UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Oct 18, 2008

Item Metadata

Download

Media
ubysseynews-1.0126117.pdf
Metadata
JSON: ubysseynews-1.0126117.json
JSON-LD: ubysseynews-1.0126117-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): ubysseynews-1.0126117-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: ubysseynews-1.0126117-rdf.json
Turtle: ubysseynews-1.0126117-turtle.txt
N-Triples: ubysseynews-1.0126117-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: ubysseynews-1.0126117-source.json
Full Text
ubysseynews-1.0126117-fulltext.txt
Citation
ubysseynews-1.0126117.ris

Full Text

Array Reporting since 1918
Autonomous since 1995
Barred from real light since 2001
BYSSEY
lished October 18,2008
From the penthouse...
THE V3YSS&   9
ammw^anj
...to the basement
And everything in between. The Ubyssey from 1995 to 2008 Forward
Bruce Arthur
Sports Editor 1998-99
Coordinating Editor 1999-2000
Without The Ubyssey, I would
probably be a teacher, or a
waiter, or in the worst-case
scenario—practicing law.
Before I arrived at the paper, in fact, those
were pretty much the options. I wasn't
terribly excited about anything, career-
wise. I was drifting with the current, and
the current wasn't moving so fast.
But the paper changed that—and
changed me, and thank God for that. At
The Ubyssey I learned everything—how to
write, how to report, how to drink, how not
to die on deadline, how to hurl garbage
bags from the balcony to the waiting
compactor below —or in some cases, near
the compactor below—and most of all,
how to dedicate myself to something, fully
and completely. In short, I learned how to
newspaper, as antiquated a term as that's
becoming.
(Incidentally, life after The Ubyssey
backs this contention: A good student
paper kicks the hell out ofjournalism
school.)
Part of it was the work, because seeing
your name in the paper above something
you're proud to have written was a
thrill. Part of it was the staff—the knot of
enormously talented and dedicated people
who loved the paper as much as I did, and
who taught me everything from layout to
paste-up to how to fix the waxer without
getting wax in your pants. I understand
wax is no longer involved in the process,
which is probably for the best.
So without The Ubyssey, yeah, I
would probably be gainfully employed:
teaching, waiting tables, lawyering,
whatever. Instead I've covered everything
from cricket to the NBA to the Olympics.
Instead, I watch sports for a living, and
type. I love my job now because I loved
The Ubyssey first, and more. Our nation's
children, restaurants and courts should be
grateful. I sure as hell am.
Bruce Arthur:
Sports Reporter, National Post, 2001-2005
Sports Columnist, National Post, 2005-present
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary Jonathan Woodward
News Editor 2005-04
Six years ago I was stuck in the
double ruts of a boring degree
and a broken heart, and a friend
convinced me to check out the
Ubyssey, if only for a few minutes. I did—
and stayed for three years.
There was a glorious mischief about
the place. Itwas brash, cheeky and smug—
we were the campus nerve centre and
everything was larger than life. Somehow
between all those pranks and desk crawls
we put out a paper twice a week—a new
hobby that swept me out of my ruts,
became a job, and became a passion.
I remember ending up in the Main
Library fountain during a photo shoot
for the spoof issue one year. A bit later
(after the itching subsided) we printed the
uncomfortable truth about hook-ups at the
Pit Pub—and then stood proudly on the
paper's still-fresh independence when we
told an officious AMS committee offended
by the article to get stuffed. And in an
undercover story, I got a position on the
AMS Council itself, completely illegally,
just to show them it could be done!
Many of my friends from those years
have gone on to enviable positions in
professional media. It was the Ubyssey that
prepared us. It didn't just teach us how
to write a news story, or how to find the
gumption to ask powerful people powerful
questions.
It taught us to enjoy it—and make our
new careers an adventure. So happy 90th
anniversary, Ubyssey, and may you never
lose that spirit!
