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UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Mar 19, 2004

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■•:/ A Ubygey Special Issue
Friday, March 19.200*
colours issye
weekdays in the SUB basement near die
Wellness Centre and Travelcuts.
March 23rd 4PM in the Centre!
A week of events leading up to March
21st International Day for the
Elimination of Racism Refer to
www.ams.ubc.ca for more details See you
SUB 209 11-3pm By donation and all
proceeds go to the Leukemia and
Lymphmo Society.
TWISTED, a hip hop night at The Pit
Pub on Sat. March 20. Featuring DJ
Colione & a break dancing competition.
$$ Guaranteed-Great Pay. TESOL
Certified 5 days in-c!ass, online or by
correspondehce. Free information    •
Seminar, every Tuesday <_ 6:00pm. #216,
1755 West Broadway (@ Burrard). Free
infopack: 1-888-270-2941 or contact
IN YOUR FIELD! Complete a paid
internship with an organization of your
choice.  80% of interns are hired.   T
(604) 801-7404 NEWGRAD-
CANADA. Flexible schedules available.
Work in customer sales/service.
Scholarships possible. Conditions apply.
For a great starting pay apply at
workiorstudents.com/can. Ijfyou have
any further questions please contact me
at 1-888-212-8835.
caaemic services
research help! Professional writers
available at www.essayexperts.ca
services for students and instructors.
Thesis (APA), term papers and tape
interviews. Editing and proofing of
existing papers. Call Diane at 465-5524
or email drkalyk@shaw.ca
with MSc and 6 years tutoring
experience. Small groups welcome.
$30/hour. Satisfaction guaranteed! Call
Dan @ (604)742-1723.      -
THE RADIO? Local Kids Make Good,
on CiTR 101 ,9FjM, is the radio show
most likely to play your music. Send
your demos to: Local Dave. CiTR Radio
#233-6138 SUB Blvd. Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1 Canada. Listen to LKMG on
alternate Thursdays 5-6pm.
AND 3 FEMALE AGED 19-25, who
are willing to volunteer their time for an
independant horror film. Auditions are
being held March 28. For information
on times and location please email
cmajproductions@shaw.ca. Some crew
positions are also available.
Is beauty colour blind?
An inquiry into the role of race in pageants
LIFE IN GENERAL? Want someone to
talk to? AMS Speakeasy provides
information and confidential peer
support/referrals. Staffed by trained
volunteers, it provides confidential peer
support to UBC students. Visit us on the
SUB main concourse. Support line: 604-
822-3700, info 604-822-3777. Email
To place an Ad or Classified,
call 822-1654 or visit SUB
Koom 23 (Basement).
Stockwatch, a stock market news service, has immediate
openings for two journalism interns. These two-year, eara-while-
you-Iearn positions will be of interest to arts graduates, who have
majored in either English, philosophy or economics, and who seek
a business journalism career through work experience rather than
through graduate study. Pay will range from S15 to 125 per hour,
based on accuracy, productivity and regular performance reviews.
A high level of English comprehension, excellent grammar skills
and a typing speed of 65 words per minute are requirements. A
strong interest in qualitative business research would be helpful.
.Aptitude testing (se%'eral hours) will take place in Vancouver.
E-mail resumes to mikec@stockwatch.com
Workshops in:
^ Spoken word, Rap, Punk,
AitsirtMttGft::-ft-'ft,v .ft ■ft'pftftWji«:ift'ft'f'if:'-: ft ! -yy  ■
Tneatr^,Chiidren s writing,
ftftft'ft;Manifesto for Change',;/
^fft^f-.^'ft.ft :f -f; B "pofc-irta ]<i ngf,:.: F"a int £ ngrjt :;-
*'f;ft:;fftft &<^l?j>Qraffiti, Videso,
C o ntr i bute a nd ttaive a ch a ri c^ 16 go to
■ 0 (-ftf Register ati
by Megan Thomas
Canada is indisputably an incredible mix of ethnic
variety. So how does a country such as Canada decide
on a single person who can represent all of that
The question becomes even more complicated
when that person is expected to represent Canada and
is being judged on the abstract ideals of beauty.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a UBC graduate and Canadian,
made history last year as the first woman of Iranian
descent to compete in the Miss World beauty pagent.
While her runner-up finish was an incredible personal
achievement and a cause for celebration for both the
Canadian and Iranian communities, it leads to the
question of how race and beauty are linked, if they are
linked at all.
In the Miss World competition, women compete on
behalf of their country. Their bodies come to define
their nation as well as their race. Because they are
judged, their bodies function as a signifier that is being
compared to an ideal—this ideal in the past has been
represented only by Western values. This would suggest that Afshin-Jam's near win is progress for non-
Westernised beauty ideals on the international stage.
But evidence of the tension between race and beau-
iy is rampant. The 1996 Miss Italy pageant generated
much controversy over race when a black carribean
immigrant was given the crown. The victory ignited a
storm of controversy in the Italian communiiy around
what it means to be Italian, and also raised the flag of
racial intolerance in the country. This leads to the question of whether one person, regardless of race, should
be expected to represent the ideals, beauiy or otherwise, of a nation.
When the Miss World Pageant set up shop in India
that same year, feminist and nationalist protesters rallied and threatened mass suicide against what they
saw as the importation of Western values into Indian
culture. They felt the contest was an exclusionary showcase for Western beauty ideals. The groups continue to
raise the question of how much of a beauty queen's
identity is made up of her racial and ethnic heritage,
and how much is expected to be.
In Africa, a nation all too familiar with racial tension and unspeakable race-based violence, controversy erupted in  1999 when a white South African
woman made the finals for the Pan-African beauty
contest. Some members of the media called the event
insulting to black Africans, while the contest organisers maintained that beauiy is colour blind. Is it? Is it
possible to judge different races and ethnicities
against a single ideal?
If beauty and race cannot be reconciled within a single nation, how can it be dealt with in a meaningful
way on an international stage?
Perhaps too much is being read into a beauiy pageant. Merely wearing a country's sash may not represent an entire nation, but rather a unique piece of that
Perhaps Afshin-Jam's success in the beauty world
serves as evidence that she is a beautiful and unique
member of a diverse Canadian population, rather
than a representation of what it means to be
a Canadian. *
Personal viewpoints:
Some collaborative thoughts on being
by Deidra and Krysten
We are sisters who have had similar experiences as "mixed-raced"
individuals, for we were born to a
Filipino father and a Scottish-
Ukrainian mother. Our experiences
have ranged from good to bad, so
we have decided to write down a
few of them in order to share our
thoughts on living with diverse ethnic backgrounds.
One of the major struggles we
have had to deal with is the inability to fit nicely into either of the ethnic groups that make up our background. Neither of us has ever felt
completely integrated into our
Scottish-Ukrainian side nor our
Filipino side. Growing up, our darker features, as well as the values
instilled in us by our father, emphasised the difference between us and
our mother's side of the family. At
the same time, our so-called
'Western' features were always
pointed out by our father's side,
thereby creating a division between
us and them.
In other words, we were too
Filipino to be 'white' and too
'white' to be Filipino. The fact that
we identify more with our Filipino
side is of no relevance to our
father's family, who has told us outright that they do not and will never
consider us fully Filipino. Instead,
they have continued to refer to us
as 'Mestiza' and 'half-breeds'
throughout our lives.
We have often been told by others that our situation allows us to
have the "best of both worlds"; we,
as 'mixed-race' individuals, are
believed to be lucky in our ability to
reap the benefits of two distinct cultures. This idea has proved to be
problematic for us because
throughout our lives we have not
always been provided with the
opportunity to be exposed to the
different cultures that make up our
background. Therefore, we have
been unable to reap the 'best' of the
cultures because we have not
gained familiarity with them—whatever the "best' implies.
The existence of those who
have internalised a hierarchy of
race and ethnicity has been
revealed to us as a disturbing reality. Throughout our lives, we have
met many Filipinos who, when
they have found out our background, have commented on the
attractiveness of our 'Western' features such as our noses and our
light skin colour. In fact, a couple
of weeks ago we fell into a conversation with a woman who happened to be a Filipina, and when
she found out our father was
Filipino, she commented that we
had nice pointed noses, not broad
noses like hers. We both felt saddened by her statement and her
thinking that her 'Filipino appearance' was somehow inferior to
ours. However, this was not the
first time that this had happened
to us; sadly, we have come across
many individuals who associate
'Western' features with beauiy.
