light, two dancers poise in various
acrqbatic positions that would make even the
author of the Kama. Sutra envious. aAn enrap-
&*1 O Tl Z\ t" £*  ^''fairing moment is when the female dancer 1
Or* \s i-A <X. |_ V-     Yiet male partner into the air, defying reali
Overall, the six collaborative pieces
breathtaking and surreal. There is an
mthaaacy between the performers an
audience, which transcends time
Vou walk out of the theatre in a stab
and elation, with the whispers of
formance stfll echoing, I he in
your breath. There is only your breath, all else
is gone...So we embrace our end in our beginning.' ♦
The sou
of whi4>ers
and birds in
tlie landscape
enhance the
euphoria   of
N
mat,
Whistler/Blackcomb Corporate Club allows
UBC students to purchase lift tickets
at the best possible rate.
Save up to $15 on
Whistler/Blackcomb
Adult lift tickets.
Ski Club Members
Adult: $50 Youth: $48
Non-Ski Club Members
Adult: $54 Youth: $48
Tickets available at UBC
Ticketmaster. To become a Ski
Club member, call the UBC
Ski 'n Board Club at 822-6185.
WEST 10TH OPTOMETRY CLINIC
PATRICIA A. RUPNOW, B.Sc, O.D. *
STEPHANIE BROOKS, B.A., O.D.
MEG SEXSMITH, B.Sc, O.D.
DOCTORS OF OPTOMETRY DEDICATED TO EXCELLENCE
Phone: (604) 224-2322
4320 West 10th Avenue Vancouver, B.C. V6R 2H7
GENERAL EYE HEALTH AND VISION CARE
■ Denotes Optomctric Corp. Email : info@westlOthoptometry.bcca
Copies Plus
COPY    D     IMAGING       CENTRE
SELF SERVE COPIES
4<
ea.
8v2x 11,
each side
Featuring easy to use, fast Konica Copiers
•autofeed 'autosort 'resize 50%-200% »autostaple *auto doubleside
Also available 81'2 x 14 and 11 x 17 at extra cost.
Sale from Jan 3 - Feb 29/2000
STOP!    DON'T GO ELSEWHERE
@ 2nd  Floor, 2174 Western Parkway (above UBC Pizza)
tel: 224-6225 12
THE UBYSSEY • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2000
The Disability Resource Centre at the University of British
Columbia is pleased to present
The Year 2000 Paul Jones Memorial Symposium
Friday, March 10th, 2000
Student Union Building, Room # 214
Speaker: Rod Michalko, PhD
Dr. Michalko received his PhD from the Department of Sociology
and Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. He currently
is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at St Francis Xavier University
in Antigonish, NS. An exciting and engaging speaker, Rod Michalko
has spoken to audiences across Canada with his fascinating lecture
"Identity and the Language of Disability." Dr Michalko will speak
about the concept of disability, how it affects those who deal with it
daily and how society deals with them.
Tickets: $75 (Lunch included) Students $25. For more
information call the UBC Disability Resource Centre at 822-5844.
Rapid Transit is
^ Coming to UBC
I   '     The City of Vancouver andTransLink want your
opinion on what form of rapid transit should operate in the Broadway
corridor from Commercial Drive to UBC.
You can find out more and give your views by attending the following workshop:
Broadway Rapid Transit Workshop
Thursday, February 10, 6-9 p.m.
Regent College, 5800 University Blvd. (at Wesbrook Mall)
Six rapid transit options, using RapidBus, light rail transit (LRT) and underground SkyTrain
technologies, have been identified by a consultant team. Staff will be on hand to take your
comments on these options back to City Council and TransLink.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Rapid Transit infoline at 871-6697 or web site www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/tran
^V
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uest Certificate
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CHINA IN DANCE 2000: DESCENDANTS OF THE DRAGON
at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Feb. 5
 by Jaime Tong
In ancient Chinese legends, the dragon is a powerful creature. It is
armoured with scales and horns, and equipped with feet and wings so
that it may walk, swim and fly. Capable of stirring up clouds and creating rain, the dragon is a force to be reckoned with. At once magical and
auspicious, wise and courageous, the dragon has come to represent the
Chinese spirit
Last Saturday night, the Q.E.Theatre was packed with people ringing
in the Chinese New Year. They were all there to catch the only
Vancouver performance of Descendants of the Dragon. Choreographed
by Seattle's .Asian Performing Arts Theatre Artistic Director Ii Heng Da,
who is also recognised in China as a 'National First Class Dancer/
the piece was an ambitious showcase of modern ballet, Chinese
dance forms, music, and motifs.
After a late start, the first act began with two dragons swirling
in the mist followed by a beautiful water dance. The dancers used
their bodies and large pieces of silk cloth to create bubbles and
waves. The most memorable dance in this act was the dance of
the terra cotta warriors. The soldiers of Xian danced to techno
music, which pumped through the speakers like a heartbeat,
while the large face of a terra cotta soldier was lowered onto the
stage.
The second and third acts were even better than the first
Although the set changes took a while, the dances that followed
were worth the wait The second act was full of struggle—corresponding to the recurring motif of backbreaking work—along
with the call of gold and working on the railroad in Gem Shan. In
this act, there was also a sword dance, some Shaolin Rung Fu, and
a soloist playing a pipa, or Chinese guitar. The third act was a
return to nature with dancers dancing as snowflakes and butterflies. An energetic dragon dance concluded the show. Three dragons—gold, red and black— started from the audience and danced
their way onto the stage where they were accompanied by drums
and crashing cymbals. It ended the performance with a bang and
also marked the start of the year of the dragon.
The performance was a spectacle of sights and sounds. The
backgrounds were different for each dance segment, which
probably explains why the set changes took so long. The costumes were a mix of traditional palace garb and theatrical outfits. Unlike a traditional corps de ballet, the dancers weren't
always dancing in unison. This became irrelevant though, as it
was obvious each dancer was very talented. You thought the 32
fouettes in Swan Lake were amazing? The audience was treated
to several sets of those when watching Descendants of the
Dragon.
Characterised by grace and agility, strength and stamina, the
dancers proved that they are truly descendants of the dragon.
Gong xi fa tsai!*>
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