Jonathan Woodward:
•Staff (at various points) for The Province,
The Globe and Mail, and The Vancouver Sun
•Freelance reporter from Uganda, Africa for
the CBC and Time Magazine
•Reporter for CTV News in Vancouver
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary The Shutdown
'Wie vilest rag west of Blanca"    /uUWW*1
eces
WEDNESDAY 30 MARCH 1994
VOLUME 76, ISSUE 44
UNINTENTIONALLY SPOOFING OURSELVES SINCE 1918
Hey pretty boy! C'mere!
by lizevaraya van chowtinnel has enjoyed enormous success    slie said.
those girls are advocating such    fight for equality.
_i j i cn sale «<•>.. ; saiH gtuHfnt. nolitician "If girls want to be equal all
The Ubyssey: the death & resurrection
Above: "The
Ufeces,"the last
issue of The
Ubyssey to be
published in the
calendar year of
1994.
Since 1918, The Ubyssey has been
the definitive news source for
students on campus. Year after
year, future journalists came
through our doors to learn the craft of
writing, keep the university accountable,
and drink at unreasonable hours.
Presidents passed on, buildings were
constructed and then torn down, but The
Ubyssey remained. At least until 1994.
In the school year of 1993-1994,
The Ubyssey spouted rhetoric intending
to inflame and engage the student
population. Fashioning itself as the
opposition to UBC and the Alma Mater
Society (AMS), The Ubyssey called the
student union out on several issues
throughout the year, culminating in the
final issue ofthe 1993-1994 year. Itwas
seen as a radical newspaper that sought its
own political aims.
A spoof issue, called the "Ufeces,"
featured a satirical full-page ad on the
second page. It lambasted the AMS for
playing favourites with its members, and
claimed the AMS did nothing in students'
interest. They also had a full-page spread
of Janice Boyle, then VP Administration of
the AMS, in suggestive poses.
An editorial in January of 1994 said
"candidates like to use the AMS for three
things: a chance to get a cushy office, a
chance to make upwards of $9000, and a
springboard into federal poli-tricks," which
may have been the nicest thing said about
the executive the entire year.
There were other complaints. Letters
came in, accusing the paper of truly being
"the vilest rag west of Blanca." The paper
fought several lawsuits, which depleted
the budget belonging to its publisher—the
AMS. Students launched two right-leaning
publications—the UBC Independent and
Campus Times—believing The Ubyssey to
be of poor quality and hopelessly biased.
The AMS, which had published The
Ubyssey since its inception, had had
enough. As 1996-1997 Coordinating
Editor Scott Hayward recalls, "Despite the
fact that we had to be arm's length from
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary the AMS, we were still part of the AMS.
"The overall structure where the
publisher doesn't have any say over
editorial content is a difficult one,
particularly when one of the primary
things that the newspaper is reporting on
is what the AMS, the publisher, is doing."
Tired of having to pay lawsuit fees
and of fending off attacks from a paper
they owned, the AMS wanted more
accountability and less criticism. They
passed a motion giving the AMS the sole
power to choose the editor-in-chief of
the paper. That editor would then select
all other section editors while ordinary
volunteers would be completely shut out
from the process.
The Ubyssey, which had fashioned
itself as the left-wing opposition to AMS
elected representatives, refused to consent
to the change. The two puppet editors
hired by the AMS could not produce a
paper and an impasse was reached. The
locks to the office were changed and after
76 years, The Ubyssey was shut down.
But all was not lost. Ubyssey alumni
who populated positions of power in
papers across Canada voiced their support
for the student newspaper. Michael Valpy
of The Globe and Mail wrote "The Ubyssey
has been accused of dicking around.
Student newspapers are supposed to dick
around, to be outrageous, to march boldly
beyond convention. That is how societies
renew themselves, stay alive."
A group of fired editors and concerned
students led a charge to restart the
paper, campaigning for a free press and
plastering signs around campus. In late
1994, the Ubyssey Publications Society
(UPS) was formed, and a referendum on
reviving The Ubyssey as an autonomous
entity was put on the ballot of the AMS
elections.
A positive result was anything but
The Ubyssey has been accused of QlCking
around. Student newspapers are supposed to
CIICK 3.rOUnCL, to be outrageous, to march
boldly beyond convention.
-Michael Valpy of The Globe and Mail
assured, explained Hayward. "The number
of referendums that had failed to reach
quorum over the years was astronomical.