It should be noted, however,
that our experiences as mixed-
raced individuals have not been
completely negative. Although we
may not have been granted full
acceptance into either ethnic category, we have developed a unique
perspective of the world due to our
diverse background. We both also
feel lucky that we are able to grow
up in a time when being of mixed
race is more accepted by society
than ever before. This could be said
to be one of the positive sides of
growing up as Triracial.' * colours issue
Friday, March 19,200*
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Dan Enjo
Ania Mafi
Hywel Tuscano
Megan Thomas
Jonathan Woodward
John Hua
Jesse Marchand
Heather Pauls
Michelle Mayne
Paul Carr
Iva Cheung
Sarah Bourdon
Bryan Zandberg
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of
British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation,
and all students are encouraged to participata
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the
expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The
Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and
artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the
expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
Letters to "the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your
phone number, student number and signature (not for publication)
as wel| as your year and faculty with ali submissions. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done by phone. The
Ubyssey reserves the right to edit for length and style.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750
words and are run according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members.
Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles
unless the latter is time sensitive Opinion pieces will not be run
until the identity of the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey
. reserves the right to edit submissions according to length and style
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will
not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The UPS shall not be
responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do not
lessen the value or the impact of the ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T1Z1
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
fax;, 604-822-1658
e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.bc.ca
Fernie Pereira
Dave Gaertner
Shalene Takara
Nic Fensom
Paul Carr
"You people need to dean op this mess!" said Paul Evans. Dan Enjo
and Paul Carr shoot their heads. The office slahk so badly thai Hywel
Tuscano and Jon Woodward were wearing maslts al Iheir desks.
Emergens Sam, Sarah Wagner and Chris Wong sprayed Febreze mist
Bryan Zandberg sal in a mound of trash. "How do you stand the smell?"
asled Nic Fensom. as Dierdra and Xiysten Casumpang looked on. UBC
Cleanliness Cops Dan McRoberte and Johnny Hua busted through the
door, saying "We can smell you all the way to the Pit* Iva Cheung
grabbed shovels and Jesss Marchand, Tao-Yee Lau and OanieUe
Nanton in help. With Camille Johnson, .Ania Mail and Mia Amir, they
carted the refuse to ihe dumpsters. Sarah Bourdon, Heather Pauls and
Michelle Mayne buml some incense, and soon Ihe office smelled real
University .
Caha& Post Sales Agreement Numbar OQ4OB7B0Z2
utside the archetype
How is
in the
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WE'RE SURROUNDED! Ania Mafi (centre left) and Dan Enjo (centre right) talk Canadian
archetypes, the media and, when pressed, martial arts, nic fensom photo
by Ania Mafi
An opportunity to help develop an issue devoted to people of colour
meant putting together an issue that encompassed the diversity that
defines the many cultures of this group. Making media our central
theme allowed us to shed some light on the positive contributions being
made in the media, as well as dying to rectify a few mainstream stereotypical perceptions of people of different racial and ethnic groups within the media. Our focus is based on contemporary culture and where
diversity fits in with respect to the mainstream media today. How far
have we actually come in combatting racism and racial stereotypes?
In this issue, we cannot come close to giving a complete answer to
where racial minorities stand with respect to how the media sees them;
we have tried to show some of the positive, and expose some of the outdated and negative depictions helping to bring awareness to matters
within our campus community and beyond.
As a diverse campus with many colours within its rainbow of students and faculty, we hope that we have made an effort to educate and
raise awareness.
A person of visible minority, I celebrate my own Iranian heritage,
even though I have only been to Iran two brief times since I was born
there. Not entirely Canadian, and yet not entirely Iranian, I feel proud
to be a member of both communities.
Both Dan and I appreciate the dedication of the volunteer writers
who took the time to open up about the challenges they face within their
own lives, and to those who wrote simply to raise awareness. Also, a special thanks to everyone else that helped put this issue together, as well
as to the Rung Fu Association for the kung fu vogue-ing. Strike a pose. *
by Dan Enjo
How would you define being Canadian, in an ethnic sense? Is there a
'Canadian' archetype that lurks around us? I would like to put forth the argument that there is no 'typical' Canadian; an archetype is resistant towards
diversity. The media has adhered to a non-existent Canadian archetype for
far too long, but things are slowly changing to better reflect the various inter
and intra-ethnicities we see and touch in our everyday lives.
Conversely, the ever-changing face of diversity is well reflected in our
campus—diversity is a part of many students' lives, whether in clubs, courses, or academic programs, and there is a mounting push to become educated about more and more cultures. Hence, the production of this issue.
Many of us have yet to discover this potential for diversity on campus; these
pages address some of the ideas that contributors have brought forward, in
the hopes that people will be better informed about campus culture as well
as the shape of Canadian culture in general.
As a person born in Canada of Japanese ancestry (and thus considered
Japanese-Canadian), I have become used being asked the ubiquitous "Where
are you from?" when meeting new people. There seemed (to me) to be a
prevalent stereotype of the Anglo-Canadian being the typical Canadian,
which was due, in no small part, to inaccurate media representation.
Recently, however, the question has morphed into something like "what
is your heritage?" as an awareness of the sheer diversity of people who are
born Tiere' is becoming more accepted and widespread. I feel that people
know that being 'Canadian' is a given and I am not readily identified with
another culture that I have faint ties to. 'Culture' and 'diversity' are complicated words, but perhaps they are the best terms to describe phenomena
that axe always changing and never reversing. *
Borders Within panel, Friday,
Mar. 19,2-4pm
The SUB Norm Theatre hosts
a keynote panel, "Borders
Within: Two-Tiered Citizenship
Post-9/11," as a part of Realities
of Race in Canada events at
Keynote speaker, Friday, Mar.
19,11-12 noon
Vancouver City Hall hosts
Hayne Wai, a community anti-
racism and human rights advocate who currently teaches at
UBC. Council Chamber and
foyer, 3rd floor.
Youth of Colour In Consultation
Against Systemic Racism conference, Mar. 27-28, 9am-
The BC Government and
Service Employees' Union hosts
a two-day conference designed
to deepen our understanding of
systemic racism through discussion and analysis of experiences
of racism and discrimination.
Registration can be made at
*   *   y
GOT ISLAM? A high-traffic information booth in the SUB
concourse raises awareness about Islam, nic fensom photo
by Emergene Sam
Won't take Africa out of me
Won't take Africa out of me
Am a long long way from home
But no matter where I roam
Africa is ip my soul.
Won't take Africa out of me '
Won't take Africa out of me
No, No, No, No
You may take my ancestors out of Africa
But you won't take Africa out of me
Because, Because, you see, you see
Africa Lives!
Africa lives in her children
In the Caribbean, on the Continent,
In Canada, in the diaspora, at UBC
Africa lives through you and me
And in those who share solidarity
We are the children of Africa
Come on sister take my hand
Come on brother let's get along
Out of many we are one
See the candle burning bright
On the darkest, darkest night
That's Africa, that's Africa
She's the flame that would never go out
In spite of slavery and colonisation
And AIDS and Famine,
Africa will survive
She's got to stay alive
Through you and me
A-f-r-_c-al * 4
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Friday, March 19,200*
colours issye
f      r^ Ts    "■ '"     # pitted up (* 85. /
f  ontributl
Vta_*S i     a    ■*    W    -I-    A    ■••    R    >
Wfe, at the Ubyssey, the official student newspaper of UBC, feel that we should be doing our
most to recognize and encourage activities and events that develop and strengthen a sense of
community on campus. On our 80th anniversary in 1998, we established a $50,000
endowment that will fund the Ubyssey Community Contribution Award. This annual award
recognizes a returning UBC Student who has made a significant contribution to developing
and strengthening the sense of community on the UBC campus by:
1. Organizing or administrating an event or project, or
2. Promoting activism and awareness in an academic, cultural political, recreational, or
social sphere. -
The 2003-2004 award went to Christopher Ste-Croix in recognition of his contribution to
campus safety and related services.
The award is open to all returning, full-time, UBC students, graduate, undergraduate and
unclassified in good standing with the Ubyssey Society. We will award $3,000 to this project
and the award will be disbursed to the successful candidate in September 2004.
Nominees for the award will be judged on:
1. The impact of the contribution made - the number of people involved or affected.
2. The extent of the contribution - the degree to which it strengthens the sense of
community on campus.
3. The innovation of tie contribution - preference will be given to recognizing a new
contribution over the administration of an existing one.
