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The Ubyssey Jan 24, 2013

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Still holding out on voting? Read our editorial board's official breakdown and rationale pio
P6 »Page 2
What's on
Rhinoceros: 7:30 p.m. @ Telus Studio Theatre
Theatre at UBC's latest production follows French everyman Berenger,
who is horrified to find that everyone in his small village is transforming
into stampeding rhinoceroses. This absurdist exploration of conformity is
playing at the Telus until Feb. 9. Directed by MFA directing student Chelsea Haberlin, performed by BFA acting students. $10 for students.
AMS Elections Results Party:
5 p.m. @ the Gallery
Ifyou haven't noticed that it is
election season, perhaps you
should pick up Monday's issue of
the paper. Make sure to come to
thiseventto meetyourfuturestu-
dent government and discover
the future of the U-Pass.
Dine Out Vancouver @
restaurants all over the city
Score cheap three-course meals
at fine dining establishments
that are way out of the average
student's price range. $18, $28
and $38 menus available; visit
UBC men's hockey vs. Mt.
Royal Cougars: 2:30-4:30
p.m. @ Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre
Cheer on the Thunderbirds
men's hockey team as they duke
it out on the ice with the Mt. Royal
Cougars. $2 for students.
Data Privacy Day: All day @
The whole world!
Did you know that today is Data
Privacy Day? Use these 24 hours
as an opportunity to hack-proof
your passwords, PIN numbers
and personal documents.
Golly! Doesn't that feel better?
Got an event you'd like to see on this page? Send your event
and your best pitch to printeditor@ubyssey.ca.
Video content
Make sure to check latest Ubyssey
Weekly Show, airing now at
'JJthe ubyssey
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AMS presidential candidate Jay Shah has been an active member of the Greek system since he came to UBC.
Jay Shah talks REC, rappers
Will McDonald
News Editor
AMS presidential candidate Jay
Shah has held numerous AMS
positions, but he's most at home
when he's with his fraternity,
Beta Theta Pi, or participating
in UBC REC activities.
"This is probably my biggest
accomplishment: I came in
fourth in the UBC REC campus-wide table tennis tournament," said Shah.
Shah said hockey is his
favourite sport to watch, but
he is also a fan of baseball
and football.
"I knew something in my
life was missing from October
to November this year and I
couldn't actually pinpoint it —
and I realized it was hockey,"
said Shah.
Shah is active in REC
sports, including ball hockey,
basketball, soccer and Storm
the Wall.
Shah has also played competitive hockey since he was in
the seventh grade. He mentioned that winning the UBC
REC ball hockey tournament
on his fraternity's team was
another milestone in his life.
"I never won an organized
ball hockey tournament until
this year, so that, I would have
to say, was one of my bigger
accomplishments," said Shah.
A Markham, Ontario native,
Shah is in his fifth year of a BA
in international relations and
English literature.
In his first year at UBC,
Shah lived far away from
campus and had no network of
friends or family in the area.
He said that's when he got
involved in Greek life.
"Obviously having that sort
of familial feeling was hugely,
hugely beneficial, initially,"
said Shah.
Shah is currently the executive coordinator of student services for the AMS and has held
numerous elected positions in
the Greek system, including
president of Beta Theta Pi.
"[Fraternies are] not necessarily for everyone, but
it's definitely something that
has provided me with a lot of
experience, with a lot of knowledge, with a lot of tolerance
that has allowed me to grow
as a person and help grow the
organization," said Shah. "It's
something that I think, overall,
is just a fantastic experience."
Shah is known for his speaking ability and communication
skills, which he developed
as the AMS ombudsperson.
Rumour has it that this affinity
for public speaking stems from
an obsession with rapper Jay-Z.
"I think that's actually been
a little bit overblown. There
were drinks flowing that night
and so I can't really corroborate the extent to which I'm a
huge Jay-Z fan," said Shah.
"I do have a lot of respect for
him, definitely. Coming from
where he came from and being
able to build up what he's been
able to is definitely hugely motivational, but do I have a huge
obsession? I wouldn't necessarily classify it as that. But I'm
definitely a fan of his music, for
sure." tJ
l. Send us your flash fiction & poetry
3. Win prizes
The Ubyssey's annual creative writing contest is open
for submissions! Have your work judged by published
authors and magazine editors. Winners in each category
are published in The Ubyssey and awarded $75 and a subscription to a literary magazine.
ul       ™^5    • Email submissions by Feb. 1, 2013
|C1 1 U mUTmrn^ * 300-500 words for flash fiction
AlW MmMmmm • 1 page or less for poetry
Visit ubyssey.ca/literary/for full submission guidelines. tNewsl
Isabel Chen holds up a watch equipped with the panic device.
UBC student designs panic button for sex trade workers
Sarah Bigam
Isabel Chen, a medical student
at UBC, is part of a team that has
invented a mobile panic button for
street-based sex trade workers in
Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
A voice or text message is first
recorded onto a SIM card, which is
inserted into a GPS-enabled device
such as a pager that would only need
to be charged once a week. Pressing
a button on the pager activates the
GPS and sends an emergency message and GPS location to a contact
who can get help. Because the GPS
is not activated until the device is
activated, the user stays anonymous.
The other members ofthe team
include Kyle Ragins, a fourth-year
med student at Yale, and Vanessa
Forro, a master's of public health
student from Case Western in
Ohio. Both Ragins and Forro have
been involved in this project from
its inception.
UBC fundraising campaign
breaks$1 billion mark
UBC's biggest fundraising campaign has raised over $1 billion.
The campaign, launched in
2011, aims to bring in a total of $1.5
billion by 2015.90,000 of the total
138,000 donations to the campaign came from alumni.
The campaign also aims to get
50,000 alumni involved at the university every year. "Their generosity
and involvement is providing more
student aid, improving learning
environments and extending the
impact of research and community
engagement. With their help, UBC
can really be a catalyst for change
and transformation," said UBC
President Stephen Toope.
UBC-0 study questions health
benefits of fish oil supplements
According to a study at UBC-O,
fish oil may not have as many
health benefits as previously
The study found that fish oil supplements interfered with healthy
mice's abilityto repair cells in the
digestive system.
The study has further implications into the supposed health
benefits of vegetable oils.
"The vast majority of studies that
show Omega 3 oils are beneficial
are based on eating fish, not pills,"
said study author Sanjoy Ghosh.
"When you eat a lot of fish you
automatically eat less of other oils
and it's a healthier balance." Xi
"We thought we would run the
idea by local organizations and
see what they thought. And we've
received a lot of support so we've
just sort of been trekking along,"
Chen said.
Accordingto Chen, a few ofthe
specifics are still to be decided.
Once prototype devices are ordered,
the three students will hold focus
groups to determine which type of
device is more useful. GPS-enabled
pagers and watches have been
considered, but they are also open
to using something else entirely.
Also to be decided is the recipient of
these emergency messages; it could
potentially be a friend, relative, community partner or the Vancouver
Police Department.
After the focus groups, Chen,
Forro and Ragins will launch a
six-month pilot project by giving
devices to 100 women on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Chen said
they are not currently working with
the Vancouver Police Department.
She noted that legal issues complicate the relationship between
the police and sex trade workers;
she is waiting for the focus groups
to clarify what the users would be
most comfortable with.
One group they will be working
with is WISH, a drop-in centre that
provides aid to female sex workers.
"WISH is super on-board. They've
been providing a lot of support
and just, like, general advice.... We
couldn't do this project without
them," Chen said.
Kate Gibson, executive director
of WISH, said the project is still in
early stages and they are working to
consult the sex workers themselves.