You had to get ten per cent of all students
to vote, and that had not happened in
many, manyyears."
Ironically, the people who helped the
most in ensuring the necessary turnout
for the vote were part of a group that
consistantly fought with The Ubyssey—the
engineers. Though they had kidnapped
many a reporter in past years, Hayward
believes they were instrumental in turning
out the vote. "We went out to the engineers
because they were a very big organized
group...We went out and talked to them
and drank beer with them."
On January 24, nearly 5500 students
voted in the referendum, easily surpassing
quorum. With 67 per cent in favour,
The Ubyssey was reborn. Levying a non-
mandatory fee of five dollars from every
student, UBC had a free press on campus
with no outside influence from the AMS.
The only catch? The Ubyssey agreed to
move its offices in the SUB from the third
floor to the basement once room became
available, which meant that in 2001, after
3 3 years of the best view in the SUB, we
packed our bags and moved downstairs
to our newly renovated—but ugly—digs
in SUB 24, at the cost of $ 150,000 to our
student union.
The Ubyssey: around since 1918,
independent since 1995, and shut out
from natural sunlight since 2001.
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary Coke
Revealing soft drink secrets:
The Coca-Cola saga
Above: A
cover of The
Ubyssey in 1995,
highlighting
the Coke Issue.
The Ubyssey
fought with
Coca-Cola and
the University
administration
for manyyears
to release the
details ofthe
exclusivity
contract to the
public.
If you were to enter our humble office
on any given day, there is a very good
chance that you'll find a bottle of
Coca-cola on a desk...and a few in the
fridge...and some empties in the recycle
bin. Indeed, for some of our editors it has
become a staple of Ubyssey production
nights. Which is ironic, because in the
years following the paper's rebirth The
Ubyssey spent more time sleuthing out the
relationship between UBC and Coca-Cola
than any other topic.
It started in late 1995: UBC and the
AMS entered into an exclusive deal with
the soft drink behemoth. All non-Coke
products were banned from campus. In
return, the AMS and UBC stood to gain
a tidy profit. As nearly 75 per cent of
soft drinks on campus were sold in the
AMS-operated Student Union Building,
and coming at a time in which the AMS
had run a $200,000 deficit, the deal was
a welcome relief to student executives
scrambling to make budget.
However, in the run up to the deal, the
student population was fed a bitter pill. The
contract that Coke made with the University
and the AMS would be kept secret; no one
outside the administration would see the
ten-year deal. As the signing of the deal
drew nearer in late November of 199 5,
the students began to circulate a petition
to demand that the AMS reconsider selling
itself for 10 years to Coca-Cola.
Despite the opposition from vocal
groups like the Student's Environmental
Council, the BoG and the AMS passed the
deal without public discussion and public
consultation, and hoped that issue would
dissapear.
It was not to be. As soon as the deal
was approved by the AMS, we wrote that
"conducting meetings in private may be
a regular part of how corporations like
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary Coke do business, but it has little place at a
student union."
In the coming years, although there
was no active campaigning by the students
to reveal this, The Ubyssey was set on
making the details of the confidential
arrangement public. The editorial staff at
the time believed that at a publicly funded
university students should at least be able
to have knowledge of the deals made by the
institution.
"The University and the AMS both got
some benefit and there was a question to
how much benefit they had," said Scott
Hayward, a Ubyssey Alumnus who would
become Coordinating Editor in 1996.
Ubyssey reporter Stanely Tromp filed
a freedom of information (FOI) request
in 1995. The initial request was denied
by then-commissioner David Flaherty
on the grounds that it would damage
the university's financial well-being. The
Ubyssey sued. After manyyears and
numerous appeals, the case ended up in
the BC Supreme Court, which overturned
the initial decision. Coordinating Editor
Bruce Arthur filed a second FOI request in
1999. This time, The Ubyssey backed up
its request with extensive research of other
exclusivity deals, proving that the secretive
deal would not hurt the profits of Coca-Cola
or UBC, and that such deals were public in
the United States.
