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The Ubyssey Feb 12, 2008

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UBC'S OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER
MAKE THIS THE WORST TURN OUT TO VOTE SINCE 1918
BYSSEY
Vol. LXXXIXNo. 39 I www.ubyssey.ca I February 12th, 2008
Dion drops in on Vancouver Quadra
PETER HOLMES PHOTO / THE UBYSSEY
Liberal leader Stephane Dion poses during his visit to UBC on Friday. Dion took questions from students on the environment, relations with the US,and Afghanistan.
by Jeehye Kim
News Writer
In anticipation of the upcoming
federal by-election in Vancouver
Quadra, Liberal leader Stephane
Dion, along with Liberal Quadra
candidate Joyce Murray, attended
a town hall-style meeting at UBC
on Friday.
In front of a packed room full
of UBC students, Dion fielded a
variety of tough questions ranging from the environment to
Canada's relationship with the
United States.
"United States for Canadians
is a friend and an ally, but it is not
a model," said Dion in response
to a question from the audience.
"The difference between a friend
and a model is not well understood by the current Prime Minister and it will be by me."
He further added that Canada
wants "to be sure that our trade
with the United States is effective," but also believe that it must
be open because Canada is "making lots of money trading with
them.
"We   Liberals   support   free
trade but a fair trade. We need
to be careful, and the soft-lumber
deal the Conservatives did with
the United States has been a mistake," claimed Dion.
Dion was also asked for concrete examples of how his party
would combat climate change
should they find themselves in
power.
He responded by stressing
environmental sustainability as
one of the most important challenges of the 21st century, and
that Canada has a role to play in
this..
He continued by saying that
the Liberals' Carbon Budget Plan
will be able to actualize the fight
against climate change and make
Canada a leader and not a laggard in the fight against global
warming.
"The one we are proposing,
the Carbon Budget, will be a
strong plan that will decrease
emissions in Canada and free
billions of green investments in
this country, especially in British Columbia, and we will make
see "Dion" I page 02
Obama-rama
sweeps Seattle
En route to victory in
Washington, Obama
fills Key Arena
by Justin McElroy
News Writer
The world of American politics
descended upon Seattle last
weekend, and the Ubyssey was
in the Emerald City to take in the
spectacle.
It was the upcoming Washington State caucuses held last
Saturday that brought Republican Senator John McCain, and
Democratic Senators Hillary
Clinton and Barack Obama to
town. The candidates spoke directly to voters at rallies across
the city on Thursday and Friday
in hopes of securing some ofthe
delegates needed in order to win
the nomination of their party for
the 2008 election.
And while each asked the
citizens of Seattle for their vote
and support, the crowds they
spoke to and the messages they
espoused could not have been
more different.
Thursday night, Senator Clinton spoke to a standing-room-only
crowd of 5000 people about her
vision for the country at the Pier
30 terminal, in the shadow of
Safeco Field. With a giant American flag draped behind her,
Clinton set out in clear detail her
policies on health care, Iraq, the
economy, and education. Clinton
focused much of her attacks on
Republicans, and defined herself as the candidate that "can
get the job done for America on
see "Obama-rama" I page 02
Africa Awareness
week a success
Laura Morrisson
News Writer
This year's Africa Awareness
Week went off without a hitch,
ending in celebration with a
dance party at the GSS ballroom Friday night. According
to co-chair Fatou Wurie, "the
week was absolutely phenomenal." The goal of the event,
which ran from Feb. 1-8, was to
dispel some of the stereotypes
and negative attention Africa
receives. The week kicked off
with a sold-out lecture/dinner
at Sage Bistro on Friday, followed by a keynote opening
talk on Monday. The week's
schedule included a movie
night, cultural evening, mini-
symposium and a closing keynote, which Wurie described
as, "Great. It really brought the
executive together and we're
really proud of ourselves."
Friday's dance was "a celebration of how far we've come and
how far we have to go," in addition to being a fundraiser for
the World University Service
of Canada, which sponsors African students to come to UBC
and study. The Africa Awareness club has been in existence
since 2002 and will continue
to represent the African voice
at UBC. ^
GOH IROMOTO PHOTO / THE UBYSSEY
Africa Awareness UBC Co-Chair Fatou Wurie celebrates at Sikiliza night, which finished off a successful Africa
Awareness 2008.
Calendar
12
TUESDAY
13
Anthropalooza Talent Show
Where: Buchanan D MASS
When: 6-9pm
Cost: $2,free f/Anthro students
a>
What: Bzzr garden/talent show.
Oh
O
Bring instruments.
X
WEDNESDAY
How to Make a Living
Writing Travel Articles
Where: Penthouse,Graduate
Student Centre
Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm
What: Speaking series.
EMAIL US EVENTS AT
14 [THURSDAY
I Valentine's Day
Where: Bedroom
Time: Nighttime
t3   Cost: If single,your dignity
^ I Cost: If taken,atleast$100for
X | presents
feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
15|friday
Why Marry at All?
Where: UBC Robson Square
When: 6pm
What: Talk by UBC sociology
§   prof Carrie Yodanis on why
U   people continue to get hitched.
Q
r—{
CO
Anonymous vs Scientology I page 03
Pussy talk with vaginas I page 04
Welfare hurdles I page 05
Playoffs this weekend I page 07 2  i News
THfitteYSSEY   February 12th,2008
from "Dion" | page oi
good universities like UBC the
key cornerstone of this green
revolution that we need to do in
Canada," he said.