4. The commitment of the individual to UBC as a community.
Nominations should include a cover letter by the nominator, either an individual or a group,
briefly stating the nature of the contribution made, the individual being nominated, contact
information of the nominator and the nominee and a letter (approximately 500 words in
length) describing the contribution made and bow the above four criteria have been met.
Students are welcome to nominate themselves, but those doing so must attach a letter of
support from another member of the campus community. The award will be judged by a
committee chaired by a representative of UBC Student Financial Assistance and Awards office
and members from various parts of the campus community.
Deadline for submission of completed nominations should reach the Ubyssey, room 23, SUB,
no lata: flan Monday, April 19th, 2004.
For further information, please contact Femie Pereira, Business Manager, Hie Ubyssey, at
(604) 822-6681 or email: fpereira#inteKhange,ube.ea
. ■■_--__
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What was Lost
in Translation?
by Dan Enjo
Where does Lost in Translation find
its humour? Culture shock, mostly.
From this other-cultural perspective, the movie captures the essence
of rapidity and techno-prominence
of urban Tokyo culture, all from the
North American visitor's point of
view. The movie is able to portray
the gaijin subculture that is increasingly prevalent in Japan; gaijins
being the group of foreigners who
usually float from West to East,
looking at Japanese popular culture
through an objective lens, much
like the scene where Charlotte looks
out from a taxi window at night as
the city flashes by.
The film isn't without its share
of controversy. Criticism has been
divided into two distinct camps;
one group takes dire offence at the
film's portrayal of the Japanese people and culture, while the other
lauds the portrayal of living in
Japan as a foreigner. For example,
Yoko Akashi of Japan Today writes
that she was offended by the film
and "the more [she] thought about
this film, the more it made [her]
angry," but others, such as Mirai
Konishi ofwww.eiga.com, note that
no great offence was taken, and that
"for an American movie about
Japan, it's a frank, if somewhat
exaggerated, snapshot,'
While valid arguments exist for
both, I feel that the former group is
overreacting to the cultural depiction. As a Canadian of Japanese
ancestry, the movie brought back
memories of being in that gaijin
culture as a foreign student within
a group of foreign students.
Inadvertently but not deliberately
holing ourselves up in our dormitory, we created a small sub-culture,
keeping the vestiges of North
American culture alive while the
'other' culture surrounded us. We
were bonded by our feelings of
alienation from the world that
encircled us; any excursion into the
land of the locals' was usually a
(mis)adventure that everyone
enjoyed telling afterwards, and
these objective journeys formed
what our understanding of
Japanese culture was.
Our group had a full year to
share our own impressions of
Japanese culture; Sofia Coppola has
about two hours to do the same. In
discovering any new culture in a
short period of time, we are led to
the act of categorisation and to
forms of stereotyping in an attempt
to understand what is going on
around us, whether we like it or
not. With this thought in mind.
Coppola has given the audience a
worthy imprint of a culture that
manages to combine the familiar
and the unfamiliar; a 'Westernised'
culture that is still somehow
It is important to note that Japan
serves as a background to a simple
story that focuses on the relationship between two visiting foreigners. Japan is the cultural backdrop;
fleshing out each character would
require a significantly longer
screening time, and would probably
infringe on documentary. As in
stage theatre, the backdrop functions to complement the main
action; it uses representative elements to try to create a feeling of
verisimilitude, but is never directly
part of the main storyline action.
In this movie, Japanese culture is
that setting and the people are its
'extras'; while they help the storyline progress, they don't play an
integral part in the main action.
The movie focuses on a love
story, not a foreign culture, as
movies like the comedic Mr
Baseball (starring Tom Selleck) did.
As I (and the 50 other people who
watched the movie) remember, Mr
Baseball was a farce that directly
and unsympatheticaUy poked fun at
Japanese mannerisms and customs, and Selleck's eventual
romance with his translator was
almost negligent to the storyline.
Granted, Lost in Translation
makes no effort to hide the fact that
it plays on racial stereotypes, but
the typecasting goes both ways. For
every 'salary-man/ there is a North
American businessman; a call girl
who understands little of North
American culture has a foil in the
action movie star who has little
knowledge of Japanese culture.
However, there was a time, not so
long ago, when cultural stereotypes
were far more prevalent in television and the movies. Shows like
Hawaii Five-0 and Kung Fu used
ethnic stereotyping to the point
where Asian characters were portrayed as caricatures—Caucasian
actors played Asian parts and
attempted (and largely failed) to
imitate languages and mannerisms—but these interpretations
were the real emulators of misguidance and inaccuracy.
Lost in Translation has moved
beyond the fake accents and badly-
pronounced languages to film on
location with native speakers—a
welcome change that is much
appreciated. While the portrayal of
Japanese culture is not perfect, it
has come a long way from the days
. of Danno and Phillip Aim. * colours issue
Friday, March 19,2004
A Ubytsey Special Issue
by Danielle Nanion
Ever since my first year at UBC, I
have sought courses of interest in my
two fields of study: history and
Commerce. However, I have yet to
see a course in African history which
I could take. This is not to say that I
haven't attempted to rectify the situation in my own special way. I have
fond memories of attempting to
write a term paper for an international relations course in which I discussed African politics. Another, perhaps a little more farfetched, attempt
was during a first-year 20th century
history course, associating the
Korean War with the independence
movement that occurred in Kenya.
But up until a week ago, I thought
that I was alone in my thinking that
there should be more African-based
courses offered by the history
department at UBC. It took one
brave soul to stand up in front of my
British imperial history class, wave
two pieces of paper and proclaim
that there is a petition seeking signatures trying to encourage the
introduction of more African histo*
ry courses into the UBC history curriculum. As the petition went
around the class, I could see that I
was not alone in my desire for
courses of this nature.
McGill offers African-based histo
ry courses and so do many other
universities here in Canada, according to the petition. By introducing
these classes, students who are in
the department of history will be
given the opportunity to widen their
perspectives while gaining a more
integrated and functional degree.
I can speak from my own experiences of travelling to Africa, and
more specifically Kenya, that it is a
truly fascinating country and continent. I was able to live with the
Maasi tribal people in the Maasi
Mara and learn where they live, how
they live and how they dance. The
culture and history of these people
are truly fascinating. Two of my
friends from the Maasi tribe also
saved me countless times from
falling into crocodile-infested
waters as well as from being stuck
for a night out in the African outback because I got trapped in black
cotton, a type of soil that is impossible to drive in. If the history of these
people isn't something that everyone would want to learn regardless
of their department, I don't know
what is.
Now, as we say in Swahili—the
native language of Kenya and my
mother's first language—an ever
hopeful Hakuna Matata (no worries)
and Asante Sana Rafiki (thank you
friend). *
for 5000
Raising awareness for African studies
by Paul "Basil" Evans
Nearly 2000 signatures have been
collected for a petition that calls on
the UBC administration to implement an African Studies program
at UBC.
Conducted by the UBC Africa
Network, the petition demands that
the university offer African-
focused courses covering a wide
range of subjects, including history, culture and language.
Eventually, the Network would like
to see a department offering
degrees in African Studies.
It hopes to collect 5000 signatures from UBC students and faculty, as well as members of the
community. But even 2000 would
make a good statement said UBC
Africa Network spokesperson
Cara Ng.
The group will present the petition to UBC as part of their ongoing
Alma Mater Society (AMS) VP
Academic Brenda Ogembo would
also like to see Africa play a larger
role in the curriculum. "[African
studies] is essential to broadening
the perspectives of students, if this
is truly an institution of higher
learning," she saicL
"UBC has the whole vision of
globalisation and internationali-
sation and so, following in line
with that, it can't not have African
studies," she said.
The university is taking this
very seriously and is always eager
to hear student feedback, said
Brian Sullivan, UBC VP Students.
"I've been actively encouraging
students to give voice to that
desire," he said. The university is
already planning to increase funding for Africa Week next year, and
momentum is building around
African awareness, he added.
Although the university's
response has been positive so far,
Ogembo is still skeptical. "Actions
speak louder than words," she said.
While the petition is being circulated primarily for students to
sign, many members of the
Vancouver community have also
signed it—Ng thinks that the outside signatures enhance the petition.
"It's a statement from the community, both the UBC community
and the wider community itself
she said. Everyone's opinion is
important, said Sullivan.
The campaign to incorporate an
African studies program received a
boost when, in Januaiy, the AMS
passed a motion that created a policy to lobby the administration for
African courses. But African studies still faces many obstacles and
Ogembo conceded that this will be
a long process: "It's not something
that would happen overnight,"
she said.