"With a public university, all deals
should be public. We just applied to have
the terms unsealed, because we felt UBC
students should know how much they are
worth to Coca-Cola," Arthur said.
On May 25, 2001, BC Information
Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis
ordered the release ofthe Coca-Cola details.
It revealed that Coca-Cola had promised
UBC $8.4 million over tenyears. But it
also revealed that UBC needed to consume
around 33.6 million cans or bottles over
tenyears, or have a two year cost-free
extension on the contract. The surprisingly
health-conscious students of this campus
failed to drink up to their quota, ensuring
the contract would continue for two
more years without any cost to the cola
giant—ironically, causing major financial
problems for the AMS.
In declaring victory after the release of
the deal, this paper took a measured tone.
"Okay, the Coke deal is old news, and to
many people it's just not interesting news.
Fair enough. The point, however, is that
some students wanted to know the details
of the deal. They felt it was only fair, and
The Ubyssey was able to make this happen."
As the partnership with UBC was
finallysetto expire in 2007, The Ubyssey
continued its criticism of Coca-Cola,
highlighting the shady labour practices
employed by the corporation in Colombia.
All the while, students continued to clamor
for beverage choice on campus. Finally, in
2007, after 12 years of exile, Pepsi found
its way back into the drafty halls of the
SUB, marking "the end of an era" at UBC.
Not that some of our staff will be switching
anytime soon, it's nice to have the choice
though.
Above: A
graphic
accompanying
a opinion piece
by Jaggi Singh
entitled "Why
the Coke dea
matters". Jaggi
Singh, who
was a member
ofthe Student
Environment
Council (SEC)
fought hard
against the
secret Coke deal.
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary Chronology
A Timeline
of not so important events
January 26,1996
The Ubyssey reports that the bid for CiTR to
become anonymous has failed.
February 7,1997
The AMS election results for the student
representative for the Board of Governors are
made invalid due to accusations of voting
and counting irregularities.
February 9,1999
"AMS elections derailed" read the headline,
as the elections committee suggested
another election be called after the Board
of Governors race was declared to have
"inconsistencies."
November 26,1999
The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP),
which compares abortion to genocide with
graphic photos, comes to campus. Much
controversy ensues.
August 24, 2001
The Ubyssey moves from the sunny
happiness of SUB 241K to the dank depths of
the basement in SUB 24. Morale plunges.
Top Right: UBC
student, Erin Kaiser,
tears apart a GAP
display which
compares abortion
to the Holocaust
Right: Ubyssey
Culture Editor Jamie
Tong writes on our
ancient chalk board
in our old office, SUB
241K. (The chalk
board still remains
today.)
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary Chronology
February 5,2002
AMS elections are once again troubled. Mass
emails are sent to members of the Pharmacy
Undergraduate Society promoting one
candidate which are demed to violate the
election rules.
February 25,2003
The U-Pass passes by a margin of 15502 for,
10742 against. Students ofthe university
can finally take buses around town on the
cheap.
November 5,2003
Fire and flood in the SUB cause damage to
The Ubyssey offices and SUB archives.The
firefighters couldn't find the off switch for
the sprinkler system.
March 2, 2004
Party slates are banned in the AMS after
many years of effort by Spencer Keys, who
proceeds to become AMS President.
March 23,2004
UBC formally takes over the Okanagan
University College, creating UBC-O.
February 28,2005
Spencer Keys is pranked after being walled
in by the engineers in his presidential office.
November 23,2007
Arts County Fair, the perennial party at
the end of the year, died due to lack of
attendance and mounting debt.
March 28,2008
An AMS Executive votes for himself multiple
times, pushing the campus into a heated
electoral mismanagement debate for the
umpteenth straight year.
April 4, 2008
The plan to renew the aging SUB passes!
Soon The Ubyssey will move back into an
office that might see the light of day.
Above: After manyyears of discussion and debate, UBC students
finally received their U-Pass.
Below:The Black Hand, a group of rogue Engineers strikes by
building a brick castle in the presidential office of Spencer Keys.
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary APEC
APEC: UBC's burning red eye
Below: Protestors
takedown the
fence meant to
contain them.
The fence was
attached with
cheap plastic tie
straps and was
bound to break.