"We have to go to the women to
find out.... We need to consult with
the people who are most affected,"
said Gibson.
Chen said that the idea came
from a variety of different influences, notably her research: at
Yale, she studied intimate partner
homicide as part of her master's of
public health degree. In a January
2012 missing women's commission
report, she read that sex workers
mentioned GPS panic alarms as
something that might be helpful.
Panic alarms are already used in
brothels, but women working on
the street don't have that security.
The group is currently holding
a fundraising initiative online. The
initial goal was to raise $5,500
to pay for sample devices, focus
groups and the first 100 pilot devices. Two days ago, the budget was
expanded to $8,140, which covers
the entire pilot project. "Any extra
funds we'll just donate to WISH or
whatever community organization
ends up continuing the project,"
Chen said.
As of Tuesday night, according
to the project website, www.rally.
org/keep-safe, the total funds
raised were $16,115.31
keiii iuns n
STOP UBC petition gaining traction
9,ooo+ signatures collected to protest invasive experiments
Miner \&Tmna . , ,  .      ~ „ , '•       . , , , ,        .
Ming Wong
Senior News Writer
An online petition to stop a
specific type of animal research
is close to reaching its goal of
10,000 signatures, but UBC
maintains that animal research is
"vital and essential."
The petition from advocacy
group STOP UBC Animal Research had over 9,000 signatures
at press time. It asks UBC to ban
Categories D and E of animal
research, the two most invasive
"Those are the sort of experiments they show in those creepy
science fiction movies. It's time
to take those out," said Laura-
Leah Shaw, director of Stop UBC
Animal Research. "We don't
have a right to be doing this to
Accordingto the Canadian
Council on Animal Care, Category D represents "moderate to
severe distress or discomfort"
and the highest of five categories,
E, represents "severe pain near,
at or above the pain tolerance
threshold of unanesthetized conscious animals."
UBC increased its use of Categories D and E research from
2010 to 2011. In 2011, 83,800
animals, up from 68,203 in 2010,
were involved in Category D research. 2011 also saw 59 animals
involved in Category E research,
up from 31 in 2010.
Helen Burt, UBC Associate
Vice-President Research, maintains that research involving animals in Categories D and E, such
as surgical procedures, undergoes scrutiny by clinical veterinarians and the Animal Care
Committee before it is approved.
"Categories D and E protocols
receive the highest level of attention and debate, focusing on the
ethical issues," said Burt in an
e-mail statement.
Accordingto Shaw, STOP is
focusing its efforts on only the
two most invasive categories of
animal research at the moment.
"The goal is to ban all animal
research, but we're realistic;
we have to begin somewhere,"
said Shaw, who couldn't take
The Ubyssey's first call for an
interview because she was in
the middle of an "animal rescue
mission" at Jericho Beach.
UBC spokesperson Lucie
McNeill said the university
hasn't seen the petition or the
signatures yet, but welcomes
public input.
"I like to emphasize that
UBC is definitely proud ofthe
outstanding research that's
conducted by all of our researchers here.... It has continuously
earned this university a reputa
tion as a world leader in many,
many areas, including biomedical
McNeill said that UBC has
been transparent on the issue
of animal testing. UBC started
releasing its animal research
statistics in 2011.
But Shaw said it was only after
STOP put pressure on UBC that
they released the numbers. She
went on to say they want UBC
to release more details on the
protocols taken during research
and the specific species of
animals used.
Shaw hopes to present the
petition to UBC President Stephen Toope and the UBC Board
of Governors. This is the group's
first petition targeted at Toope,
although previously they've
swamped the president's office
on Valentine's Day with cards,
emails and phone calls to "appeal
to his heart."
Former STOP director Brian
Vincent recently stepped down
due to health issues, but Shaw
said the group's mission is the
same: to educate the public
about animal research and "stop
cruelty, not research."
"All groups evolve.... We may
see a different approach now to
some of our things that we do,
but that's not a result of change
in the organization," said Shaw. 31
e@UBC helps
student start-ups
Francois Roux is the co-founder of 2Van-
Spencer Toffoli
At UBC, there's a program to
help student businesses get off
the ground.
(e@UBC) is a joint project started
two years ago by the Sauder School
of Business, the Applied Sciences
program and the University Industry Liaison Offices. The project
aims to facilitate new ventures in
the UBC community.
Program director Anuj Singhal
said that e@UBC can help bridge
the gap between having an idea for a
product and actually turning it into
a viable business.
"Start-ups, especially... scientists
and engineers, are often quite good
at product development and design
research, but they don't have enough
experience or exposure to things
like customer research and building
markets," said Singhal.
e@UBC offers practical aid
for start-ups to fill that gap. This
includes financial investment and
a number of other types of support
for fledgling companies, including
workspaces, networking, mentoring
and access to discounted professional services and advice.
Francois Roux, co-founder and
managing director of 2Vancouver.
com, said the support of e@UBC
has had a significant impact on his
company's development.
2Vancouver.com is a website that
helps those who are new to Vancouver find employment, residence and
education options. Roux said e@
UBC gave his company a new office,
as well as $5,000 worth of services
from the university.
"We learned a lot about the startup ecosystem and the kind of methodology we should be following to
evolve from a start-up to a grown-up
business," said Roux.
For such a new program, e@UBC
has already supported a number of
promising companies.
Another successful example
is Convergent.io, a data storage
company that started as a small
operation in the e@UBC incubation
workspace. It has now moved into
its own offices after winning a $10
million investment from Andreesen
Horowitz, a highly successful venture capital fund from Silicon Valley.
But e@UBC is about more than
just supporting start-ups. Both
Singhal and DevenDave, executive
director for the W. Maurice Young
Entrepreneurship and Venture
Capital Research Centre at UBC,
emphasized that the program
aims to alter the culture ofthe
university itself.
Singhal said that anyone who is
interested in starting a venture or
taking their venture further can
contact e@UBC, which will try to
give them support.
"Whether you're wanting to start
the next Lululemon or you just want
a more entrepreneurial career, we
really encourage students to check
out a number ofthe different events
being put on," said Singhal. 31 4    I    NEWS    I   THURSDAY, JANUARY 24,2013
300-gallon diesel tank spills in South Campus
About 100 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a semi truck at the intersection of Birney and Binning in Wesbrook Village on Wednesday afternoon.
Sarah Bigam & Will McDonald
StaffWriter & News Editor
A diesel truck leaked approximately 100 gallons of fuel
at the corner of Binning Road
and Birney Avenue in Wesbrook
Village today, accordingto Vancouver Fire Department spokesperson Gabe Roder.
The leak was reported at 12:45
p.m. today. Roder said some ofthe
fuel entered the storm drains before the fuel could be contained.
Roder estimated 30 gallons
entered storm drains, but said
the exact amount couldn't be
confirmed. Mike Giannias, a
UBC staff member from Building
Operations who was at the scene,
gave a similar estimate.
"Some of it has gone into the
storm system prior to us getting
there," said Roder.
The leak happened after debris
on the ground broke the truck's
fuel line, which connected two
tanks containing approximately
300 gallons of diesel fuel.
The driver ofthe truck described the incident as a simple
accident. "I was backing the truck
up, and probably some rocks and
dirt got caught underneath my
truck, and they ripped out one
of my fuel lines. Then my truck
stalled, and there was diesel coming out,... It was kind of a shitty
situation" he said.
Giannias said the ripped fuel
line ran between two separate
diesel tanks, one of which began
to spill. He said that when the
fire department arrived at the
scene, they wound up plugging
the leak, and transferred the fuel
remaining in the leaking tank to
the other one.