Hiring new faculty and actually
creating courses would be very
costly to the university, she said.
Ng recognises financial barriers, but proposes that UBC should
seek money from its alumni and
various African organisations. In
addition, she thinks the university
could always revisit its current
Despite the fact that the program is still hypothetical and not
realistic in the near future,
Ogembo wants the university
take some type of action. "I'd
like to see the university take
some concrete steps towards getting an African studies department going."*
''UBC has the whole vision of globalisation and international-
isation and so, following in line with that, it can't not have
African studies."
.■-.., i      / —Brenda Ogembo, AMS VP ^cedemic
ft_|Ck I <5 NIHIMPI P[ease forward your resume & cover letter for any of these positions by March 31,2004 to: Brenda Ogembo, VP Academic & University Affairs,
Hind 19 tllltlif U. Chairof m6 AMS Appointments Committee, c/o room 238-6138 SUB Blvd., Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z1.
AMS Service Coordinators
AMS Firstweek Coordinator
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pat-Ire rem Sep'enber to FeLuiry Pcs.-
J-on reipms b''.tes a^c sa'?ry die codify
une'er -e\ e*
The reapcriifcpi'jfes nc jcw >
• *--&iging br speaker, perttf-urs, 8'>d sli
e'.ter'dinrent will coi sulfa "jr i>oti the
s'.eersgc cocmirtre
• Cco'dirat'.'ig eh "dieting eMea.ois in-;
cLding rnn'l-cuts
• Recrj ting '.-aiP'ng and coor|:i"a"L'ng vo jp-!
ipe^ and spec al staff for First v'.'ock       '
■ Superv.jng asiitians d-'ng [he 'mai
Ti'.'-iih of'.he s-irpmer and rjr.ng re First *
Wttkeve-.s j
• Coo'diotrg actvtes & ev^s cV.ig v
F>rs! A'ecK i
• Serjr.ig a! 'i&r.ess?r, raorvs equ.pn-er*. t
pov-dr .-nd secu'.'y i _eJec ji.r'tg F"St"
■ Ov'j scrj.-g F -bt Week bjcigei
Prr.'d'ig regj=r ^rcjress v-po.ts ta 7he
s?E;vnves n'vj'O'iratu") to ihe .-.&of.-;p
cc '•-fee ?-s .'.e1 i-o. p'O'li'crj =j f-sl re-
p*.". io C3ur ;i'  !
Orientations Coordinator
The AMS Orientations Program introduces
new UBC students to campus life through
a variety of initiatives. Acting as coordinator
and spokesperson for this program, the successful applicant will manage all aspects of
AMS Orientations.
• Assisting in the recruitment, hiring and
training of orientations staff
• Preparing a detailed budget and operational and financial reports
• Gathering student feedback and statistics
during the orientations.
Time Commitment: The Coordinator's time
commitment will vary throughout the year.
April, 25 hours per week
May-August, 40 hours per week
September - December,  10 hours per
The positions responsibilities and remuneration are currently under review.
• Knowledge and enthusiasm about student
life at UBC
• Strong communication, organizational and
leadership skills.
• Ability to train, manage arid supervise staff
*Note: Interested applicants are highly en-
couraged to have access to a vehicle during
Inside UBC
■"t'ce U8C 'S 3 >\.;:i: Cd tr i •••: i*. •&, • a - pus .■ !.>■ ■"'. on < t a ;■' a
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e.e"ts ca e"d?r :-f v.hat s haup'-r n,z en cjrrojs
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."nt \our revure -cr oie of t^s fo 'u.'.r3 p?sit'i."s
Inside UBC Wnter.'Editor
Ojsj iflClt'iTiS
• Be a .vcrcisin'T .Mtr* an eye for ecii^ng
• Have e>pcnence .vrdpg 'or a Djb 'Cation
• Be an e/pe-t ^t issues s^rrc .rcng caivp-s i*e
inside UBC Graphic Artist' Layout Designer
• Posses a .voiking kne* edge of oac,e la/O'J and ccsigi" p"~grnm
• Pobsess a .vcKirg l-pcwfccige of Pf'i.fcs^op an? i .straior
• General Des'gn Sd 1 s
• Be r&g'sie-ed UBC sfj-ieris
• Hc-3 a s«sr.se of crea'./itv a^o ''jror
• Are jtb'e *o 'ak. c,.re'.t01 dnd /.o'k ', a Icjti envror..,rfcrt
Tv i'«c ."js lif.s ?'* ','l-ti'"e May - Jjna a t'. fp".o e '■■".j s Tne 'csoo"-
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1 'c. id. ^:s '01 t'.e pes 'o^s .hoy yn\.s fipp'v 1 <:r
The AMS will start its search for Service Co-
• ordinators soon. AMS Services are a vital part
'  of our society. We are looking for people that
have great initiative, ideas, personality and
that can make a difference.
. General Responsibilities
. • Manage and oversee all aspects of your service;
• Assist in the recruitment, hiring and training
of employees;
!  • Convey service goals to AMS Communications Department to ensure proper promotion and marketing;
• Liaise with all relevant on and off-campus
• ■ Attend Student Service meetings and main
tain regular office hours;
; • Gather student feedback during the year and
'      keep statistics on your service;
'  • Provide a final, detailed operation report to
j      the Executive Coordinator of Student Ser-
;     vices;
! • Prepare a detailed budget and provide operational and financial reports to the AMS
Executive Coordinator of Student Services.
For descriptions visit www.ams.ubc.ca.
S-51' jo 'nr yj 6wv z ""e.-.s'i-1 :r "le /-MS
'-tear ve ana Ac ii .-•';' z you :>.:a:es cr a! tSe-
^d'esi e.e-"? a' z ':S. k-. '.hat a'Vt rcu "0 &■ 31'
Lp .is1: wAwarr.s ubc.ca A Ubyssey Special faue
colours issue
Friday, March 19,2004
A Ubyssey Special Issue
V    I     R    I     D    A    E
Are you suffering from
frequent cold sores?
Viridae Clinical Sciences Inc. is looking for volunteers
for a cold sore research study involving an
experimental drug in the form of a cream. The study
is testing to see if the cream speeds the healing of
the cold sores.
If you have at least four episodes of cold sores a year
and are interested in participating in a research study
please call us to see if you qualify.
Viridae Clinical Sciences Inc.
I       .   *- -s
Equity Ambassador
UBC group leads workshops on empowerment, anti-oppression
"! I ■ ! 7. <' i !i :i! ■ ": *:[ A::'.!
i    *    * *.'■-.    i ■ i - i...i
it..       >.//■   /'■ f ."j
fo/ vlnia Ma/i
The Equity Ambassadors, formed through a collaboration between the UBC Equity and Women's Studies
Offices, are a group of motivated and optimistic individuals making a difference within our campus community.
Leading workshops on campus  about racism,  anti-
oppression, heterosexism, personal empowerment and
sexual harassment, this group is raising awareness
through education.
With an average of 30 people applying to be
Ambassadors each year, many are accepted and partake in
a training period that instructs newcomers on how to conduct workshops.  Laura  Spencer,   a member  of the
! m t.   _!* J.
,,. .j
IT'S LIKE THIS: Ambassador Lin Khng facilitates an anti-oppression workshop, nic fensom photo
Ambassadors, notes that "the program has developed and
progressed into [one] that has potential, especially when
collaborated with other UBC and student groups, to
teach...groups which have not confronted their own privileges or barriers at UBC." A proud member for two years,
Spencer encourages students to unite in the fight towards a
more equitable community. The program, led by Anna
Vanderbijl and Maura Decruz, meets once per week and is
currently working on efforts to expand their group and
encourage more students to join in their outreach efforts.
"[The coordinators] allow us to learn at our own pace,
express ourselves in any form, and allow us to mould the
program into how we feel will reach our peers," says
Spencer. The group makes decisions as a whole, but each
member plays an important and fundamental role in the
workings of this collaboration.
Attending a meeting earlier this term, I saw for myself
the dynamics of this group and the dedication of each
member to create workshops that people will not only
learn from but will also enjoy attending. Hoping to offer
workshops at high schools and elementary schools in the
near future, the Equity Ambassadors currently accept
requests by other clubs and student groups to run workshops for them.
"I experience what UBC really is: a diverse community
experiencing issues that arise from Canada and the globe,
including international issues of equity, accessibility and
identity politics," says Spencer.
For many who can relate to this, taking the extra step in
making a difference to combat these issues of inequality
seems like an impossible task that cannot be embarked
upon by one person.