On November 25, 1997, the
world's spotlight turned to UBC.
The event? The 9th annual Asian
Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) conference. The scene? Thousands
of students protesting the summit, the
presence of dictators on UBC land, and the
crackdown of free speech on campus. The
end result? Hundreds of student protesters
pepper sprayed, scores of students
arrested without charge, a tumultuous
three and a half year inquiry, and a black
eye to a university.
"It was very charged....For me there
was a whole air of uncertainty," said
Ubyssey photo editor Richard Lam, whose
shots brought to life the tense atmosphere
on campus. "There were police there; there
were snipers on top ofthe Chan Centre.
"No one was sure how far it would go."
On November 21, 1996, Prime
Minister Jean Chretien held a press
conference with UBC President David
Strangway, announcing that the APEC
conference would be held on campus in
late November 1997. From there on out,
the student community condemned the
conference, railing against the acceptance
of dictators onto the university campus.
In an editorial written a day after the
announcement, The Ubyssey lamented
that "the APEC summit is just another step
down the slippery slope of support for
brutal regimes in Asia."
By November, when the APEC summit
came to campus, UBC had turned into
kindling waiting to be ignited. In the
months leading up to the event, the
student group "Against APEC" had rallied
the campus community against the event
through flyers and protests. Scores of
students were arrested in the weeks
leading up the event, often on the flimsiest
of pretenses. Incoming UBC president
Martha Piper had assured students that
they would be free to protest—although the
RCMP were under orders to ensure that
the conference would go as smoothly as
possible.
Hoping to prevent public
embarrassment, the organizers of APEC
chose to cut off access on certain roads
to the university, erecting fences to keep
the protesting public out of the eyes of the
world leaders.
Almost 2000 protesters demonstrated
throughout campus during the summit.
But it was the action of around 50 students
at Gate 6 on Northwest Marine Drive
that garnered the most attention. With
cameras and television crews on hand,
pepper spray was unleashed as officers
tried to clear the area for the world leaders
leaving campus. The event would garner
prolonged international media attention as
the inquiry into police actions unfolded in
the following years.
10
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary National Post columnist Bruce Arthur
wrote for The Ubyssey from 1997 to 2001,
and remembers the attention paid to
APEC on campus in the years to follow.
"The Ubyssey actually played a pretty
important role," he said. "I think we were
among the leaders of pushing coverage
and I think we were pushing coverage
from a student's point of view which no
one else was doing."
The first, and perhaps most damning,
evidence came about with an official
inquiry following the arrests and pepper
spraying. The hearings for the APEC
abuses were at first postponed in August
of 1998. The case was then thrown out by
the RCMP due to insufficient evidence in
early September. It took three years before
the actions at APEC were finally addressed
by the RCMP. Hugh Stewart, who was
given the nickname "Sergeant Pepper,"
was cross-examined for nearly a week in
October of 1999. Itwas widely reported
that Stewart had given students less than
three seconds to move off the road before
pepper spraying the protesters.
Then in August of 2001, nearly four
years after the 1997 summit, the APEC
inquiry was finally revealed. It placed
blame on high ranking police officers,
conceding that protesters' rights were
violated several times and that the pepper
spraying was unnecessary. Despite the
evidence that the prime minister's office
was involved in the incident, the report
merely gave a light slap on the wrist to
the government that was supposed to
protect the people. The Ubyssey lamented
in an editorial that "nearly three years
and millions of dollars later, we finally
have a written document telling us
what we've known all along: the pepper
spraying, the strip-searching and the antidemocratic behaviour the RCMP showed
to protesters at the 1997 summit were in
clear violation of the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms."
Years later, looking back at the event,
President Piper opined that she "would
have had no difficulty with APEC being
held on our campus if—and this did
not happen—the leaders had allowed
themselves to be addressed by the
academic and student community." Prime
Minister Jean Chretien later brushed off
the event by saying "for me, the pepper, I
put on my plate." But years later, the APEC
summit underlines the challenges faced
by a university continually striving for
elite status in a atmosphere of activism
and anti-corporatism—a battle brought
best to light over the development of what
is now known as U-Town.