Dion also pointed out that the
Liberal Party was active both domestically and internationally in
efforts to combat climate change
before being voted out of power
in early 2006, with initiatives
such as Project Green and the
Montreal Action Plan, "but unfortunately, Mr. Harper came, cancelled the climate change plan,
and replaced it with one that's
six to seven times weaker."
"Not only [do] we need to
create the growth and to share
it, but we need to make sure
that it's there for the next generations and they can still afford
the same development we have
now. Some countries must stay
the lead to find new ways to create the ways and share it, and
Canada must be one of them."
Dion's visit was a hit on
campus, with the leader of the
opposition able to draw a crowd
SHUN ENDO PHOTO / THE UBYSSEY
Stephane Dion spoke to students, laying out the Liberal position on everything from marijuana to Afganistan.
large enough to pack the SUB
Party Room. UBC student Aaron
Si found Dion's visit to UBC,
hosted by the Young Liberals,
good for student involvement in
politics.
"I think a lot of students coming out of university are now
more politically engaged, and a
lot more politically motivated. I
mean, the fact that [the Liberals]
had an event like this, I think is a
fair warning to other candidates
to start courting university students to the voter base." uf
Obama defeated Clinton by a 68 per cent to 31 per cent margin
in the Democratic Washington caucus on Saturday, and currently
has 1087 delegates to Clinton's 1125 (2025 are needed to secure the
nomination). John McCain emerged victorious in the Republican
Washington caucus, and currently holds a 719-234 delegate lead
over his closest remaining challenger, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas
(1191 delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination).
Delegate numbers courtesy ofPolitico.com
Obama: 'I believe in my gut if we could just join together, across
racial divisions...then there is no problem we could not solve
hotel later in the day, which
attracted an older crowd of approximately 400 people.
A 71-year old senator and
former war hero, McCain is all
but assured of being the Republican nominee for president,
but his appearance in advance
of the Saturday caucuses failed
to excite Seattle citizens, most
of whom seem to be looking for
a Democrat to undo the work of
the Republican administration
over the last seven years.
"America needs a real
change in order to solve its
problems...McCain is a good
man, but he isn't what this
country needs right now," said
one Obama supporter. In an
election dominated by talk of
change, McCain, who supports
the war in Iraq, will face an uphill battle to be elected.
But while McCain waits for
his democratic opponent to be
determined, Clinton and Obama
crisscross the country, raising
money, attracting cameras, and
galvanizing voters in a race that
is viewed with interest around
the globe. The election of the
most important person in the
world may be a circus, but for
a day or two, Seattle got a front
row seat to the show.
from "Obama-rama" | page oi
day one," saying, "the days of
cowboy diplomacy in the White
House are over."
Though some in the crowd
were still undecided voters,
the vast majority were fervent
supporters of the senator from
New York. "I believe America
would benefit from a woman
president," said Nicole Wagner, adding that Clinton "has
a step-by-step plan for making
change."
But the talk of the town Friday morning was not Clinton's
performance—it was of the
arrival of Barack Obama. As
packed buses and teeming
masses made their way to Key
Arena hours before the building
opened, it was obvious that the
15,000 seat arena would not fit
all of those who formed a mile-
long lineup to see the senator.
"I really want to hear him
in person," said Heather Wilcox
as she waited patiently in line.
"I see him as a cross between
a young Kennedy and a Martin
Luther King in terms of inspiration and hope." Such a lofty
comparison is not uncommonly
heard among Democrats these
days, as Obama has managed to
turn what was presumed to be
an easy path to victory for Clinton into a deadlocked battle for
the Democratic nomination.
Some 18,000 made it into
Key Arena—with 3,000 extra
watching from a screen outside—and proceeded to spend
the next 90 minutes of waiting
by singing, dancing, and occasionally doing the wave—sights
usually not associated with presidential politics, yet indicative
of the groundswell of support
that Obama has been steadily
gathering over the past year.
By the time Obama entered the
arena to speak, the crowd was
fired up, and eager to hear his
trademark message of hope,
change, and optimism.
"I believe in my gut if we
could just join together, across
racial divisions, across gender
divisions, young, old, rich,
poor,  black,  white,   Hispanic,
Asian, Native American, gay,
straight...then there is no problem we could not solve," Obama
told the crowd, adding, "This
isn't about me—it's about all of
us, and what we believe in."
Though he went into specific
proposals on foreign and domestic policy, the theme of his
speech was unity, as he finished
his 50-minute address with the
pledge, "We will win the election, and together, you and I,
we will change this country and
change the world."
"The charisma he has, and
the message he bring, it really is
like John F. Kennedy," said Rob
Smith, 58, after the event, adding that he was participating in
politics for the first time in decades because "Obama is what
America needs right now."
Lost in the wake of Obama-
mania Friday was a small event
by John McCain at a downtown
Classifieds
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UBCLE Music month
feature event. Saturday,
Feb. 16, 2008. 2:30-5:30pm
at Sub 214/216. Member
$10, Non-Member $12.
Come to learn, come to
listen, and come to move to
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Receive $35 for
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Its battery won't hold a
charge? Get it fixed by a
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EDITING.
Prof editor will polish
papers/theses until you
shine, www.pto-editing.com,
pto edit@yahoo.ca,
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Free classifieds for students: For more information, visit Boom 23 in the sub or call: 604-823-1654
TheIj
BYSSEY
February 12th, 2008
Vol. LXXXIX N°39
Editorial Board
coordinating editor
Champagne Choquer
COORDINATING@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
news editors brandon adams &
Boris Korby
NEWS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
CULTURE EDITOR PAUL BUCCI
CULTURE@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
sports euitor Jordan Chittley
SPORTS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
features/national editor
Matthew Jewkes
FEATURES@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
PHOTO EDITOR OKER CHEN
PHOTOS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
production manager
Kellan Higgins
PRODUCTION@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
copy/letters/research
Levi Barnett
FEEDBACK@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
volunteer coordinator
Stephanie Findlay
VOLUNTEERS@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
WEBMASTER JOE RAYMENT
WEBMASTER@UBYSSEY.BC.CA
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper ofthe University of
British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation, and all students are encouraged to
participate.