However, making a difference right here within the UBC
community can be done through learning to educate the
people around us. The Equity Ambassadors are a group of
individuals that are taking an active step towards challenging the barriers that many students face. *
A family
A multiracial family has its share of twists and turns
by Sarah Wagner
When the social worker asked me if I would
like to have a little sister, I didn't hear her
say the words "of a different race." With four
younger brothers, I was just ecstatic at the
thought of finally having a younger sister. I
was not concerned about weaving racial
lines together into one family, because we
had already adopted twins who are half Cree.
The twins were adopted in 1988, when I
was six years old. Although information on
their birth family and community is limited,
AJ and Andrew are very proud of their First
Nations heritage. They know who they are
and where they came from. In some sense, it
is easier for the boys because they have each
other. They share the same heritage and the
same history. ;
We knew that Becky's rdad might have its
moments of solitude. With her Indo-
Canadian background, she would immediately stand out as "different" from the other
members of the family We worried about
finding ways to incorporate her culture into
our own, and the best means for her to be a
Wagner without giving up her heritage.
Along with the challenges, we knew that welcoming Becky would also bring us overwhelming joy.
We did our best to include Becky's birth
culture into our family which was mostly
Irish and German. I asked my parents to
keep the name her birth parents had given
her as a middle name. They agreed. We
learned a bit about Sikhism and Indian culture, so that when Becky has questions, we
won't have to look too far for an answer. We
were lucky to grow up in a very diverse
neighborhood, so Becky was able to make
friends with children of many races, including several of her heritage.
Despite all of this/we bad moments of
heartache. When she was only four or five, I
found Becky's brown-haired Barbie laying
half-under the bed. When I bent down to pick
it up, I saw that several other dolls were also
beneath the mattress. I looked around and
realised that Becky had lined up all of her
blonde-haired, blue-eyed dolls on the shelf,
and thrown those that looked like her underneath her bed. I asked Becky why she didn't
want to play with all her dolls. She shrugged
and pointed tp one with yellow hair; "that
one looks like you, right Sarah?"
I couldn't help that I was white, and I had
no sense of what it meant to be Indian. Why
was Becky hiding part of herself underneath
the bed? I felt like I failed because 1 didn't
anticipate Becky feeling like an outsider in
spite of all the love we shared. All I could do
was pick the dolls up from under the bed
and put them back on the shelf.
By the time Becky entered school, her
awareness of our physical differences
reached its peak. Our mother still remembers picking Becky up from day camp
when she was seven. Becky slunk into the
car and asked Mom to park "far away"
from the camp next time so that her
friends wouldn't see them together. She
was only in grade two, and Becky didn't
want to explain her differences to her
friends—not yet, at least.
Becky is ten now, and she has come a long
way in accepting who she is as part of our
family. I asked her last week if she was happy.
"Of course!" she said. I then asked her if she
would change anything about our family if
she could. I held my breath when she said:
"Well, there is one thing I don't like." Her
response was wonderfully typical for a ten
year old—and something I could relate to perfectly: "All those brothers, Sarah. They're driving me crazyl" %
A.1 .*V %>_%____!_
Answers to the question: what are you?
Identity issues of the biracialwoman in her twenties
by Camille Johnson
"You look like Catherine Zeta-Jones!"
Actually, no one's ever said that to me.
I wish I looked like her, but unfortunately I'm not quite that lucky. Coming
from a Filipino and English-Canadian
family, I have always been complimented by strangers on my unique
beauiy. But in comparison to Zeta-
Jones and other female celebrities, my
face has never quite measured up in
proportion. However, I have been
asked questions like, "What are you?
It's a pretty mix..." or "What nationality
are you?" on a fairly frequent basis. If
you can relate, then you're likely part
of the growing population of biracial or
multiethnic individuals. And chances
are you've been bombarded with these
questions many times over.
It's questions like "What are you?"
or "Where are your parents from?" that
bring many identity issues to the forefront 2 2 year-old Shari Riley dealt with
a lot of these questions as a child in her
hometown of Surrey. Coming from an
English and Malaysian-Chinese family,
she found that although some people
didn't even notice her biracial upbringing, others were quick tp inquire about
her unusual look. "I didn't stand out
very much," she points out, "[but] I
think they responded to my face, which
they couldn't quite place. Everyone put
their own personal slant to it"
That's when the identity issues
come into play. Women like Riley
begin to question what it is that others
are seeing in their physical appearance, and begin to identify those differences within themselves. "Up until
everyone started asking me, it never
occurred to me to ask what [these per
ceptions] were," Riley says. "It never
really mattered to me until I realised it
mattered to everyone else."
With these differences in physical
appearance hanging over them, biracial individuals often search to find
images of themselves in the media.
Lianne McLean, 20, who is half-
Scottish and half-Chinese, remembers the first celebrity that she identified with in terms of physical appearance. "[I liked] Jessica Alba in Fhpper,
Idle Hands, and Dark Angel," she
recalls, "because I remember her as
the first biracial actress I acknowledged as such."
Shari Riley's own female celebrity
idols during her teenage years tended
towards characters in popular movies
and television shows. She points to
women such as Candice Bergen, Julia
Roberts, Claire Danes, and Angelina
Jolie as having a huge influence on her
life. "[They were] gorgeous, talented,
witty, and had more spunk, more
courage to say and do what they felt"
No biracial individuals here.
Alex Swann, 20, describes a different portrait of beauty as a child. She
names the character of Princess
Buttercup, played by Robin Wright-
Penn, in the The Princess Bride as one
of the women who influenced her
beauty ideals as a young girl. "When I
was a child, the women I remember
were princess-like," she muses. "She
was younger, long-haired, gentle, and
very pure. And usually English." This
standard of beauty follows years of
Barbie dolls, Disney cartoons, and
characters from children's fairy tales,
far from her own Colombian and
Scottish/Welsh backgrounds
This is not to say that multiethnic
women could not be found in the
media at all Over the past several
decades there have been many media
icons who were celebrated for their
unique beauty. One of the most
famous examples from early film history is Rita Hayworth. Born Margarita
Carmen Cansino, she was the daughter of a Spanish dancer and a New
York showgirl; her combined ethnic
cultures included Spanish, Jewish,
English, and Irish. And she certainly
wasn't alone: Lena Home, Raquel
Welch, and Cher are only a few famous
faces that belong in this category.
Nevertheless, there was still a distinct
trend to avoid any strong affiliation
with the non-Caucasian part of their
heritage. Although Rita Hayworth was
most famously known for her strawberry blonde locks, she had dyed them
from the original black and under the
orders of studio executives, underwent years of painful electrolysis to
recede her hairline to enhance her
Caucasian features.
This tendency has itself receded
over the last couple of decades. In
1995, People Magazine released their
Most Beautiful People list with double
the number of multiethnic women
than the year before. Not only was
their presence felt visually, but their
beauty was often attributed to their
cultural backgrounds. Actress Vanessa
Marcil was not only honoured by
People Magazine, she was also selected by Prince (at the time not "formerly known") to play the key role in his
music video "The Most Beautiful Girl
. in the World." Her raven hair and "versatile looks" were credited to her
French and Portuguese parents.
Lonnette     McKee's     success     on
Broadway was in part due to her "one-
of-a-kind features" (inherited from her
Scandinavian-American mother and
African-American father); Queen
Silvia of Sweden was blessed with her
father's rugged German good looks
and "her Brazilian mother's brown-
sugar eyes"; Yasmine Bleeth's
Russian, German, French, and
Algerian physical manifestation was
"exotic and classy."   s
The modelling industry, an entity
that plays a huge role in setting beauty standards in society, also echoes
these sentiments. In Angela
Nowacin's 1994 book. Modeling: A
Guide to Working in Canada, she
informs young women about the
nature of the most glamorous and
best paid modelling market high
fashion. "Exotic and unusual looks
are common," she writes. "Models
with ethnic backgrounds or who are
mixes are quite popular."
Legendary makeup artist Kevyn
Aucoin also notes this change in attitude in his 2000 makeup book Face
Forward. He uses Christy Turlington,
one of People Magazine's 50 most
beautiful people in 1993, as an example of these changing trends: "It's
hard to believe that [in the early
1980s] Christy's dual ethnicity made
it more difficult for her to get advertising campaigns and magazine covers," he writes, "Luckily, as the
nineties rolled around, such blatant
racial prejudice—eyen though the
New York f ashionistas think they have
no bias —began to dissipate." Aucoin
refers to her several times throughout
his book as "a role model for those
born of different races".