Above: Richard
Lam's famous
photo of
protestors being
pepper sprayed
at the Rose
Garden.
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary
11 Development
Development of a commercialized campus
Above: The
plans for South
Campus, which
would have
its population
of trees and
animals cut
down and
displaced for
market housing.
More change has come to the
UBC campus in the past 20
years than perhaps at any
point in this university's
history: a once provincially minded university has turned into an internationally-
renowned academic institution; an endowment fund that was worth $50 million in
1985 has recently passed the billion dollar
mark; and a sleepy enclave surrounded by
forest has turned into a "University Town"
with market housing and high-rise condos uneasily co-existing with dorm rooms
and fraternities, with a grocery store and
seniors' home on the way.
For better or worse, this era started
with the appointment of David Strangway
as president of UBC in 1985. A geophysi-
cist and administrator at the University of
Toronto, Strangway was hired following
the shock resignation of George Pedersen
in protest of massive provincial funding
cuts. Strangway embarked on a series of
ambitious projects, first and foremost be
ing the "World of Oppurtunity Campaign,"
which raised an astounding $262 million
between 1989 and 1993 and create a
culture of aggressive fundraising and construction on campus that continues today.
At the same time, Strangway saw the
hundreds of acres of forest surrounding
the university as a giant cash crop. In
1988, UBC Properties Trust was created,
with its first major project being the development of Hampton Place. Lying between
the RCMP station and 16th Avenue, Hampton Place would raise $ 116 million for the
University, and begin a string of housing
projects on campus aimed toward the middle and upper class. What irked students
was the lack of transparency and consultation in this process—in an article assessing
the Strangway legacy in 1997, The Ubyssey
wrote that "Strangway decides to undertake a project, then consults. Whether the
project will happen is never up for debate."
In order to alleviate some of the criticism at not having a designated plan for
12
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary development on campus, the university
administration put forth the Official Community Plan (OCP) in 1996. The OCP didn't
designate the specific usage of areas on
campus, but instead gave a general outline
as to the intended purpose of each part of
campus.
What the OCP didn't address in its original plan was the student body. In 1996
the plan was fraught with errors. Lacking
environmental protection or engagement
with students, The Ubyssey slammed the
plan in an October 22, 1996 editorial
stating "the current OCP proposal misses
the mark by some distance." Though the
subsequent protests by the campus community would send the OCP back to the
drawing board, incoming President Martha Piper was set on continuing the Strangway model of making UBC completely
self-sustainable.
All of this led to the battle over University Boulevard. In 2001, the OCP called for
a complete overhaul of the street that leads
into the middle of the university. Original
plans included two 18-story residential
towers, a multitude of retail shops that
would compete with student businesses,
office space, an underground bus loop,
and the eradication ofthe "Grassy Knoll," a
popular hangout spot outside the Student
Union Building.
Jonathan Woodward, news editor from
2003-2004, commented that it looked as
if UBC was selling out to special interests.
"On the ground it appeared as if we were
selling pieces of ourselves to people that
couldn't care less what was going on on
campus."
Unsurprisingly, the plan drew criticism. Insufficient consultation with the student body peppered the headlines of The
Ubyssey. Thousands of students signed a
petition against the development. More
students became involved in standing up
against the proposed plans. "Everyone
thought, 'oh my god, what has happened
with Hampton Place is going to happen
to the very heart of campus,'" Woodward
said.
Eventually in 2007, a compromise was
reached between UBC and the AMS. The
SUB, built in 1968 and starting to show its
age, would be renovated and expanded,
with the university contributing $25 million toward the $ 110 million project. The
Grassy Knoll was temporarily saved from
becoming retail space, and the centre of
campus would remain a student-oriented
space. The battle over U-Blvd had, arguably, been won.
At the same time, it was clear that the
campus itself had changed. The raft of new
housing developments was followed by a
crackdown on beer gardens. Pressure from
the University Neighbourhood Association helped put an end to the all-day party
known as Arts County Fair, which had been
one of the largest university rock concerts
in Canada for 16 straight years.