Editorials are chosen and written bythe 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. 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.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include
your phone number,student number and signature (not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone/'Perspec-
tives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and
are run according to space."Freestyles"areopinion pieces written by
Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be given to letters and perspectives overfreestyles unless the latter istimesensitive.Opinion pieces
will not be run until the identity ofthe writer has been verified. The
Ubyssey reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clarity. All letters must be received by 12 noon the day before intended
publication. Letters received after this point will be published in the
following issue unless there is an urgent time restriction or other
matterdeemed relevant bythe Ubyssey staff.
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 occursthe liability of the UPS will not be
greater than the price paid for the ad.The UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes ortypographicalerrorsthat do not lessen the
value orthe impact ofthe ad.
EDITORIAL OFFICE
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T lZl
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubysseybc.ca
BUSINESS OFFICE
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
fax:604-822-1658
e-mail: advertising@ubysseybc.ca
business manager Fernie Pereira
ad traffic Jesse Marchand
ad design Michael Bround
Marie Burgoyne combed her hair looking at her reflection in the mirror
quietly. Champagne Choquer rapped on the door. Marie quickly reached
and took the picture of Paul Bucci from the mirrors frame. She was unable to take the picture of Oker Chen down as well. "What will Peter
Holmes say?" Queried Champagne. She sighed and pulled Marie away
from the mirror,"honestly,this is worse than the time with Justin McElroy
and Matthew Jewkes...combined!" Brandon Adams smirked as he looked
through the window, perched in the tree like a beached whale. Boris Korby shouted at him from the base ofthe tree, "c'mon man, you're being
creepy. You know that she doesn't like you, so just give it up." Brandon
flapped his hand at Boris,dismissing him. You could hear Kellan Higgins
coming from a mile away because his bike screeched like a mad women.
He called it the "old hag"and they were inseparable. His previous bike
was called Jeehye Kim, and then one before Laura Morrison, the fictional
wife of Jim Morrison, because no one can have a male bike, that would
just be gross. Today, Freeman Portiz was riding the handlebars. "What
happened to Stephanie Findlay and Gerald Doe?"Asked Boris. "Oh, they
took off with George Prior to get some sundae'sfrom Levi Barnett's store."
Levi Barnett's store was considered vastly superior to Goh Iromoto's,
whose signature ice cream flavor was pineapple anchovy. Joe Rayment
was Levi's signature flavor of the month, and that was a scrumptious
gelatin with pine nuts and delicate hints of cedar.
EDITORIAL GRAPHIC
Stephanie Findlay
v
Canadian   Canada Post Sales Agreen
University  Number 0o40878022
Press February 12th,2008 i TmSt-BYSSEY
News i  3
Anon, versus Scientology
'Kenya Project' aims to spread awareness
about HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya
BRANDON ADAMS PHOTO / THE UBYSSEY
'Anonymous/an Internet-based group,descended upon the BC Church of Scientology
headquarters on W.Hastings on Sunday. Members ofthe group claim that Scientology is
a dangerous cult which impedes free speech. Church representatives argue that'Anony-
mous'is composed of"hackers"and"terrorists"that engage in religious discrimination.
by Freeman Poritz
News Writer
Looking for an African adventure this
summer? That was what fifth-year UBC
global resource systems major Jackie Siegel was looking for when he volunteered
for the Kenya Project last year. Siegel
traveled with other UBC students to Kan-
yawegi, a small village in Western Kenya,
for eight weeks in the summer of 2007.
According to the Kenya Project's website, "their main mandate was to bring
HIV/AIDS education to areas of Kenya with
a high prevalence rate of HIV infection,
the belief being that knowledge was the
first step to combating this pandemic."
Siegel, who is also one ofthe project's
team leaders, recounted his reasons for
getting involved in the ambitious endeavour. "The fact that it [the Kenya Project]
was student-ran. It provided the opportunity to be involved in the decision making
ofthe group."
The Kenya Project was started in 2005
by a group of UBC students, who called
themselves Global Students Initiative
(GSI). In the summer of 2006 the first
group of UBC student volunteers traveled
to Kenya and were well received. The
project's early success led to the 2007
volunteers returning to the same village
and taking on additional responsibilities
such as 'creating a community bank,' and
helping the villagers locate a 'clean water
source.'
Kanyawegi was chosen as the group's
destination because of the personal connection of former UBC master's student
and Kenya native John Agak. Agak teamed
up with the GSI atthe 2006 African Awareness Week. "I grew up in Kenya and
moved to Canada. I lived the experience
of the poverty, and the suffering, and the
needs that people had there. I introduced
the GSI to a number of ideas. It has been a
very successful project so far," he said.
One of the benefits of the project is
the strong emphasis on accountability to
donors. "People give money to causes and
never see any feedback. We want to show
them [our donors] positive feedback. We
were able to come back from each of our
trips with results to show our donors,"
Agak added.
The Kenya Project's current membership stands at twenty UBC students and
alumni. "In 2005 everything just fell into
place. We developed a curriculum for the
project. Itwas just one of those things that
happened. I have developed a passion for
Kenya, and to try and help people," Kenya
Project chairperson and first-year UBC
medical student Matthew Sibley told the
Ubyssey. "I have grown up with a generation of people who have suffered no
world wars, no famines, no depressions.