Now wait one minute. Did you
know that Christy Turlington was biracial? Probably not In fact, many of the
above names are not identified by the
public as anything but Caucasian. For
example, Eliza Dushku, star of the television series 2rue Calling and formerly of Bully the Vampire Slayer is biracial (to my great surprise), of Albanian
and Danish descent
The most often-used phrase is
"passing as"; individuals such as
Dushku are able tp blend almost effortlessly into the majority culture. One of
Lonnette McKee's most famous roles
on Broadway, the character of Julie La
Verne in "Showboat," tells the story of
the star singer of the Cotton Blossom
who passes as white for several years
until the local sheriff discovers her
black heritage. Other than meeting
their parents or having them be more
forthcoming about their cultural heritage, these women, for all intents and
purposes, are an invisible minority.
So who can biracial women visually
identify with if they can't even tell
other biracial individuals from everyone else? They either make an 'educated' guess or project their cultural backgrounds on the next best thing. Alex
Swannidentified strongly with the
physical appearance of Catherine Zeta-
Jones. Zetajones' Spanish character }n
The Mask ofZorro is a far cry from her
Irish/Welsh roots, but Swann identified with her supposedly Spanish looks
and character. Living solely with her
mother from the ages of six to 13,
Swann was extremely influenced by
her Latin-American roots arid that
changed her perspective on physical
Yet there's still those differences in
their features, the qualities that other
people just can't place. More often
than not these physical attributes are
their non-Caucasian features which
separate them from many of the
female celebrities in the media, or
even many of their own peers. In other
cases, it is their Caucasian features that
prevent them from identifying fully
with the other half of their cultural
background. This disjunction of the
self makes it difficult for biracial
women to reconcile these physical differences, and can lead to negative self-
perception. While growing up, I found
that I liked my pointed nose but I
wished I could change my rounded
face, a feature that I later realised was
inherited from my Filipina mother.
Children usually do not draw any distinction between either of their parents' features, but as they grow up, it
has a large bearing on their own self-
At the same time, the increase in
multiracial families and the subsequent growth of the biracial demc.
graphic has contributed to the acceptance and celebration of these distinct
individuals. They are often alluded to
as tokens of the new multicultural
global society, a role which some
embrace and others reject McLean
finds the curiosity of others amusing,
but emphasises that her background
is not the most important aspect of
her identity. "It's not offensive, but
humourous," she remarks, "when I
consider myself Canadian and
human above any sort of racial classification."
Particularly with biracial women,
there is an exoticisation of their unique
features, leading to the sexy and glamorous descriptions seen earlier. As a
LOOKING FOR IDENTITY? Looking good, michelle mayne photo
result, biracial women often have a
very positive self-image, but not without a price. For many of these women,
there is a level of objectification that
goes beyond sheer curiosity and reaches into the realm of fetishism. "Once I
was at a party, and this guy was pestering me," Riley recalls. "I didn't want to
talk about my [background] and he just
wouldn't let it go. That's just a little
strange, the way complete strangers
feel that they have the right to know
something personal about me just
because it's not written across my forehead for the world to see."
Each biracial individual has a different experience, depending on the
combination of different backgrounds
they possess. However, it is common
that all of these individuals, at one
point or another, will be seen simply
as a sum of their racial parts, and a
lack of visual identification in others
usually exacerbates this problem.
Often these women cannot recognise
themselves, and are forced to either
pick one of their ethnicities to define
themselves or constantly move back
and forth between them—a juggling
act which doesn't always pan out But
with the ever-increasing presence of
biracial individuals in Canada and
across the world, we become less the
exception and more the rule. Even
though I could list countless numbers
of biracial women in the media today,
numbers aren't the issue; it is the
underlying perception of these
women that counts. The more generations that are exposed to the biracial
experience, the more likely that these
perceptions will change.
And my hope? That even though I
may never look like Catherine Zeta-
Jones, I'll eventually be able to look
into the mirror and appreciate what I
see on a deeper level than just the sum
of my ethnic parts. * 8
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Friday, March 19,200 _
colours issue
Integrated Sciences Program
I Making Connections in Science I
Wednesday, March 24,12:00 -1:00 pm
Room 462, Leonard S. Klinck Bldg.
Thursday, March 25, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Room 460 Leonard S. Klinck Bldg.
Carmen Reilly
Room 303, Leonard S. Klinck Bldg.
Spoof meeting: today; at i2cpp pm
iiiSUB Room 24
holy spoof issue, batlnan! since 1918
f       -■
Employment opportunities available
Employment opportunities are excellent for
medical laboratory technologists, BCTTs unique
blend of academic learning and real skills
ensures that our graduates leave with the
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the path you choose can make all the difference.
Non-existent races
Bantering with UBC politica
science professor Bruce Baum
By Chris Wong
"There are no Negroes, there's no
Mongolian race, there's no
Caucasian race. It's just that we use
those three categories/ says Bruce
Baum, author of the upcoming book.
The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian
Hold on. Let the hackles on your
neck slowly resume their original
positions. No one is denying that
race-based suffering has left an
indelible mark on your personal
experience. In fact, it is precisely
those individual differences in experience, as opposed to your particular
place on the pigmentation spectrum,
that Bruce Baum suggests would
make up your 'racialised* identity.
I recently had the chance to sit
down with the UBC political science
professor to talk about race, its construction, and some of my favourite
1. Blacks are biologically pre-dis-
posed to play basketball.
This is one myth that seems to have
found solid purchase" in the general
consciousness. Statistically, if you are
a black man in America, you have
about a one in 4000 chance to make
the NBA, while if you are white, you
have approximately a one in 90,000
chance. The problem with this statement is that, while rhetorically
handy, proportional arguments are
also mutable to the point of absurdity-
Bruce Baum: If you went back fifty
years you might have said that Jews
must be physically predisposed to
excel at basketball because they certainly were overrepresented in terms
of their number of the population,
which was probably, like, two percent of the US population. And they
were, maybe, 10-15 percent of the
NBA- WeH, what was going on was
that same kind of an urban thing
where they were overrepresented in
certain areas where basketball was
2. Asian people are the 'model
Arguments of this sort represent a
larger discourse—the idea that we
can place people on an evolutionary
hierarchy according to racial lines.
Although I'd desperately like to
believe that this practice went out of
vogue with the dissolution of
phrenology (not The Roots album) as
a credible scientific doctrine, this is
not the case, unfortunately.
At this very moment, everyone's
favourite Canadian pseudo-scientist,
Jean Pierre Rushton, is probably
examining a pickled penis in an
attempt to further the cause of scientifically supported racism. The crux
of Rushton's argument is that the
races evolved from a common
hominid at different times and, as
Asians separated from this common
ancestry last, they have a higher IQ,
are more law-abiding, and are more
sexually restrained than the other
Bruce Baum: He looks at [IQ tests]
and says 'well that just proves that
Asians are smarter than Caucasians
and that Caucasians are smarter than
people of African descent' Rather
than saying that those groups, first of
all, that those categories aren't necessarily coherent and meaningful in
the first place, and second, that the
social conditions very much favour
certain groups to succeed at tests and
other educational outcomes and
clearly disadvantage other groups.
Domestically, the link between
class and immigration access in
Canadian-Chinese immigration policy has factored into these results.
Measures like the Head Tax, which
required incoming immigrants to
pay a substantial fee to enter the
country and included exemptions for
various professions, restricted the
influx of the incoming 'yellow
hordes'; this ensured a relatively
high concentration of wealthy, educated, or alternately, debt-ridden
"There are no
Negroes, there's
no Mongolian
race, there's no
Caucasian race.
It's just that we
use those three
—Bruce Baum
3. Mixed races are universally
exotic and beautiful.
This stereotype probably stems from
the influx of Eurasians in the twin
fields of modelling and acting. Tia
Carrere, Keanu Reeves, and other
pop culture superstars are pretty
muck the only representation of
multi-racial identities in the media.
But, given my own half-Chinese, half
mutt-white ethnic background, I'm
motivated to leave this particular
stereotype intact And I will. Watch
I do, however, have a very real
problem with the use of umbrella
terms like 'Eurasian' or 'Hapa' as
anything other than cultural shorthand; for they suggest that multi-ethnic or multi-racialised identities
operate as unitary concepts.