As of 4 p.m., the leak had
been stopped and bulk of the
spilled fuel was contained with a
sand dike.
Roder said an environmental company will take the
diesel-soaked sand away to
be decontaminated.
"It went into the drain, and
supposedly it's made its way
down to the bottom ofthe fish
ponds down here," said Giannias. He said MacRae's Environmental, a Delta-based company,
was being called to clean up the
aftermath. Xi
Over 1,000 students kept from voting for BoG, Senate
Students were unable to vote in the Board of Governors and Senate races for approximately 12 hours due to a glitch in the voting software.
Will McDonald
News Editor
The AMS is tryingto sort out the
aftermath of a glitch that prevented 1,171 students from voting
in two races on this year's online
student government ballot.
From late Monday until around
noon Tuesday, students couldn't
vote in the Senate or Board of
Governors races.
Elections administration Jenny
Chen said the problem was caused
by a glitch in the voting system
that failed to distinguish between
UBC students and students at
affiliated colleges like Regent or
Vancouver School of Theology.
Students at affiliated colleges
are members ofthe AMS, but are
not eligible to vote in the BoG or
Senate races.
Chen said voting is working
now, and emails will be sent out to
the affected students, giving them
information to vote in the races
they missed.
There was also another problem with the student government
election ballot. The question about
the VoterMedia contest, which
allows students to vote on how
much money is given to blogs covering the elections, was not set up
correctly when voting began.
Two blogs entered the contest
this year, AMS Confidential and
Spilling T. The AMS has provided
$1,200 to be split between them
based on how students vote.
Students should have been
able to vote to give 100 per cent
ofthe prize money to one blog,
and nothing to the other. But the
ballot only allowed them to vote
for a maximum of 40 per cent to
one blog.
Chen said she is working on a
formula to allocate the money correctly and fairly, but it has to be
approved by both blogs competing
for the money.
"That was an issue on our
part.... We have a formula that
we've come up with and that's
something that we're going to
discuss with the two VoterMedia
blogs to come to an understanding," said Chen. Xi
Board of
candidate Lin
fined for breach
of election rules
Conny Lin is also the president of the
Graduate Student Society.
Will McDonald
News Editor
Board of Governors candidate
Conny Lin has been fined $200 for
violating AMS elections rules.
Lin, who is also the Graduate
Student Society (GSS) president, sent out an email to all
GSS councillors urging them to
vote for her and the other four
graduate students running in the
AMS elections.
AMS elections administrator
Jenny Chen said Lin was found
in violation of the elections'
conflict of interest policy. In
addition to the fine, Lin was
asked to formally apologize and
revoke her endorsement.
"Obviously this is abusing of
her power," said Chen. "Definitely it will be a violation,... both
monetary and she will also have
to send out a public apology to
the students of GSS because it
is highly inappropriate of her to
do so."
Lin sent out a second apologetic email a few hours after the
first, writing, "I will ask someone else from the executive team
to send this notice out instead.
Rushing through things is not
good! Lesson learned."
Lin later sent out a third email
revoking her endorsement from
the GSS.
"This is a direct conflict of
interest and misuse of Society's
resources. Hereby the GSS endorsement to Conny Lin shall be
revoked," read the email. 31
Want to
write about
fuel leaks?
Want to
write about
abusing their
Write for
news@ubyssey.ca )R C.J. PENTLAND
W Sports + Rec
Purple and yellow pedal power
The UBC Bike Co-op program turns ordinary students into bike masters
Justin Fleming
Senior Lifestyle Writer
"All the bikes are donated," shouts
UBC Bike Co-op President Jean-
Francois Caron as someone tests
the strength of a bike's top tube
with a hammer. "Department
store bikes might not last that
long, but many of their parts do."
Caron, sporting a floral apron,
glides off with tools in hand to
where two volunteers inspect a
bike clamped in a stand.
The atmosphere inthe Bike
Kitchen is light-hearted and
industrious as volunteers tighten,
ratchet, eyeball and prod. Clustered around bikes in various
stages of assembly, volunteers
joke and share tools while a song
from the Space Jam soundtrack
bounces around the cement room.
It's Tuesday night, the Bike Coop's weekly "Purple and Yellow
Night." From 6 to 9 p.m., anyone
can drop in to get free, hands-on
experience and learn all the ins
and outs of bike mechanics, from
basic maintenance to full assembly. Then they apply these skills
to turn donated two-wheeled
cadavers into the Franken-bikes
ofthe Co-op's fleet.
You may have noticed these
garish beauties around campus,
either locked up or whizzing
down Main Mall in a smear of
complementary colours. This
aptly named "purple and yellow"
fleet is part of a bike-share initiative run by the UBC Bike Co-op.
The bike-share program has
been around UBC since the '90s,
and was inspired by similar free
bike-sharing programs that started in the '60s and '70s in Europe.
Eventually, the program found
its way to the west coast ofthe
United States and into Canada.
Ofthe many programs the Bike
Co-op has offered over the years,
On Tuesdays between 6 and 9 p.m., students can go to the Bike Kitchen and learn how to build bikes.
the purple and yellow fleet has
been its mainstay. The program's
consistency, along with various
grants and funding, has allowed
the Co-op to grow from its humble beginnings inside a storage
container to a loading bay outside
the H.R. Macmillan Building to
its present location in the basement of the SUB.
The program is open to all
students, no matter what their
experience with bikes is. Guiller-
mina Perez, who just finished her
master's in health science, learned how to ride a bike last summer
and now considers herself "really
good." Perez, who had some free
time and wanted to learn how to
fix bikes, has been volunteering
for the last six months. "I like it;
it's kind of relaxing and different," she said.
Ifyou want to obtain a key that
unlocks any ofthe bikes around
campus, you must become a
member ofthe Co-op by attending
two Purple and Yellow Nights and
either paying $15 or volunteering
for six hours.
While the fleet itself is an integral part ofthe program, Caron
sees the volunteer night as more
important; it offers a relaxed
atmosphere for people to learn
about bikes and just hang out.
"Volunteers can come in knowing nothing about bikes and learn
how to fix bikes without having to pay any kind of fee," said
Caron. "Within a few weeks you
can learn how to replace brakes,
change a drive train out, true a
wheel — pretty advanced, beyond
just basic maintenance."
Despite the successes ofthe
program, there are also some setbacks. One ofthe biggest challenges facing the purple and yellow
program is one that plagues most
other bike-sharing programs:
theft and vandalism. No matter
how ugly the paint job, many
bikes disappear.
"We generally say don't go
down the hill and don't go past
TRIUMF," said Cole Murphy,
the purple and yellow program
coordinator. He said he has
occasionally had to go out with
a trailer to round up bikes taken
off campus.
Since 2008, the City of Vancouver has been doing its own studies
into the feasibility of a public bike
share; a program is expected to
launch this spring. The proposed
system would have 1,500 bikes
and 125 stations dispersed every
two to three blocks.
However, the city's plan is not
without speed bumps. Proposed
stations could miss key areas
like Commercial Drive and UBC,
and there are also issues around
B.C.'s helmet bylaws. Bike rental
shops claim they would be put
out of business, and the issue of
taxpayers picking up the bill has
many bristling.
What, if anything, would it
mean for the purple and yellow
program if the City of Vancouver's
commercial bike share were to
make it out to UBC? While it may
be ideal for tourists and visitors
to campus, it's doubtful the
program would be cost-effective
for students. Caron doesn't see
much competition between the
choice of swiping your credit card
for a ride across campus versus
volunteering for a few nights to
get unlimited access to bikes and
a welcoming community.