Our generation is spoiled. I have this
fortunate life, and others are on the other
end ofthe spectrum," he added.
With the recent upsurge of violence in
Kenya, one has to wonder if the project
will go ahead as planned. Siegel voiced
his disappointment with the current state
of affairs in Kenya. "Kenya had been doing so well as a country. It—the recent
violence—is really sad news. It definitely
has the potential to change the plans of
the trip for this summer."
Agak, however, voiced a different
point of view. "The violence has been
confined to the cities and towns. The violence has not spread to the villages yet,
so the project is not really affected. Travel
inside of Kenya could become a problem
though."
The group is hosting a fundraiser for
the project on Thursday March 6th at Darby's Pub with 100 per cent of proceeds
going towards the initiative. \a
More information can be found at
www. thekenyaproject. com.
aniS Insider
student society
a weekly look at what's new at your student society-02.12.08
iNVat*1
inrvroiv." _—    mm
BATWt
•BMN&
run
Registration is now open
Deadline Feb. 22nd
Check the Events website for details
www.ams.ubc.ca/events
AMS ELECTORAL PROCESS REVIEW
WE WANT TO KNOW YOUR VIEWS ON THE
AMS ELECTION PROCESS
The AMS Oversight Committee is conducting a
comprehensive review ofthe AMS Electoral
Process, and specifically, the recent Executive
and related elections held in January of this year.
We would like you to send us your opinions on
both what went right with this year's election
and the things that you would like to see
changed for future elections.
The Oversight Committee is an independent
committee of Council and has been charged
with the responsibility of information and
opinion gathering from the entire student body
regarding electoral issues.
A report will be prepared summarizing the
submissions received and the issues identified
by March 15,2008, so we would appreciate
receiving your submission no later than Friday,
February 29.
Please send your submission through the AMS
Confidential Administrative Assistant at
adassist@ams.ubc.ca
or by mail or hand to AMS
Oversight Committee
c/o Room 238 - 6138 SUB Boulevard,
Vancouver, B.C.
V6T1Z1
RrBrSflfcii
The UBC Alma Mater Society is hosting a special election
for the position of Vice-President Administration.
The successful candidate will be responsible for the
management of campus clubs while playing an
important role in organizing many campus events
and activities.
Remember, vote online February 11th through 14th, at
www.ams.ubc.ca/elections. Any questions or concerns
should be addressed to elections@ams.ubc.ca.
AMS Referenda
Referenda are coming! In March, you will be asked to
make some important decisions on upcoming student
issues, such as extending the U-Pass program, renewal of
the Student Union Building and support for the UBC
Farm and Sustainability Initiatives.
Dates and voting information will be coming soon!
AMS Sweet Valentine's Fair
Feb. 13,14,15
main concourse SUB
vendor products include:        *
jeweller, flowers, plants, candy,    *
clothing, handbags,
fashion accessories and misc.
products and services. 4  i Culture
THfitteYSSEY   February 12th,2008
1
Ah, Valentines day...>U^
^\ That oh-so-wonderful evenina durina which vou aet to ^«-^^    *
That oh-so-wonderful evening during which you get to
brood about your ex while drinking alone in your room. What
happened to that last special other? Let's just say it involved
porn, broken condoms, and Facebook. Send under 300
words of your best (or worst) break-up stories by Thursday
to features@ubyssey.bc.ca. We've been there.
I
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of gift cards or certificates.
Discussing the
deeply personal
by Peter Holmes
Culture Staff
The name 'monologue' is mis-
leadingly boring. This was no
Shakespearean soliloquy. This
was high action, quick talking,
arousing, interactive, and unabashedly funny for both men
and women.
The Vagina Monologues, a
series of interviews by American
writer Eve Ensler turned into
stage performances, sold out
three consecutive nights at UBC's
music recital hall last weekend.
Ensler got women to open up
(figuratively), bridging shame,
guilt, and embarrassment to
discuss deeply personal stories.
These stories were portrayed
with brilliance and compassion
by a diverse, primarily student
cast. The monologues vary greatly in perspective and voice, from
a 6-year-old girl to a 71-year-old
woman. They range from happy
sexual encounters with the self
men, and women, to terrible
tales of rape and violence.
Prior to the show the cast
warmed up by dancing irregularly and freely whilst chanting
"rubber baby buggy bumpers."
The energy was infectious,
the stage was set (sans props)
and performers ran down the
aisles at high speed to start the
show.
"When people come they
realize it's not all about or for
women," said Coordinator Molly
Kraft. "UBC is a very receptive
audience, they are more than
exited about it, they're turned
on by it...They [the performers]
totally fed off the audience."
The characters vividly described their first orgasms, giving birth, and fleeting lesbian
encounters, as well as the many
styles of moans.
"I didn't think it would be
so funny...I would definitely
go and see it again," said UBC
student Bahar Najafi during the
intermission.
However, this fun, exploratory, and illuminating aspect is juxtaposed with harrowing stories of
rape, violence and survival.
Aboriginal women's stories
are recounted in the monologue
"Crooked Braid": "I said it didn't
feel good...could hear my son
screaming. My husband beat the
shit out of me."
Capilano college student Cay-
leigh Handford was impressed by
PETER HOLMES PHOTO / THE UBYSSEY
the breadth of the performance.
"It was really amazing and eye
opening. I would like to be a part
of it."
Actress Gillian Klassen who
performed "The Vagina Workshop," said, "It was the scariest
thing I have ever done."