Former Coordinating Editor Bruce
Arthur commented, "it's not just that the
buildings that have changed. I think the
feeling on campus has probably changed,
because its a totally different demographic
that's been imported in."
But even though the campus had
changed, an essential truth remained—university students would continue to speak
out passionately on important issues on
and off campus. And in the first decade of
the 21st century at UBC, there was plenty to
protest.
On the ground it cippCcirCCL as if we were
Selling pieces of ourselves to people that
COllldn't Care less what was going on on campus.
—Jonathan Woodward former Ubyssey News Editor
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary
13 Protest
Campbell, Bush, and Bonfires:
UBC protesting in the 21st century
Above: Trek Park,
modeled after
a similiaridea
from the States,
was considered
an eyesore by
some, and by
others a symbol
ofthe fight
against campus
development.
People often say that this campus
lacks spirit—that it's a soulless
bureaucracy where students
don't matter. We've been guilty
of making this accusation it in more
than a few editorials, but the 21st century
brought to UBC new protests, new issues to
galvanize students and new arrests.
On September 11, the peaceful mirage
western civilization had enjoyed for a
decade ended with attack on the World
Trade Center. The Ubyssey responded with
its next issue dedicated to the attacks, with
perspectives from students, professors,
and Ubyssey alumni who were in New
York. In our editorial that day, entitled "A
time for peace," we attempted to sum up
the feelings of students at the time.
"The world has shown tremendous
compassion in the last three days, and
has given us so much cause for hope. To
throw everything out the window now in
the name of vengeance would indeed be a
tragedy."
If only George W. Bush had read The
Ubyssey. Over the next two years, scores
of protests denouncing the invasions
of Iraq and Afghanistan took place on
campus, often in front of the Goddess
of Democracy statue. In 2003, the AMS
supported a motion against the Iraq War,
and 500 students staged a walkout during
classes, which culminated in a protest at
the US Consulate. In March 2004, the AMS
presented a lecture with Noam Chomsky,
the famed counterculture political analyst,
on the one year anniversary of the invasion
of Iraq.
Closer to home, the election of Gordon
Campbell as Premier of British Columbia
in 2001 brought a tumultuous era for
the province's post-secondary education.
Under the previous government, there had
been a tuition freeze in the province for
seven years. Nine months after his election,
Campbell removed the tuition freeze. UBC,
after a series of contentious consultations
with students, announced plans to double
tuition fees over the next three years,
citing the need to increase revenues. This
resulted in the largest tuition increases in
UBC's history. The same scenario unfolded
at SFU and UVic. The response from
students? A series of protests over the next
three months, the largest involving 3000
students on the lawn of the legislature
in Victoria as part of a national "Day of
Action." At UBC, the action culminated in
hundreds of students taking over UBC's
Old Administration building for the day,
14
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary with over 50 students spending the night in
President Martha Piper's office.
The controversy with the Campbell
government didn't end there. In February
2003, demanding higher wages, TAs went
on strike. Causing havoc for undergraduate
students, the TAs were quickly joined on
the picket lines by library workers and
clerical staff. With the strike heading
into the middle of March, a death threat
levied against Martha Piper, and neither
the unions or UBC ready to budge, the
provincial government ordered the strikers
back to work.
There were also continued protests
over campus development, the lack of
meaningful consultation, and the never-
ending University Boulevard saga. A
small number of students decided that
a more active form of communication
was needed to engage with the UBC
community. They formed the UBC branch
of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS),
a group committed to activism, and The
Knoll, an alternative magazine that would
highlight the increased corportization and
development on campus.
In October of 2007, these groups help
put on KnollAid, a concert held to raise
awareness of the impending underground
bus loop that would result in the movement
of the Knoll. "Fuck the system. Play music.
That's why we're here. Play a concert," said
George Prior, one ofthe performers, before
he began his set. "Nice, bright weather
outside, guitars, and, barring any technical
difficulties, stick it to the man. We don't
know who the man is. But it's the man. Play
music. It's a concert." For our part, we said
"KnollAid was full of more good, clean fun
that we at The Ubyssey have had in a long
time...when's KnollAid 2?"