There doesn't appear to be
anything slowing down the
purple and yellow program at
UBC, meaning that, despite its
few setbacks, the initiative will
continue to pedal forward into
the future. 31
T-Bird suspended for cannabis violation
DB Kofi Kuma-Mintah has received a two-year sanction
T-Bird DB Kofi Kuma-Mintah appeared in three games for UBC last season.
Laura Rodgers
News Editor
UBC defensive back Kofi
Kuma-Mintah has received a two-
month sanction from playing on
the UBC football team in response
to a positive test for cannabis,
according to a release from the
Canadian Centre for Ethics in
Sport (CCES).
The in-competition doping
test happened on Oct. 13, 2012
after a 24-17 UBC win against
Regina. It was a game in which
Kuma-Mintah recorded 3.5 tackles
and had a key interception in the
fourth quarter to help seal the
T-Bird victory.
His two-month sanction started
in December and will end on Feb.
12, 2013. He will be prohibited
from playing in any games until
then, or participating in practices
with the team.
"Obviously we're disappointed that the athlete didn't make
the right choice, because we do
provide substantial education for
athletes on the dangers of drug
use," said Theresa Hanson, UBC
associate director of intercollegiate and high performance sport.
"At the end of the day they have
to make their own decision, and
unfortunately, he made the wrong
UBC football head coach
Shawn Olson echoed the same
thoughts, stating that he educates his players in hopes of them
making the right decisions off
the field, even when it comes to a
substance like marijuana.
"It's becoming more and more
mainstream, but that doesn't
change our reality. They can't use
it," he said.
Kuma-Mintah, who appeared
in three games for the Thunderbirds last season, waived his
right to a hearing, therefore
acknowledging the anti-doping
rule violation and accepting the
suspension. Both Hanson and
Olson also agreed with the terms
ofthe sanction.
"It's not a performance-enhancing drug, so I feel the length of
the suspension is probably fitting,"
said Olson. "It is still a stance
against any kind of drugs really, so
I think it's fair."
Hanson also stated that she
found the punishment fair, as UBC
supports the doping education
program with the CCES and CIS. 31
-With files from C.J. Pentland
Friday, Jan. 25
Women's volleyball
UBC Okanagan (11-5) vs.
UBC (15-1)
6 p.m. @ War Memorial Gym
Men's volleyball
UBC Okanagan (2-14) vs.
UBC (10-6)
8 p.m. @ War Memorial Gym
Men's hockey
Mount Royal (4-17-1) vs.
UBC (12-7-3)
7 p.m. @ Thunderbird Arena
Saturday, Jan. 26
Women's volleyball
UBC Okanagan (11-5) vs.
UBC (15-1)
5 p.m. @ War Memorial Gym
Men's volleyball
UBC Okanagan (2-14) vs.
UBC (10-6)
7 p.m. @ War Memorial Gym
Men's hockey
Mount Royal (4-17-1) vs.
UBC (12-7-3)
2:30 p.m. @ Thunderbird Arena 6    I    FEATURE    I    THURSDAY, JANUARY 24,2013
Loudmouths or lackeys?
Students elected to UBC's Board of Governors are in a powerful position to
make change. But they must walk a fine line between pissing off powerful
people and getting too close to the university bYjonnYwakefleid THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2013    |    FEATURE
Moe Sihota did not own a dinner jacket. This was not a problem by day, when Sihota was a
prominent figure in UBC's student protest scene. At a protest against proposed tuition hikes,
Sihota might come decked out in a T-shirt reading "Fuck the Educators" (as noted in a 1977
Ubyssey article). His official duties, though, required a more restrained wardrobe.
After hours, Sihota was known to
have dinner and drinks — "rather elaborate four- or five-course
meals" — with members of UBC's
Board of Governors. Their favourite haunt
was the Faculty Club, a now-defunct dining
hall and social club for professors. Dinner
at the Faculty Club required a dinner jacket,
and several were kept on hand in case somebody forgot the dress code.
These days, Sihota is more or less retired
from public life. But even after a lifetime in
politics — as an NDP MLA, cabinet minister, Crown Corporation board member and
broadcaster — he still recalls those dinners
as some of the best of his life, both in terms
ofthe food and what they taught him about
"We'd sit there over a bottle of wine that
the board provided and we'd chat," he said.
"It gave you a chance to put down your
weapons and actually have a discussion."
While the relationship between Sihota
and the rest of UBC's Board of Governors
was collegial, they did not always agree,
and some considered Sihota a radical. He
was censured by the board for alleging that
professors in the Faculty of Commerce were
racist. He leaked documents to The Ubyssey
in an effort to open up how UBC's most
powerful body made decisions. He was an
outspoken critic ofthe administration's
stance on tuition hikes and housing affordability.
Sihota was one ofthe first students to sit
on UBC's Board of Governors, and while
much has changed since those days, many of
the issues remain the same.
While students are ultimately the reason
the university exists, they're only here for a
short time, allowing the university administration to sometimes move counter to
student interests. Whether through campus
development or tuition increases, students
past and present have had to fight to make
sure the university doesn't get away from
We'd sit there over a bottle of
wine that the board provided
and we'd chat. It gave you
a chance to put down you
weapons and actually have a
Moe Sihota
Former UBC Board of Governors student rep
On the Board of Governors, the two
elected student reps have to walk a fine line
between becoming lackeys (concerned with
letters of reference, resume padding and not
rocking the boat) or loudmouths (inflexible
ideologues that accomplish little).
As current faculty representative Nassif
Ghoussoub described student representation during his time on the board: "Some
people were naysayers and rebels and fought
whatever the administration did, but some
people were more loyalist than the king,
which is even more disappointing, because
I don't think they played the role that they
should play: the watchdog ofthe administration."
Power at universities is intentionally compartmentalized to stop any one party from
influencing the academic mission. At UBC,
the Senate, composed of deans, administrators, students and faculty, is in charge ofthe
academic side ofthe university. The Board
of Governors, on the other hand, controls
the purse strings.
This arguably makes the board the
ultimate decision-makers at the university. The two student representatives
from UBC Vancouver are among the most
powerful students inthe province, despite
A photo from a 1968 occupation of the UBC Faculty Club. Many early Board of Governors student reps drew on
this brand of student activism.
constituting only a tiny minority ofthe
board. The majority ofthe governors are
provincial appointees.
"With all the external members, you start
to realize that your vote doesn't actually
matter," said Sean Heisler, a student board
rep from 2010-12.
Today's board is made up of former
Crown Corporation board members, real
estate moguls, B.C. Liberal party donors,
law firm heads and other important people.
The relationship between the appointed
board members and the university tends
to fluctuate. When the province is friendly
with the administration, appointed board
members tend to follow the university president's lead.
But sometimes the situation is more
adversarial. The university and the province
can have competing visions for the direction
ofthe university. Such was the environment
Sihota encountered when he joined.
"They were a bloc. They would say, 'Well,
the minister says this,' and there you go,"
he said. This was frustrating for Sihota and
the other non-appointed representatives; it
made running a public university feel like a
game of tug of war.
You're a student, you care
about your career. That's
why student representation
requires some skill and self
Nassif Ghoussoub
UBC BoG faculty representative
"There's been an ongoing tension
between the government and the boards
themselves about who really runs the place,"
explained Elizabeth Hodgson, a UBC professor who studies academic governance.
"Autonomy is important for universities and
necessary for the kind of work they do. But
government can say, 'Well, we're paying the
Students were first thrown into this mix
in the mid-1970s as part of changes to the
University Act.