"It's challenging, I've never
done anything like this before. I
like the way I look under lights,"
said actress Neelam Khabra.
All the cast members appeared very comfortable on
stage, a testament to the unique
bonding experience they've had
over the past months of preparation, which combined theater
practice with a form of group
therapy.
The event was coordinated
by the women and men of UBC
V-Day, an international women's
organization, along with the help
of numerous local supporters
representing all genders and
diversities.
The Pussy Posse, UBC's
women's rights group, was on
hand in the mezzanine selling
t-shirts and chocolate vaginas.
The show donated ten per cent
of all proceeds to V-Day and 90
per cent between three beneficiaries: Atria Women's Resource society (an anti-violence outreach),
UBC's Sexual Assault Support
Centre, and Vancouver Coastal
Health's Transgender Health
Program.
V-Day coordinator Megan
Dersnah estimated this year's
proceeds to be $16,000, $4000
less than last year due to the
smaller venue and the fact that
the play ran four nights rather
than three. However, she was
very pleased with the intimate
setting which allowed for more
audience involvement and discussion, which is a focal point of
the monologues. "Our campaign
[was] to create a conversation
and intimacy where people feel
free to talk about the vagina and
violence against women."
Coordinator Erin York noted
that the biggest obstacle to V-
days motto is keeping silent. "If
you take one thing away from the
show it's talking about it...It's an
empowering thing."
If you missed out on tickets
this time, don't worry—UBC V-
day is bringing back The Vagina
Monologues next year. To get
involved or find out more visit
ubcvday.com. vl February 12th,2008 i The Ubyssey
Culture
Poverty Olympics a poignant spoof
by Oker Chen
Culture Staff
On February 3, a man in a cockroach outfit took the stage in
the overloaded Carnegie Centre
theatre and declared that the
21st Olympic Winter Games
will cost $6 billion to run. The
Olympics that ran in the heart of
the Downtown Eastside that day
cost merely six dollars, according to the organizers. Instead
of launching off of ski slopes
and sled tracks, these athletes
emerged from the streets and
social projects to race in the first
annual Poverty Olympics.
The festivities spoofed the
Olympics; the opening parade
became a walk from the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) office. The sports
became parodies. The plush
mascots became the nemeses
of desperate shelters—Itchy the
Bedbug, Chewy the Rat, and
Creepy the Cockroach.
Signifying greater rumblings
in the DTES, the groups VANDU,
Carnegie Action Project, Raise
the Rates, Steams of Justice, and
the BC Persons with AIDS Society combined efforts to put on
the event.
It would be easy to focus on
the light-hearted mockery and
simply revel in the issues that
surround Canada's lower class.
The Poverty Olympics
spotlighted its absurdity—including an anthem
entitled '0 Poverty,' which
opened with "0 Canada, our
home on native land," ten
foot high welfare hurdles
for disabled characters to I
miss, a broad jump across
bedbug mattresses, and a
closing ceremony where
the needy feasted on a gigantic cake in the shape of
a cockroach.
In early March 2007,
the non-violent protest
against the damage to Ea-
gleridge Bluffs by the Sea-
to-Sky Highway construction resulted in the arrest
of two women. Two months
later, activists stole and
destroyed the Olympic flag
J.       ,,,,.£. GOH IROMOTO PHOTO / THE UBYSS
over city hall Anti-Poverty   An.ath|ete'carries the anti-poverty torch to the
Committee    (APC)   leader   poverty 0|ympics.
David   Cunningham   was
arrested by a police officer who
nated in comparison to the
condominium boom. Ten
of which are in the Downtown Eastside alone.
"They    [social    hous-
.'- ' ''   ; *vy   ing units] don't meet the
Eel   demands.   There's   a   lot
^|  of smoke   and  mirrors,"
said Diewert. "If you go to
Sam   Sullivan's   website,
he'll   say  he's   produced
f>^<M/ 2100 units of low income
tJ I  housing. Some of it's spe-
I cifically for elderly people.
| Some of it's housing that's
I just beds and mats—transitional housing. Some of it's
housing that are very small
units and meant for short
term stays. Some of them
GOH IROMOTO PHOTO / THE UBYSSEY i .       i ■ t
'carries the anti-poverty torch to the      are the single resident oc-
• cupancies (SROs) the prov
ince purchased, which are
However, as the big games    not adding any new housing to
pretended to be a 24 Hours re-    get closer, authorities aren't tak-    the stock."
"My student loan right now
porter, and BC Premier Gordon ing chances. What   makes   the   Poverty
Campbell's office was ransacked "They've launched an inte- Olympics different from that of
by APC members. grated security unit headed by drug and housing-related pro-
The history of activism in the RCMP,  but includes local tests is that it is easy for people
Vancouver has not been smooth, police, Canadian armed forces, to relate,
however poverty doesn't neces- and CSIS," said Dave Diewert, an "My student loan right now
sarily limit activists to violent organizer of Streams of Justice is about $15,000," said Trish
actions. Streams of Justice has and a former full-time Regent Garner, an SFU student working
held many high-profile events, College professor. "These kinds towards her PhD in women's
including the tent city near the of mega events really require studies. Her membership with
Main Street Skytrain station last a great deal of convergence of Raise the Rates allows her to
October, and Sunday's sleep out power...Nobody  can  afford  to work with other people who rally
at the Olympic countdown clock live,   especially   poor   people, to increase minimum wage from
at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It   means   increased   policing, $8 to $10, which Garner admits
—I shrinking of civil rights." is not adequate. The group also
The number of social hous- seeks to eliminate welfare barri-
ing   developments   have   stag- ers such as the mandatory three-
welfare, and advocates the need
to increase welfare payout to a
level above the national poverty
. line. These were
exemplified in the
welfare hurdle
race, whose winners   indifferently
threw aside the hurdles.