KnollAid 2.0 eventually did happen,
in April of 2008. The end result this time
was not quite as pleasant. After starting
a large bonfire, conflict ensued when the
fire department came to extinguish the
fire and police arrested two students who
were in the way ofthe blaze. Police from
across Vancouver arrived over the next
two and a half hours while protesters sat
around a police car that held one of the
two nitially arrested students. By the end
of the night, twenty UBC students had been
arrested, most charged with "obstructing a
peace officer."   The news made national
headlines, and here at UBC, created a
firestorm of debate on whether the actions
of the police—and the protesters—were
justified.
The Knoll protests and the SDS were
part of a bigger feeling of helplessness on
campus. As former Ubyssey news editor
Boris Korby said, "Looking back on the
Knoll protests, it's pretty apparent a dust
up with police and campus security was
bound to happen. These students had
genuine complaints, and felt completely
ignored by everyone on campus—the
administration, the student government,
the student body at large, everyone. It
became obvious to them that their only way
to get heard was to make a scene."
But not all the protesting on campus
was as fervent. The Radical Beer Faction,
UBC's favourite joke party from 1991
to 2005, made a return in 2008 to fight
what they called "The War on Fun" at
UBC, bringing flash beer gardens and
responsible drinking back in a big way.
And so, as we look back on our 13
years of independence, we often laugh at
how little has changed: concerns over the
rate of growth on campus, activists getting
arrested, students wondering if they're
getting put first, debates over free speech,
and scandals within the AMS. But at the
end ofthe day, whether it's 2008 or 1918,
The Ubyssey has been, and will always be,
there for students. Tuum Est. U
The Ubyssey 90th Anniversary
15 Ae!llb^S€?
L   ^*
THEUBYSSEY
LHULLJ^H   K^HSEfflC ^^t^^^^b
libyssey    the Utymy
THE UBYSSEY
THEUBYSSEY
In celebration of our 90th anniversary, we're commemorating our history since independence from the AMS in 1995. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't take a quick
look back at our first 77 years...
1918: A month after The Ubyssey is formed, World War I ends. Beginning a strong tradition of being wrong, we proclaim that the end of the war has ushered in "a new era of
peace."
1919: In our second year of publication, a letter is published criticizing the inadequacies
of the stories, and how the paper is failing to live up to previously high standards. This
never happens again.
1929: The Ubyssey takes a stand against co-education, believing that without it, UBC
"would gain an intensified and more widespread interest in scholarship, student government and athletics." We regret the error.
1947: In an attempt to die of exhaustion, The Ubyssey decides to publish four times a
week, from Tuesday to Friday. The experiment ends after only one year, but this paper
publishes three times a week into the 1980s.
1951: Future famed national pundit Allan Fotheringham publishes a column criticizing
the UBC engineers. In response, engineers kidnap Fotheringham, and drop him off at
Horseshoe Bay with no money.
1956: The Ubyssey publishes the editorial "Elvis, Go Home," which criticizes the changing tastes in music: "UBC students...are tasteful and intelligent; no rock and roll for
them."
1959: Lampooning the celebration of Easter, a photo is published with a UBC student
crucified on a totem pole. The entire staff is fired by the AMS.
1964: After watching the world famous performance ofthe Beatles on the Ed Sullivan
Show, we proclaim them to be "the biggest disappointment since mother told us there
was no Santa Claus."
1974: The Ubyssey publishes a joke article, writing that domestic terrorist Patty Hearst
spoke to students in the Totem Park cafeteria about her chase from the FBI. Everyone
gets the joke, except the Seattle TV station KOMO, which comes to campus to investigate.
1983: We end the school year with an editorial simply entitled "Fuck It."
1993: Following a dispute over editorial control, we are barred by the AMS from publishing during the summer time. When we use our fax machine to tell national publications
about our possible demise, the AMS promptly takes it away.
Compiled by    I   Kellan Higgins
I   Justin McElroy
Copy Edited by
Kalyeena Makortoff
Joe Rayment
Ricardo Bortolon
All photos by Ubyssey Staffers throughout the years
©The Ubyssey Publications Board 2008

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.ubysseynews.1-0126117/manifest

Comment

Related Items