Inevitably, this use leads to the
'whitewashing' of both one's
European and Asian heritage. No two
people's ethnicities are going to be
exactly alike, especially when you're
dealing with highly differential
racialised identities. The experience
of, say, a third generation half-
Chinese, half- white person who grew
up middle class in the nineties is
going to be infinitely different from
the experience of an Indonesian-
Dutch teen heartthrob or a 'cabli-
nasian' pro golfer.
Bruce Baum: At some level, I have
some trouble with the term [mixed-
race]...insofar as it's affirming actual-
ly existing races and people are saying, 'Well, I'm not just one race, I'm
two races,' that part I find troubling
because it's sort of reifying the
notion of race.
So who's hurt by the propagation
of these positive stereotypes?
Well, other than the black men
who can't jump, Asians who fail
their math classes, and unattractive
Eurasians, I'd suggest that there is a
very real, very negative effect for
society at large. To accept racial
stereotypes, no matter how positive,
is to affirm the system of racial division. It's like Kara Walker, an
African American artist who
addresses racist stereotypes in her
work, says: 'Change the joke and
slip the yoke/ * colours issue
Friday, March 19, 200A
A Uby»ey Special Imie
Some wails of the world
Graffiti is everywhere you look. Some of it's good—most of it's
bad—and some is used for personal opinion on issues.
Regardless of where you are or who you are, graffiti is a part
, of life and a part of artistic expression found within many different countries and cultures. *          ..  . _	
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^^^ SltB setting pU:ed up at SS.
want to give yosi a free
first class Eyrail pass!
Just tell us five reasons
why students should visit
Europe, and you could win!
Drop off your list ata UBC
Travel CUTS office by March
31st, and have a chance to
visit Europe this summer!
UBC SUB ,.„„„„..,. 604-822-6S90
UBC Marketplace... 604-659-2860
Ubyssey Publications Society
General Meeting
Friday, March 26, 2004
12pm Noon
AMS Council Chambers
&<m% miss the excitement at the annual ams
shopping spree
*   .narch^
travel info       t        ««r.-spp.
main  stiie!eRt
concoursa unbr^
v. /, iv ams tibcca     >. - 10
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Friday, March 19,200*
colours issue
V*^ SUB getting picked tip at 85.
Hi, my name is Gabriel.
I'm a 2nd Year student,
studying Psychology at UBC.
I like playing
Basketball & guitar.
I hang out in the
SUB Arcade
& sit at the Deli.
I take the bus
or drive to
and yes...
read the
ftlf you Have volunteered fof the paper this year* chpcfc out where your
f   narrie is on the list below. If yoU aire staff you cart vote in elections,
ft beginning after trie AGM arid all-candidates fprurfi on Friday; March
ft tor in SUB
'ft'" Paul Evans (aka Basil)".'    -.":', :■•
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elect'n since 19.18
Peter Klesken   -     :;.
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The case for
a Safe space
"The Colour Connected office exists
to act as a safe social space for
empowerment among self-identifying First Nations, and students of
colour at UBC who may otherwise
feel excluded from UBC spaces."
—Colour Connected Constitution
by Mia Amir
and Marjory Ditmars
On the Colour Connected Against
Racism door is a sign that reads:
"This space is for students of
Colour and First Nations students
only. Please Respect. Thank you.*
Discussion and disagreement
has surrounded the assertion of
such a space, including the
Student Administrative
Commission (SAC), which recently
denied Colour Connected the right
to assert such a space. Colour
Connected would like to historically and ideologically contextualise
why the existence of such a space
is necessary.
In September, the question of a
safe space policy became central to
how the group conceptualised itself
and   its   role   and
work  on  campus.
Colour   Connected
members, through
consensus,  including the  voices  of
white ally members,
made an important amendment to
their constitution, entrenching certain elements into the ways in which
Colour Connected operates. The
change reads as follows:  _
"Whereas Colour Connected
Against Racism, a UBC AMS
Resource Group, exists to do anti-
oppression work on this campus
for the whole UBC student population, the Colour Connected office
exists to act as a safe social space
for empowerment among self-
identifying First Nations, and students of colour at UBC who may
otherwise feel excluded from UBC
spaces. Therefore the space is for
the use of self-identifying First
Nations and students of Colour
only. However, the work, forums,
events and specific meetings held
and organised by Colour
Connected are open to all UBC students, at the discretion of active
Colour Connected membership, in
order to maintain the accessibility
pf the group and the group's work
to all students on this campus.*
Colour Connected's work is
therefore two-fold: We exist to
expose and counter racism and
oppression on campus and in the
communiiy at large through inclusive education and the organisation of diverse events for all students at UBC. We also exist as a
space where these students can
seek refuge from a normatively
white campus culture, wherein
experiences of alienation and
disempowerment are all too
This space provides the "students it serves an pppcjrtanity for
autonomous,    , self-empowering
organisation and dialogue; helping students to build a strong
sense of self by improving their
self confidence and fostering the
development of race consciousness and skills to combat racism,
outside of the oppressive structure
of the university. This space also
provides students an opportunity
to address prejudice between
racialised groups.
Recently, Colour Connected has
been accused of endorsing
'reverse racism* through our
assertion of such a space. We fundamentally disagree with the
notion of "reverse racism.*
Oppressed groups cannot exact
oppression on their oppressor in
an equal manner, especially in the
context of a society where socioeconomic and political inequalities are systemical-
ly entrenched; ie.
Currently, other
safe spaces on
campus operate in
a similar and very
legitimate way, ie. within the First
Nations House of Learning, the
Women's Centre, certain Pride
events. It is our belief that Colour
Connected should be allowed the
same measures. As thete are no
other spaces on campus where
issues of race, racialisation and
racism are being addressed in
such a comprehensive manner
and as no other attempt has been
made to determine whether or not
there is a need for a safe space on
campus, Colour Connected has
taken it upon itself to create a
space for those students who do
deal with these experiences of
exclusion on a daily basis.
The safe space policy does not
violate Colour Connected's inclu-
sivity as our meetings do not occur
in the office itself; our events are
for the participation of all students. The majority of our
resources are located in the
Resource Group library, which is a
common space shared by the
Resource Groups as a whole.
Colour Connected is saddened
by the recent disagreements that
have emerged between themselves and other groups serving
students of colour at UBC.
However, we are encouraged by
this revitalised discussion of race
and racism on campus and we
hope that through dialogue and
peer education we will be able to
bridge these ideological gaps to
counter oppression. *
—Mia Amir is an ally of Colour
Connected and Marjory Ditmars
is a member of. Colour
Connected colours issue
Friday, March 19,2004
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Club says safe space excludes them
UBC Caribbean African Association no longer able to share office area
by Dan McRoberts
The creation of an unofficial 'exclusive safe
space' for students who identify as First
Nations or of colour has one campus club concerned that some of their membership is
being excluded from a space they used to use
to meet.
For the past two years, the Caribbean
African Association (CAA) has shared Colour
Connected's office space in the SUB. But this
Januaiy, a sign appeared on the door of the
office declaring the space to he an exclusive
safe space. The sign has forced the CAA out,
according to the association president.
CAA, a multi-racial club, had been using
the space for storage and also to hold meetings, but says that this is no longer a possibility given the change of status.
"We have moved out of the office because
we cannot share an office space that excludes
some of our members,* said Ramona
Cruickshank, CAA president. "We don't support the space.*
Mia Amir, who defines herself as a "white
ally of Colour Connected,* recognises the difficulties for CAA, but said the space belongs to
the resource group.
"The space sharing was established at an
earlier time, before a lot of the current members and allies were involved," she said.
The decision to create the exclusive space
was made through a lengthy process of debate
amongst the members and allies of Colour
Connected, said Amir, emphasising that the
decision was made through consensus.
Because Colour Connected is an Alma
Mater Society (AMS) resource group, it has
the option of amending its constitution to
include a clause that would make its office an
exclusive safe space. This amendment must
also be approved by the AMS's Student
Administrative Council (SAC), the body that
overseas clubs and the student council.*
Amir said Colour Connected has created
the amendment. But that amendment has
not yet been approved by SAC or council, said
Lynden Wei, a spokesperson for SAC, meaning that Colour Connected can not yet operate
their area as an exclusive safe space. Wei also
said arrangements must be made to create an
area open to everyone as part of Colour
Connected's space before the exclusive space
can operate.
"We have been in communication with
them that it is not an official safe space," said
Wei, adding that SAC will remove the sign if
Colour Connected does not, and will take
steps to make sure the sign does not go back
until the room is approved as a safe space.