Jean Swanson, coordinator
of the Carnegie Action Project,
was more fortunate than today's
students.
"When I was your age I
worked the summer," Swanson
reminisced. "I supported myself
through the summer and through
university doing that because
minimum wages were a lot higher than there are now. We had
a lot more purchasing power."
According to Statistics Canada,
graduates from university are
left with an average of $19,500
of debt on their back. Swanson
added, "People shouldn't have to
work time to still be poor."
"When I moved into social
housing myself, it added a whole
bunch of security to my life as a
single parent or as a parent that
was living in an abusive relationship," said Wendy Pederson,
organizer ofthe Carnegie Centre
board. She found escape. Her
life was saved by the very rooms
that are now neglected and in
dire need of replacement. "I was
able to make a change because
of the security of social housing.
So I'm a believer in the importance of social housing." One of
the audience members asserted
that everyone knows someone
who has been or is homeless.
"We don't want crumbs
from the developers. We want
social housing. No crumbs. Not
a single crumb!" Wendy states.
After the handicraft medal ceremonies, the Poverty Olympics
closed by cutting the the brown
cockroach cake, around which a
mob formed. This time, no one
had to eat the crumbs. \a
L
^festern
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Western
Graduate Studies
J    transiated by Richati Wilbui
Directed by Patrick Gauthier
theatre at UBC
FREDERIC WOOD THEALRE
February 7-16, 2008
Tickets: $20/$14/S10
Phone: 604.822.2678
www.theatre.ubc.ca
HEyJfK
become an editor.
the Ubyssey | SUB 24 6  i Editorial
THfitteYSSEY   February 12th,2008
y)AAi  ^A/Ur^HOt-D-e^,^^^615-. of Electocal  O^stACl^
Shameless endorsements part deux
Last night, seven VP Administration candidates and a handful
of student politicos set up a
table and a loudspeaker in a corner
of Totem's cafeteria. Residents were
just settling down for dinner, chatting nosily in tight clusters, when it
became clear why the busy cafeteria
was chosen as the venue for the last
VP Admin debate.
Debate organizers had hoped to
convert a captive audience of diners into engaged, informed voters
through overwhelming volume and
lame jokes. Yet it was immediately
obvious that the organizer's plans had
backfired: diners futilely called for
organizers to "turn it down"; over the
din students could be heard cussing
out the candidates; and the seating
area set up specifically for the debates
was conspicuously bare save for a few
hacks and perennial student activists.
Other than the extremely underwhelming student response, the night
was highlighted by the fact that after
an hour and a half, there was no
obvious winner, no apparent leading
contender, no candidate who could
be considered fully qualified for the
job, and no one ready to step into the
shoes of outgoing VP Admin Sarah
Naiman. It was that bad.
Yian Messoloras gave the entire
debate exactly as much respect as
the Totem cafeteria gave it: none. He
walked off when it wasn't his turn to
speak, ignored the moderators, and
gave up answering questions mid-
sentence. Despite his lack of respect,
his key plank continued to show up
throughout the debate: the ridiculous
fact that he currently works (presumably part-time) as a construction
worker and that somehow makes him
extremely qualified to run the SUB
Renewal process.
Mike Kushnir spent much of his
alloted time defending his personal
transformation from joke candidate
to a serious nominee. Yet for a "serious" candidate, Kushnir's platform
and website are astonishingly bare of
details as to what policies he would
pursue when in power.
The race is also blessed with
the presence of no less than three
joke candidates, befitting of such a
farcical election. Should you prefer a
candidate who spouts the literature of
Dr. Seuss during debates, we humbly
suggest you consider Aaron Palm
ofthe UBC Devil's Advocate blog. If
someone who will repeat the phrase
"War on Fun" ad nauseam is more to
your liking, AUS executives Stephanie
Ryan and "The Radical Keg" Mac are
at your disposal. But should you wish
to vote for a student who has a conceivable chance of being elected this
Thursday, there are three such people
available.
Like many AMS elections, this
race comes down to a turnout battle
between left-wing activists, and AMS
hacks.
Frankly, we have doubts that
Tristan Markle will be able to cooper
ate and compromise with those in the
AMS that he will need to work with.
During the debate, he made the vague
threat that "The SUB Renew process
is far from over," and seems eager
to impose policies that extend far
beyond the reach ofthe VP Administration portfolio. We're worried that
Markle will be unyielding in dedication to his positions, when negotiation may better serve an incoming VP
Admin. Yet unless moderate voters
coalesce around Stewart or McCarthy,
Markle will emerge victorious as he
leads UBC's only solid block of people
who actually vote.
Shawn Stewart has served as
AMS clubs commissioner and has
been involved in the nitty-gritty
details of policies regulating student
life. Yet Stephen McCarthy seems
to be the most pragmatic choice for
UBC students in this election. While
McCarthy may not have all the experience desired in a candidate, running
the UBC Debate Society is nothing to
sneeze at. Moreover, his personable
demeanor and realistic policies will
bode well in an AMS setting where
teamwork and unity are essential. His
platform offers the most in actionable
items—from the creation of a new
"affinity group" status for student
organizations, to the planning of non-
drinking nighttime events on campus.
Though none ofthe candidates
inspire full confidence, it is our estimation that McCarthy offers the best
option for UBC students, vl
iJfeREETERS	
See all their full comments online at www.ubyssey.ca
Spring break or reading week?