"It was exhilarating, quite frankly,"
recalled Sihota. "It gave us access to the
highest level of decision-making at the
The 1970s were a heady time for student
idealism. As a board rep, Sihota was backed
by student protests and a pervasive sense
that things could change. And through a
combination of public dissent and backroom
dealing, Sihota was able to influence the
board. He takes credit for holding off a major tuition increase (back when general arts
cost around $460), and keeping the board
from increasing student rent at Gage Towers
to recapture cost overruns.
Sihota said the victories were "reflective
ofthe times. They had a lot of support from
the student body.
"There was a lot of passion. And I think
we tapped into that," he said.
But these days, students can serve entire
terms on the board without any meaningful
input from students. Unless they work hard,
it's easy for representatives to lose touch
with the people they actually serve.
"As soon as you lose that student perspective, you've lost the ability to see
what the concerns really are for students,"
said Heisler.
Svend Robinson (at right), seen here speaking with a
colleague after a Board of Governors meeting, was a
contemporary of Moe Sihota.
In the worst cases, reps can become too
invested inthe idea that they're important. They might become too close to an
appointee. If they're interested in a career
in politics, it might seem like a bad idea to
stand up to the wrong people. If business is
in a student's future, a term on the Board
of Governors might seem like an extended
job interview.
"It's extremely hard at the beginning.
Somebody's not seasoned, there is an aspect
of intimidation," said Ghoussoub, the faculty
representative. "You're a student, you care
about your career. That's why student representation requires some skill and self-assurance."
"It definitely is a surprise at the first
meeting, when you realize that you have the
same privileges and rights as everyone else,"
said Heisler.
But rebelling against the administration can
be just as detrimental to student interests.
Accordingto Darren Peets, who served on the
board from 2007-2008, first impressions are
"Absolutely, there was paternalism," Peets
said in an email. "Ifyou walk in there speaking a
language [the other governors] don't understand
(e.g. speaking Marxist theory to property developers) or insulting them, you may be ignored
the rest ofthe way."
According to Peets, the best way to avoid
becoming a lackey or loudmouth and accomplish
meaningful work is by doing your homework.
During his time on campus (12 years, including a PhD. in physics), Peets became interested
in development at UBC. And it made him angry.
Peets is credited with killingthe university's initial plan for University Boulevard, the
current site of the new trolley bus loop and
the buildingthat contains Mahony & Sons and
Shoppers Drug Mart.
In 2002, Campus and Community Planning
had a much grander vision for the centre of
campus: 17 buildings, including market housing, retail space, an underground bus loop and
two 18-storey condos.
Peets felt that such development would
ruin campus for students. To make a long
story short, he joined a number of committees,
drafted reports, pushed petitions and eventually got the mega-development scrapped. It
was a huge victory for students.
Accordingto Hodgson, the professor who
studies governance, the general public has
little idea how universities are run. They
tend to assume that universities are benign
institutions, run by competent individuals
with the best interests of students in mind.
Before Peets got involved in university
politics, he felt much the same way.
"I assumed the university was run perfectly well — [that] there were a lot of smart
people around that would use common
sense," he told The Ubyssey in 2008.
A look below the surface reveals this is
far from the case.
Had it not been for students who really
cared about the direction of UBC, campus
would look very different. The UBC Farm
would be history, cleared to make way for
market housing. Maclnnes Field would have
been developed into — you guessed it — condos. University Boulevard would be another
Yaletown. The new SUB might be in bureaucratic limbo instead of nearing completion.
And that's only looking at the past decade.
And if we don't have people who understand student concerns going forward
— people who are more interested in
ideology than having friends in high
places — UBC will look very different 10
years from now.
Successfully advocating for students,
especially to the Board of Governors, is
no easy task. Students can be outnumbered, outlasted or ignored. Most of
the people interviewed for this article
agreed that the current board doesn't
automatically dismiss student concerns.
But that wasn't always the case, according to Sihota.
"Certain members felt students should
have no place on the board," he said. "So
you were always working on your standing
and justification for being there.
"You ultimately had to prove your
worth." Xi t Culture
Forget about the flu: Theatre at UBC's got rhino fever.
'Be prepared for loud noises*
Eugene Ionesco s absurdist play Rhinoceros charges onto the UBC stage
Chris Lane
One by one, the townsfolk of
a French village are turning
into rhinos in Theatre at UBC's
latest production, Rhinoceros by
Eugene Ionesco.
"Expect a lot of stomping," said
BFA acting student Matt Reznek,
who described the play as "organized chaos."
One ofthe leading figures of
theatre ofthe absurd, Ionesco
aimed to bring to light issues of
conformity, morality and totalitarianism in this play. His
inspiration stemmed from his
experience in Romania amidst
fears of totalitarianism and the
rise of Nazism in Europe. When
he wrote Rhinoceros in 1959, concerns about fascism were still at
the forefront of public discourse.
Reznek plays the protagonist,
a villager named Berenger who is
apathetic and bored with life.
That is, "until he realizes
that slowly the town is turning
into rhinoceroses," said Reznek.
"Seemingly normal people are
transforming and there's no explanation why, and he's the only
one who seems to think there's
anything wrong about that."
In the play, becoming an angry
rhinoceros is an allegory for the
horrible things ordinary people
end up doing under totalitarian
regimes. Ionesco's work raises
questions about the line between
exercising free will and blindly
following everyone else, which is
integral to the protagonist's inner
struggle between apathy and a
growing sense of responsibility.
But don't let this heady subject
matter scare you off, said director
Chelsea Haberlin, a student in
UBC's MFA directing program.
Not only is the play multi-layered, complex and highly
physical, it's also hilarious,
said Haberlin.
"Primarily, it's entertaining,
and the thinking comes secondary, through the entertainment.
It's one of those plays where you
laugh your way to a new understanding. It's not just for the
intellectual elite," she said.
For Haberlin, what makes
Rhinoceros stand out is its immersive nature. The show is being
performed in the round, meaning
that the stage will be in the centre
ofthe theatre, surrounded by the
audience on all sides. "There are
actors everywhere.... You feel like
the person next to you is turning
into a rhinoceros," she said.
BFA acting student Joel Garner,
who plays Berenger's friend Jean,
had some advice for anyone attending the play.
"Always keep your eyes open,"
he said. "Wherever you look in
the theatre, something will always be happening.
"And be prepared for loud
noises." Xi
New app lets students sync and swap schedules
Justin Fleming
Senior Lifestyle Writer
Arranging your schedule
can be taxing. Between
courses, part-time work
and grocery shopping, finding out
when your friends are free can be
a nightmare.
Thankfully, a new app
will make sure that you don't
have to waste any more time
taking screenshots of your
class schedule.
The UBCme app, created by
third-year computer science
major Bio Cho, is designed to help
students view, share and compare
their class timetables.
Cho came up with the idea after noticing friends tagging other
friends in screenshots of their
"For one or two people, that's
fine, but ifyou have a group of
friends, there is a better way to
do it," he said.
Seeing inefficiencies in calendar sharing programs and the
constant back and forth between
his timetable and Google Maps,
Cho was inspired to create an app
that would fill in the gaps.
He got in touch with Farhan
Patel, creator of a similar app
with a few more goodies that has
become widely popular at Simon
Fraser University.
Cho, who had no experience in
app development, had to sit down
and learn its many intricacies on
his own.
There are a lot
of things I'd
like to improve
with UBCme,
like Facebook
and a textbook
Bio Cho
UBCme app creator
"This is the first app I've ever
made," he said. "There are online
courses, free Stanford lectures
on iPhone app development that
I watched. Luckily I had the help
of my friend from SFU."