Despite its unofficial status as a safe
space, Colour Connected remains inclusive,
said Riaz Behra, a member of the group. "We
meet in the common area in the resource
group area," he said. "In terms of people
becoming active within our group, we're
completely open."
But Cruickshank disagrees, saying the sign
forces individuals to categorise themselves
into racial groups. "The group is called Colour
Connected Against Racism, and our understanding of that is that all races are coming
together to combat racism. So when you take
only white people out, that doesn't make it a
safe space."
But the safe space is necessary because it
reflects the realities of equality and racism
on campus, said Amir. "It's important that
we maintain the space as a place for students of colour only, because we need to
understand that the UBC campus is a nor-
matively white male campus, whether or not
the makeup of the student body is majority
white or not."
Cruickshank is also concerned that no
member of CAA was informed before the
change to an unofficial safe space. "If you're
making a decision, you have to let people
know," she said. "They have disrespected us."
■*   __   _T   _E A       «_IL    _* ___* & ■■» £*n£E      ■ *• -
c i
■ ■ ' W  1. 1
- t*>
THE SIGN IN QUESTION: Colour Connected decided in Janurary to make their office
into a safe space for persons who identify as First Nations or of colour, putting them
at odds with a club on campus, nic fensom photo
Colour Connected should have contacted
CAA, admitted Amir. But she also said CAA
has disrespected Colour Connected. "A white
member of CAA did enter and didn't leave
when asked to. It was one instance, but it was
profound enough for the students involved in
Colour Connected to be really disturbed."
Cruickshank sees the incident in a different light "We had asjeed one of our members,
who is white, to come to the office. At that
point I did not know about the sign on the
door," she said. "There were other CAA members in the office and they discussed the sign.
Tlje conversation was not in support of the
space. They were saying 'we don't agree with
it' He was only there for a couple of minutes.*
CAA is presently holding meetings  at
International House, but has no access to an
office. Behra said that finding a new space
for CAA is important. An anti-oppression
workshop for members of both organisations
has been proposed but nothing has been
planned yet.
Amir said disagreement over the need for
a safe space has occurred because of differences between the groups. "We are an
expressly political group and CAA is a cultural group and so their analysis of the situation
is different than ours," she said.
But the difference of opinion can have a
positive outcome, said Behra. "The best thing
that can come out of this is an actual dialogue
on racism, and the need for this space, that
often gets silenced in society." >K
from all that
:y  Watch news stands
for a very special
f   issue of the Ubyssey
'coming up real soon!
V'\--'--'-.'V    V V "~~r'y '"•: ''■   " ■ '*"'■    -'■'    :-:"'::'   ':".';  v Wft7   ''--; ■   "
;p f :^: f ft    THEUBYSSEY
f tee heehee since; 1918 12
A Ubyssey Special hsuz
Friday, March 19,200 _
colours issue
Building an immigrant and
refugee rights movement
An Interview with Harsha Walia
by Tao-Yee Lau
Harsha Walia is a community activist and
writer working with immigrant/refugee
rights and aboriginal sovereignty struggles.
She has recently worked in India for the
anti-corporate struggles in one of the largest
People's Alliance movements. Harsha spoke
on campus last month at a forum presented
by UBC Colour Connected. I recently sat
down with Harsha to talk about her work
with No One Is Illegal Vancouver.
Tao-Yee Lau: Let's start by discussing the
factors which lead to migration.
Hasha Walia: Today, an estimated 150
million people are in migration. Increased
migratory pressure over the decades owes
more to the dynamism of international capitalism rather than to the growing size of the
population of Third World countries. The
very conditions that spawn migration into
the countries of the North—war, poverty,
unemployment, destruction of the rural
economy, dispossesion—are fueled by G-8
policies on firee trade and western-style
"development"; the same G-8 nations then
refuse any semblance of life and dignity to
those who can get to the territories of the
North. And less than five per cent of today's
world's migrants and refugees come to
North America.
Lau: Can we first clarify the way in which
you use the terms immigrant, refugee, and
Walia: Yes, language is very important.
Most of these terms are labels set forth by
the government as a means of creating different classes of people: refugees are those
who seek protection from war and persecution, as defined by the Geneva Convention.
Immigrants are selected on the basis of a
merit-based point system that enforces the
idea of capitalism, in that those who speak
the colonial languages and have a certain
amount of money are usually selected.
Undocumented are those who are outside of
the system, and are essentially "illegal.*
How can human beings be classified as illegal aliens?
Lau: Public awareness around refugee
issues often focus on relating the trauma
experienced in the home country of the
refugees. While this is obviously central to
understanding the refugee experience, most
people never hear about the other end of it
what is the experience of going through the
refugee system in Canada?
Walia: The main thing is that refugees
bear the burden of proving that they are
indeed fleeing persecution. This sets a huge
bar for those who are still dealing with the
brutality they have faced, the ordeal of displacement, the lack of language skills, etc.
The Immigration and Refugee Board has
been 'streamlined* sp that the fate of a person's life is entirely in the hand of one
judge. Judges to the IRB are political
appointees and are not mandated to have
any particular knowledge of the situations
from which people have fled. There is a
huge amount of inconsistency in judgments. All these barriers perpetuate systemic discrimination.
Further, since 9/11, a variety of extensive
legislation has been passed which greatly
impact the rights of immigrants and refugees.
The ability of the Canadian government to
impose such major legislation despite the
resounding resistance of affected communities says multitudes about democracy and
equal rightsfor those from foreign-born communities.
Lau: How is the fight for migrant rights a
fight against racism and economic and occupational apartheid?
Walia: Borders, a creation of colonisation, are the cartographies of anti-racist and
anti-imperialist struggle. As a Chicano protestor declared, "We didn't cross the border,
the border crossed us." Displacement, migration and race are an intertwined phenomenon, almost inseparably, from the colour-line
to the border-line. The majority of the displaced throughout the world are indigenous
peoples in the settler states of North
America, Australia and New Zealand or from
communities of colour in Latin America, the
Caribbean, Asia, and Africa. Yet, when those
communities from the South manage to
make a home in the North, they continue to
remain foreigners, as hyphenated citizens,
Indo-Canadian, Chinese-Canadian, just never
quite Canadian enough.
Further, the system creates a vulnerable
communiiy of non-citizens, which all industrialised states use as temporary, cheap, and
* \
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NO ONE IS ILLEGAL: Concerned citizens take it to the streets in support of refugee
and immigrant rights, photo courtesy of tao-yee lau
hyper-exploitable labour. This apartheid system of assigning criminal status to "illegals"
mean that they are treated as a flexible pool
of workers without rights of settlement or
political enfranchisement in the places
where they work.
Lau: Can you speak about the strength of
immigrant and refugee movements worldwide? How do immigrant and refugee rights
struggles advance anti-corporate globalisation, anti-war, labour movements in North
Walia: As the causes of migration—state
repression and capitalist globalisation—continue, immigrant/refugee movements will
continue to gain strength in numbers and
morale, and migrants will fight back with
greater fortitude for their rights to a new life.
Border hysteria in the global North is an
attempt to subjugate us to remain in the
spaces in the South, which is reinforced by a
sense of national entitlement that white people feel towards "Canada." This needs to be
challenged with integrated politics that
account for the need to end displacement.
Migrants are the living reality of globalisation and war, and as such, they are the
human face of the anti-war and anti-corporate globalisation movements. Any movement for social justice must honour these
Lau: You are also a member of the Native
Solidarity Network. How has working on aboriginal rights enriched your understanding of
the work you do around immigrant/refiigee
rights, and vice versa?
Walia: Indigenous peoples of the settler
states have waged the longest wars against
colonisation and dispossession, and the
struggles of this land must be honoured and
respected. At the surface of [the issue], it
would appear that migration from the global South would deepen dispossession and
settlement of indigenous communities.
However, displacement is understood as an
imperialist and elitist agenda, rather than
merely the number of migrant/settlers on
[the land]. Migrants of colour and indigenous communities in the settler states face
similar conditions of unequal citizenship:
underrepresented, underpaid, constantly
belittled by overt and institutional racism,
and massively incarcerated.
All social movements are essentially
about freedom, choice and self-determination. We have to build a common struggle not
only against our common oppressor—a type
of system that deems us as second class, as
illegal aliens or status Indians—but also to
reinforce our organising methods and
visions of the future to create a global and
comprehensive imagination.
Contact: No One is Illegal at noii-
van@resist.ca to get information about
future events and current campaigns.
— Tao-Yee Lau is member of UBC
Colour Connected
s yours.
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