Streeters is a twice weekly column
in which students are asked a
question     pertinent     to     UBC.
AsadKhan
Engineering 2
"I for one already
have plans to go up
to Whistler and go
skiing. The week
should be taken
to get away from
school and stress."
Brett Patton
Chemical Eng. 2
"It's reading break.
It's not really spring.
I definitely never
read during reading
break."
Raman Dasanjh
Political Science 3
"Students call it
reading week just
because most midterms and papers
occur after the week.
So I know a lot of
people do use the
week studying and
catching up on work
that they didn't do."
Kendalll Moraski
Linguistics 1
"I'm from the states,
and I know its this
big, like month
long, March thing,
where everyone goes
to Cancun. But
here, its not really
spring, and it feels
kind of gross."
Victoria Tothill-Brown
Arts 1
"I was going to go
to LA, but that fell
through, so now its
actually going to be
reading."
Letters
Fire Hydrant defends 'joke' candidates
I dispute Chelsea Theriault's assertion two
weeks ago ("Voters apathetic because elections
are a joke" Letters [Feb. 1st]) that joke candidates are bad for voter turnout.
Joke candidates have a proud history at
UBC. Back when slates were allowed, the Radical Beer Faction (RBF) ran joke candidates almost every year. These candidates included
Beer Kegov, Toby the Amazing Fortune-Telling
Siamese Fighting Fish (who, sadly, had to be
flushed mid-campaign), sock puppet The Commandant, a traffic cone known as Pylon (who
ran three times), and me. There were also
frequently other partial joke slates—last year
was an aberration. Three years ago, I came six
votes short of being on the UBC Board of Governors, on which my handler currently serves;
the caveman [Alex "Lougheed the Barbarian"
Lougheed —ed.j has been provisionally elected
to VP Academic as a serious candidate.
Joke candidates show up in "real" politics
too. Michael Moore ran a ficus tree for Congress, Jerry Rubin ran Pigasus the pig for US
president (Pigasus visited the UBC Faculty
Club in 1968), and Canada's Rhino Party had
candidates finish as high as second. Mr. Peanut ran for Mayor of Vancouver in 1974, and
Brian "Godzilla" Salmi, current Rhino leader,
ran for many positions locally before moving
to Montreal.
Joke candidates draw interest and attention to the election, make the debates less tedious, and keep other candidates from taking
themselves too seriously. Student politics are
important, but there's less at stake than in,
say, provincial politics. If you feel this year's
low turnout can be partially attributed to joke
candidates and believe the Ubyssey's numbers
(based on the presidential race alone), then I'll
pick out another number from the same graphic: in 2001, the RBF was absent and the vote
total was a mere 2/3 that of 2000 or 2002.
I'd also point out that calling someone a
"joke" candidate is like calling someone "left-
wing". Some may self-identify as such, but
there's a continuum from serious to silly, and
it's even simplistic to assume that all candidates
can be placed on one line. As for the remainder
of your anthroponormative missive, I consider
this a symptom of the systemic oppression
that hydrants and similar objects continue to
endure in today's student societies.
—Fire Hydrant
Former candidate for AMS vice-president
Fire Hydrant is handled by Darren Peets, a PhD candidate
in physics.
UBC must open the books
The UBC endowment fund has gone on record
as having accumulated over one billion dollars
as of June 30th lastyear [Vancouver Sun, Feb.
4th). The general public, the Board of Governors, and the students are all entitled to know
the "exact" amount in the endowment fund.
Moreover, they are entitled to know for what
this money has been, or will be, used. An earlier Sun article had reported that UBC had lost
millions of dollars by investing in the American sub-prime mortgage fiasco. Again, the exact amount should be made public. Although it
appears as if the endowment funds of UBC and
other universities in Canada are corporations
unto themselves, to my knowledge they are still
public institutions and for that reason should
be held accountable for all funds raised and
spent. I see no evidence that this is the case.
—Joanne Whitney
Retired, Burnaby BC
Submit a letter to the Ubyssey and see your writing in print. Letters to the editor must be under
300 words. Opinion pieces know as "Perspectives" range from 300 to 750 words.
-Coordinated by Jordan Chittley, Matthew Hayles and Matthew Jewkes
Write the Ubyssey at
feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
i
Ii February 12th,2008 i ThSJjbyssey
Sports I  7
No. 2 Women's V-ball team looks to spike Brandon in playoffs
by Justin McElroy
Sports Writer
With the playoffs just two days
away, the UBC women's volleyball team will look to erase
the memories of March 4, 2006
from their collective memories.
It was on that day, twenty-
three months ago, that a star-
laden Thunderbird team lost to
the Laval Rouge et Or in the gold
medal match of the CIS national
championships.
With no less than five key seniors moving on after the match,
head coach Doug Reimer was
forced to rebuild his team and
the end result was a UBC squad
that failed to make the national
championships for the first time
in over a decade.
However, like any good rebuilding effort, the work has paid
off handsomely for the T-Birds,
and after a 17-3 regular season,
they look to take home the CIS
championship for the first time
since 1978. The road toward that
goal begins Thursday night as
they face off against the Brandon
Bobcats at 6pm.
Coach Reimer, for one, is optimistic. "I know our group is determined to succeed this year,"
he said, as the UBC squad looks to
translate its No. 2 national ranking into a berth in the national
championships. However, a pair
of losses to Trinity Western over
the weekend has left the team
with a sour taste in their mouth
entering the weekend.
"Last weekend's losses were
obviously disappointing," said
Reimer, but he cautioned that
"sometimes these losses can actually be helpful especially if you
respond by saying 'this is not
how we are going to enter our
playoff run.'"