UBCme allows users to stay
constantly logged into their CWL
accounts. With a few taps ofthe
screen, users can access walking
directions to classes; add friends,
group partners and classmates to
compare schedules; find mutual
free blocks of time and organize meetings; and even search
for friends who are taking the
same class.
The app is still in its infancy,
as far as Cho is concerned. He
released it earlier than planned
in order to submit it to UBC's
Digital*U contest.
"There are a lot of things I'd
like to improve with UBCme,
like Facebook integration so you
can add friends rather than CWL
accounts, which can be a hassle.
Also a books list and a textbook
marketplace where only UBC students can buy and sell textbooks,"
he said.
The proposed "textbook
marketplace" would allow students to put books on sale or see
lists of all the people selling a
particular book. For anyone with
burst blood vessels in their eyes
from scrolling through endless
streams of books on the UBC
Textbooks Facebook page, this
should come as welcome news.
In this day of hacking, phish-
ing and identity theft, online
security is an issue. In order
to combat this, Cho explained,
information entered into the app
is encrypted and only ever stored
on their phones, not a server or
The UBCme app is free to
download, and it seems Cho plans
to keep it that way.
"I don't have any advertisements," he said. "It's purely a
non-profit ambition to help the
students." tJ
Bio Cho created UBCme with no prior knowledge of app development. THURSDAY, JANUARY 24,2013    |    CULTURE    |    9
Five Netfli
gems that
will have yo
dreaming of
Alina Anghel
Perhaps you've just returned from an exchange trip and now you're suffering from
post-abroad blues, or maybe you just need a
little culture.
To give you your fix of euro-scenery, we've compiled a Netf lix selection of quality films from the big
four: Italy, Spain, France and the U.K.
If you like movies with a twist early on, this is
for you. Though it begins with the protagonist's
decision to tell his family in southern Italy that
he's gay, the film is not just another coming-out-of-
the-closet drama.
A beautiful Italian woman, who is introduced with
a scene involving stilettos (of course), complicates
the protagonist's view of his own sexuality. The film
reveals the complexities of family relationships, the
gossipy side of small-town Italy and how life can
make decisions for us. N.B.: Ifyou love your grandma,
you have an extra reason to watch Loose Cannons.
This movie takes the glamour out of gold-digging.
The death of a billionaire draws an unlikely assortment of people together: a blind, promiscuous,
middle-aged writer, a young handsome Spaniard,
his spiteful mother and a gay documentary filmmaker with daddy issues.
Hopefully this is enough info for you to hit play.
If you're still not convinced: you get to hear Penelope Cruz speak her native tongue.
If you want more Penelope after Broken Embraces,
then it's best to go straight for her English-speaking
turn in The Matador's Mistress. Two Oscar winners, four different release titles and five Spanish
locations will give you a fascinating glimpse into
the famous bull-fighting tradition. The cinematography is beautiful, Adrien Brody's crotch-hugging
costumes are glittery and Penelope Cruz wears a lot
of red.
A French housekeeper at a hotel in Corsica catches
of glimpse of intimacy between a couple playing
chess on their balcony. She approaches her boss,
played by Kevin Klein, to teach her the game.
As the story unfolds, she slowly comes to redefine herself and her relationships through her
newfound hobby.
Set in 1960s London, this film follows a 16-year-old
girl being seduced by an older con-man. He slyly
convinces her parents that he is worth their daughter's time, and they both live it up glamorously in
Paris until things go awry.
An Education was critically acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film
It should hopefully convince all you first-years
(OK, and second-, third- and fourth-years — we all
have our doubts) to stay in school. tJ
J /
f own-up '
,a"7 tale "
VlJi Kline   S,J*
/^w      —«'    San,
im by
'' 'iotta,,
} m
~ ^
■\\ K\
One of these flicks could be your ticket out of a seasonal, rain-induced
funk. Opinions
Each year, The Ubyssey
endorses candidates in the
AMS elections. We do this
to give students a better
sense of what we look for in a candidate for public office.
The editorial board was able to
come to a consensus on the majority
of races. When we weren't able to
settle on one candidate/referendum
proposal, we brought the proposal
to a vote. Much like the Supreme
Court, we've written majority and
minority opinions. Unless otherwise
noted, however, the editorial board
was unanimous in its decisions.
Let's start from the top:
At the beginning of this
election season,
we were not
overly thrilled
with the
candidates for
president. Indeed, it was hard at
first to pick out where they differed
in any substantive way. On the face
of it, Jay Shah, Caroline Wong and
Ekateryna Baranovskaya come from
very similar backgrounds. They've
all come from somewhere deep
inside the AMS — from Student Services, Council orthe undergraduate
societies. They're all arts students,
and they're all involved in Greek
life. And they've all served on one
committee or another (a point every
candidate was all too happy to bring
up inthe debates). These candidates
come from a monoculture that is
interested in code, bylaws and Robert's Rules of Order.
Now, a week and a half into the
two-week campaign period, the
three hopefuls have yet to distinguish themselves. What these
candidates represent, ultimately, is
an AMS that has completely forgotten how to talk to actual students.
Ninety-eight per cent of students
don't care if a candidate has served
on such and such committee unless
it's clear as day why that matters.
The intricacies ofthe organization
only matter if they propel some
larger vision, a vision of what a
student society ought to be. These
candidates have no such vision. It's a
competition over who would be the
better manager, who better understands pragmatically what the AMS
can do over the next year. Steady as
she goes.
These are the criteria on which
we had to base our decision.
Baranovskaya offered a number
of ideas for improving student engagement with the AMS (a lofty goal
that has been trotted out by AMS
politicians since time immemorial).
She would do this by creating some
sort of forum, or providing better
support for undergraduate society
elections. But "engagement" with
the AMS isn't going to spring from a
forum; it will only come from offering some new service to students, or
from realigning existing services to
better reflect what students want.
Baranovskaya's platform point about
the upcoming provincial election
came across as equally unclear.
And while creating an executive
position to focus on student mental
health and social life is a good idea,
more or less every other candidate
believes this should happen. It is not
a new idea.
Jay Shah has tried to distin
guish himself by arguing he is
not a "career student politician."
And while this is true (Shah has
not held an elected position in the
AMS), this argument doesn't go far
in recommending him for the job
of president. AMS services, which
Shah headed this year, will exist
no matter who's in charge. The department gets a dependable amount
of money from students and has a
large permanent staff. It will run
no matter who's in charge (though
that's not to say that there haven't
been any hiccups in recent years).
Shah has done little to rock the boat
or try new things. Services such as
Safewalk, tutoring and mini school
are no more visible this year than
they have been in the past. He may
have been a fine manager, but we're
not convinced that Shah would be a
particularly effective leader.
Caroline Wong is the only
candidate in this race with any past
executive experience, having served
as VP Administration under past
president Matt Parson. This puts
her in a better position than the
other two candidates, as she knows
the ins and outs ofthe new SUB
project. The new SUB opens in a
little over a year, and since the AMS
is betting the farm on the hope the
new building will increase business
revenues and student engagement,
the priority of this executive will
be making sure the transition goes
smoothly. They also have to make
sure that the new SUB is something
students are excited about. We think
Wong is in the best position to lead
this charge. While her term as VP
Admin was largely uneventful, we
believe she did a fine job keeping
up communications with clubs and
pushing the new SUB project. While
her background is in administration,
she knows what she has to do to step
into a leadership role.
While we give her our endorsement, it's lukewarm. Even after
almost two weeks of campaigning,
no candidate stands head and/or
shoulders above the rest.
Full disclosure: Colly n Chan, one of
The Ubyssey's paid graphic designers,
worked on Wong's campaign for VP
Administration, and served briefly
as Wong's assistant. Chan has not
participated in any AMS-related
coverage and was not present at our
endorsement meeting.
Endorsement: Matt Parson and
Tristan Miller
BoG is a tough race this year. Let's
start with who we don't endorse.
We can unequivocally do not
endorse Harsev Oshan. He has a list
of follies as the Arts Undergraduate
Society president that make us wary
of giving him our support. He has
basic responsibility issues, such as
signing dubious sponsorship deals
with Gold's Gym, leaving thousands
of dollars in a office that was broken
into and missing meetings. His
campaign has promised very little in
terms of what he will do for students
if elected to the bigtable.
We also have issues with sup
porting Conny Lin. She had a lacklustre performance at the debates
and her answers to our candidate
questions went off topic. There is
something to be said for having a
graduate student rep on the Board,
but she seems to lack basic knowledge of key issues like governance.
While incumbent BoG rep Mike
Silley didn't make any big mistakes
during his time in office, we don't
think he deserves another term. He
doesn't have any concrete platform
points this year, and some quotes
(like the Board has "won him over")
cause us to question if he has lost
touch with the student point of view.
We also have problems with him
taking credit for the lower bachelor
of international economics tuition
during his time in office. He didn't
take an active role pressing for it,
and citing it as an accomplishment
seems disingenuous.
We think Erin Rennie would be
an OK choice, but she isn't in our top
two. Her platform to fight the war
on fun is appealing, but it is unclear
if that can actually be addressed at
the board level. She was away from
UBC for years and might not be up
to date on the campus culture. She
also worked in a B.C. Liberal cabinet
minister's office. On aboard dominated by B.C. Liberals, her political
career could put her in a tough
position to disagree with her fellow
board members.
Which leaves our endorsements
for Matt Parson and Tristan Miller.
Parson has extensive political
experience and knows what's coming down the pipeline at the board.
He has experience working on
student housing, a valuable attribute
for a student rep. But we have our
concerns about his AMS presidency.
He backed down on a number of his
campaign promises and didn't wow
us with his PAR goals. But ultimately, he understands students and
understands how the board works.
We think he will be an effective
voice for students.
We think Tristan Miller would
be a good foil to Parson on the
board. He has the personality to be
an effective bad cop. While he can
come across as icy to the average
student, he has concrete plans for
housing affordability. We also think
he wouldn't be afraid to take a stand
against the board and will resist
becoming a lackey.
Endorsement: Kiran Mahal
Kiran Mahal has been an outstanding AMS executive this year and has
strong ideas for continuing her work
in a second
term. Mahal
has been active
as an advocate
for student
housing, taking
the lead on the
Acadia Park
issue after UBC
moved to evict
student families
from the buildings. She has also
drawn up a Student Housing Action
Plan and worked on restructuring
UBC's internal loan structure, the
easiest way to bring housing costs
down. It was Mahal who spearheaded the fight against the bachelor of international economics and
succeeded in forcing the Board of
Governors to reduce tuition, saving
students around $500,000.
Challengers Anne Kessler and
Montana Hunter have no business running for the VP Academic
position. Kessler's rants against
the university at debates and in her
stump speech appear juvenile when
she fails to couple them with any
compelling policy positions. Hunter
is running on a platform of "affordability," an issue already being
addressed by Mahal. He has not
presented any concrete or realistic
ways to reduce student costs.
To say Kessler and Hunter's
vanswers at the debates were boilerplate would be too kind. The Ubyssey
wholeheartedly endorses Kiran
Mahal for a second term as VP Academic and University Affairs.
Endorsement: Tanner Bokor
It's hard to get
excited about a
race with only
one candidate.
While we
endorse Tanner
Bokor for the
position of VP
External, we do
so with some
Bokor has
made transit his sole focus as Associate VP External, and while it's safe
to say students want to see advocacy focused on improving transit
service to UBC, we worry that this
approach will come at the expense
of other areas ofthe portfolio. For
one, WTF (the provincial campaign
to improve access to education that
the AMS supports) is awful. Its
website hasn't been updated since
early September, and there's no indication that the AMS or other area
student unions are gearing up for
any kind of advocacy push during
this spring's provincial elections. If
Bokor focuses exclusively on transit
as VP External, his term will have
been a failure.
All that aside, Bokor has done fine
work inthe VP External's office this
year, and would be a good choice to
take the reins. He's certainly better
than the alternative: a "no" vote.
Endorsement: Derek Moore (7
for, 3 against)
This was a
tough choice.
Our editorial
board quickly
moved past Justin Fernandes,
who has gained
a reputation
in the Science
Society as being
hard to work with. And while we're
not always keen to endorse someone
based solely on prior AMS experience, Olivia Yung would need some
more experience running an organization before we'd suggest handing
her the keys to the SUB/clubs.
Derek Moore ultimately gets
our endorsement. He's worked on
the new SUB project extensively,
and has an understanding ofthe
thousands of little things that need
to happen before the AMS can move
into the new building in 18 months.
That project is far from "done," as
other candidates have suggested.
Moore has worked hard over the
past year to make sure all clubs
and student organizations with a
designated space in the new SUB
were consulted.
Moore would be well suited to
some ofthe more mundane administrative work that the position's
title suggests. And while Moore has
proven himself to be a hard worker,
some on our editorial board were
concerned about his lack of ideas.
On that front, one candidate
stood out. We debated for some time
whether to endorse this race's wildcard candidate, Barnabas Caro. Caro
is well-known (as UBC students go).
He's been a residence advisor and
has served on the Student Administrative Commission, the AMS
group in charge of managing clubs.
He seems to have developed a good
rapport with club execs, organizing
a number of informal (and well-attended) beer nights. Much of his
platform revolves around advertising the often untouched funds the
AMS makes available for clubs. Of
course, these initiatives are not the
same as managing a multimillion
dollar building, and Caro has shown
in the past that he has some basic
responsibility issues.
Ultimately, Moore is the safe
choice. But part of us wants to
see what Caro would do with the
Endorsement: Joaquin Acevedo
VP Finance is not a glamorous job.
It's mostly spreadsheet-crunching,
telling other
people they
can't have
things and
It's important
the person who
takes the job has
a clear grasp ofthe job duties before
they start, because the time between
taking office in March and submitting the summer's first budget draft
will inevitably breeze by.
Mateusz Miadlikowski seems
like an eager chap, but he revealed
in debate that he really doesn't
know what he's talking about. His
only experience with the AMS
is slinging beers at the Pit. We
don't want to disparage that, but it
doesn't exactly prepare him to take
control ofthe society's oft-confusing financial side.
Joaquin has the requisite experience and knowledge of what the
VP Finance does. He's also a fairly
affable guy who communicates well,
which will make his role working
between AMS Council and the new
business board easier.
Due to space limitations, we have
not included this year's Senate and
Student Legal Fund Society (SLFS)
endorsements in print. Find our
thoughts on these races and the
referenda at ubyssey.ca.
• Senate: Kiran Mahal, Philip
Edgecumbe, Yaniv Pereslavsky and
Natalie Marshall
• SLFS: Students for
Responsible Leadership
• Referenda: Question 1 (U-Pass):
YES. Question 2 (AGM quorum):
YES. Question 3 (substantive bylaw
changes): YES. Question 4: (housekeeping bylaw changes): YES. Question 5: ($l/student for Bike Co-op):
NO, 8 to 3). a THURSDAY, JANUARY24,2013    |    OPINIONS    |   11
Kicking the "busyness" habit
by Kurtis Lockhart
We've all been in that frustrating
situation: you ask a friend if she
wants to go see a movie, or meet
you at the pub for a drink, or simply hang out. And then you get that
eye-roll-inducing response: "Oh,
I'm suuuper busy, but... I'll tryyyy
and make time. I'll let you know..."