The team is polished after
a season that saw them at one
point tally 14 consecutive wins.
On offence, an attack-by-committee system constantly leaves the
opposition wondering where the
next will come from. More often
then not, they'll come from Liz
Cordonier and Jen Hinze, but
Marisa Field, Jamie Broder, and
Danielle Petersen also offer solid
two-way play for the T-Birds. And
of course, they are led by fifth-
year starter Carla Bradstock,
who aside from consistently setting up her teammates for kills,
will add a dig, block, or kill of her
own.
Even though Brandon finished 8-12 this year, they managed to push UBC to five sets
in a T-bird victory last month.
Because of this, Reimer and his
team will not be taking this series lightly.
"Brandon is an athletic team
that has shown that they can
push us to play our best," said
Reimer. Nonetheless, he is confident about UBC's chances, vl
Quick Rundown     ^^^
Record
17-3,2nd in Canada West
CIS Ranking
no. 2         Illljnllffi
Star
Liz Cordonier (3.17 kills per set, 2nd
in digs)
Key Cogs
Jen Hinze (2nd in blocks, 3rd in kills),
Marisa Field (1st in blocks, 1st in
attack percentage), Jamie Broder
(1st in aces, 2nd in kills, 4th in digs)
Strengths
Depth, bevy of multi-talented
players
Weaknesses
Unproven in playoffs; on a two-
game losing streak
Road to Nationals
Win this weekend; top-3 finish at
Canada West Final Four
2008 GRADUATES
ARE ELIGIBLE!!
//
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Be among the first to
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SUB for free passes
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February 14-24 '08
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02.14-24.08.
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EVERYTHING 8  I Sports
THfitteYSSEY   February 12th,2008
o       jpui ld ihjviubyssky | r-epruary \z ',zuui
Men's V-ball begins playoffs at home against Dinos
TLR-iV/ic yow\ow\V\oy hirrlncc in (^nltrnvA, \tn . . being embarrassed by Calgar;
T-Birds remember big loss to Calgary in
November heading into weekend series
by Justin McElroy
Sports Writer
A year after making the CIS
Championships for the first
time in 18 years, eventually finishing fourth in the nation, the
UBC men's volleyball team had
their sights set a little higher for
the 2007-2008 season.
With program mainstays
Andrew Bonner and Matt LeB-
ourdais reaching their final
year of eligibility, and a group of
five promising rookies ready to
make an impact, coach Richard
Schick believed that this squad
had a realistic chance of becoming CIS national champions.
But he would be the first to
admit that this regular season
hasn't gone exactly as planned
for the Thunderbirds this year.
"Overall we probably have
not been as consistent as we
would have liked to be this
year but that consistency may
have been a bit more challenging in the second half because
of some of our injuries," said
Schick about the loss of several
key players for significant time
throughout the year, including
all-stars Andrew Bonner and
Jared Krause. "We are fortunate
to have so many guys who can
play and we've had different
guys step up at different times
this year."
Schick continued to say that
"losing two potential Canada
West all-stars in one year has
been challenging, but the character of our group has over
shone through the adversity we
have faced."
The end result was a 13-5
regular season record that,
while impressive, is tempered
with the knowledge that UBC
never really hit their stride during Canada West play.
But all that fades into the
past this Thursday at 8pm, as
Quick Rundown
Record
CIS Ranking
Star
Key Cogs
[I
13-5,3rd in Canada West
4      1M°	
Andrew Bonner (3.48 kills per set)
Steve Gotch (3.49 kills per set)
Jared Krause (10.38 assists per set)
Matt LeBourdais (1st in Blocks, 2nd
in Digs, 3rd in Kills)
Strengths
Weaknesses
Road to Nationals   Win this weekend
Duo of Bonner and Gotch up front,
team defense
Injuries, haven't won two straight
in a month
the T-Birds begin a best-of-three
Canada West quarterfinal bout
against the University of Calgary
Dinos, with the winner guaranteeing themselves a spot in the
CIS   national  tournament two
weeks from now at Laval. And
while UBC may appear at face
value to be a heavy favourite
against the 8-10 Dinos, Schick
isn't taking the contest lightly.
"I'm sure the guys remember
being embarrassed by Calgary
in our gym, but I don't think
that motivates us," said Schick,
referencing the 3-0 victory
Calgary had over UBC in early
November. "What motivates us
is to play as well as we can so we
can get to our ultimate goal, the
Canada West Final Four and the
CIS national championships."
As has been the case all season, the Thunderbirds will rely
on the front court attacking of
Steve Gotch and Andrew Bonner
to rack up the kills on offense.
Defensively, they will rely on the
play of LeBourdais, Krause, and
libero Blair Bann, among others, to key the smart, tenacious
play that has held opponents
to a .225 hitting percentage,
second best in the Canada West
conference.
This will be the final home
game for the T-Birds before they
head out on the road for the
Canada West Final Four at the
University of Alberta beginning
Februrary 22nd and possibly
onto the CIS championships beginning February 29th. \a
Up
Next:
Men's Basketball
vs. FraserValley
Feb. 15
@8pm
Feb. 16
@7pm
Feb. 17
@7pm
(if necess;
iry)
Women'
s Basketball
vs. Victoria
Feb. 15
@6pm
Feb. 16
@5pm
Feb. 17
@5pm
(if necess;
iry)
Men's Volleyball
vs. Calgary
Feb. 14
@8pm
Feb. 16
@2pm
Feb. 17
@2pm
(if necess;
iry)
Women'
s Volleyball
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