All the while, you know she's
not as busy as she thinks she is,
and could definitely "make time."
This problem of "busyness" - or
rather, faux busyness — is not new.
Inthe 1920s, Franz Kafka wrote of
busyness in his masterpiece, The
Trial. In one scene, a character
laments that his case is taking up
all of his time: "Most of all, I don't
want to lose my trial,... [and if] you
want to do something about your
trial you don't have much time for
anything else."
This sentiment has never held
more currency than in today's universities. None of us wants to lose
or fail in our own trials, and so we
give everything — all of our time —
to winning, to attaining our goals,
to getting that A grade. Our trials
make us busy and distract us from
actually living.
The key piece of information
that gives The Trial its absurd and
surreal dimension is that Joseph
K., the novel's protagonist, doesn't
even know why he's been summoned to court in the first place.
He never finds out, yet he is still
forced, nonsensically, to try to
win his trial. This is the perfect
analogy to university life — and, I
guess, to adulthood in general.
We allow these frivolous trials
to overwhelm us, despite the fact
that they make us exhausted,
We may think we're busy, but be honest with
anxious and temperamental. Just
like Joseph K., we don't know how
they've come to take up all of our
time, or to what end.
I can think of two main reasons:
one more readily obvious to us students, and the other more subtle,
but no less potent.
The primary reason we allow
ourselves to succumb to busyness is so we can get into the best
schools or secure the best jobs. In
place of idleness and leisure, college admissions boards and hiring
committees require extracurricular activities and community
service; they demand busyness.
In contrast, the second reason goes largely unnoticed: we
take refuge in busyness because
we don't want to be idle. With
idleness comes either boredom
— unbearable in our entertain-
yourself: you could reschedule.
ment-crazed, one-click culture
— or worse, actual introspection.
That is, being alone with your
thoughts. This may be the most
frightening prospect of all.
We fear we might ask ourselves
questions of true consequence during those rare moments of silence
in an otherwise frenetically busy
existence: Am I happy? Do I know
what I want to do with my life? If so,
am I doing it for the right reasons?
Do I actually love my significant
other? Does he or she love me? And,
worst of all — who am I?
Just as Joseph K. didn't know
why he was summoned, we too don't
know — or don't want to know — the
answers to these questions. And this
lends the same absurdity and surrealism, the same lack of purpose, to
our lives as it does to Joseph K.'s.
To avoid answering these
questions, to avoid silence and
introspection, we eschew idleness
and take shelter in busyness. Busyness, almost like drugs or alcohol,
becomes our escape.
One can't much scratch the surface of this subject in 600 words.
This is all to say that midterms are
just around the corner, and we are
all going to be busy. But that isn't
an excuse to stop living, because
after midterms are finals and
after finals is graduation and after
graduation is real life where you'll
have a real job and — spoiler alert
— you'll be busy.
Busyness is a convenient
fiction. And unlike Joseph K., we
shouldn't make the mistake of allowing our absurd trials to distract
us from things of real meaning and
consequence. tJ
Candidates for
prez don't offer
much to chew
by Gordon Katie
Land and Food Systems Undergraduate Society prez Whitney Hussain takes down Science Undergrad Society prez Mona Maleki at the AMS elections Jell-0 wrestling
contest. Each year, candidates roll around in Jefi-0 and attempt to remove their opponent's sock. The purpose of this contest is lost to time.
The presidential candidates this
year — Ekateryna Baranovskaya, Jay
Shah and Caroline Wong — all did a
poor job distinguishing themselves.
It was difficult to decide who to support in this election, but after evaluating their platforms and debate
performances, I came to something
of a conclusion.
Baranovskaya promises to "curb
student disenfranchisement." But
Baranovskaya has no real plan to engage students with their society. She
writes of her plan to "open the AMS
clique," while speaking in a way
that only appeals to the AMS clique:
constituent relations, committee
reform, bylaw and code changes.
Wong and Shah approach the
same issue, but contest that the
problem is one of communication. Wong proposes a "customer
relationship management model,"
which suggests a sort of sophisticated targeted marketing to UBC
students. This type of thinking is
emblematic ofthe way that the AMS
perceives student apathy; it's not
about AMS failing, but rather student ignorance. Shah also focuses
too much on the superficial details
ofthe AMS's branding and communications. For instance, he proposes implementation of "thematic,
identity-based communication" so
that students can "easily navigate
our interfaces and find the information they desire." Inspiring.
On the plus side, much of Wong's
platform is encouraging. She makes
housing affordability a priority and
proposes lobbying the provincial
government for mental health
support. Shah leaves both those
important issues out of his platform,
but he best articulates the financial
challenges facing students before
and after graduation. Baranovskaya
is the only candidate to mention the
crucial issue of UBC's undemocratic
governance structure, though she
offers no alternative.
In my previous column, I
outlined the criteria I would use
to evaluate candidates. I argued
that this is a critical juncture for
post-secondary education and that
we need the AMS to put student
voices inthe centre of conversations
about mental health, financial sustainability, educational technologies
and other important issues.
Shah has the most substantive
platform and was by far the most
articulate candidate inthe debates.
He demonstrated an appreciation for the critical juncture of
post-secondary education, and was
not afraid to speak candidly about
the AMS's failings. Through his
experience with student services, he
demonstrated real knowledge ofthe
issues facing students on a day-today basis. In that role, he came in
under budget while significantly expanding the capacity ofthe Sexual
Assault Support Centre. I believe
that Shah is the strongest candidate
and am giving him my endorsement.
I support his candidacy, though I
am confident that Wong would also
make a strong president.
On the whole, I am disappointed
with the campaigns. The candidates
portrayed themselves as insiders
and mostly refrained from expressing strong values or opinions. All
three are reformist candidates and
if they continue to think so narrowly about the AMS's potential, they
won't inspire much ofthe UBC
campus. 31 12    I    GAMES    I    THURSDAY, JANUARY 24,2013
■ 24
■ 26
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■ a
5-DDE's command
14-Lots and lots
16- Roman goddess ofthe dawn
19- General tendencies
20-Salon stylist
23-Mountain ridge
26-State in W Mexico
29- tree falls...
32-Dense element
33-Kate &	
37-In spite of
42- Brandy letters
48-Animal trap
53-Suffix with glob
54-Having an alert mind
58-Showing courage
60-Note well
61-King ofthe Huns
62-Writer Hentoff
63-Actor Ken
1-Figure skater Cohen
3-1 swear!
4- Hagar the Horrible's dog
5- 'acte (intermission)
6-Biblical pronoun
7-Cutlass, e.g.
9-Cyclonic storm
10-Before, of yore
11-Sonata movement
13- Person who dresses stones
18-Alphabet trio
21-Rich white cheese
26-Deep black
28- Coherent light beam
29-Gerund maker
31-Munched on
32-Very small
34-Actress Tyler
36- Feeling of self-importance
38- Bring into complete union
39- "Wheel of Fortune" buy
44- Underground room
45- Pertaining to people
46-Having wings
47- -car
49-Influential person
50- Journalist Rogers St. Johns
51-Kidney enzyme
56-Laugh loudly
57-URL starter
59-Evergreen tree
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