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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Feb 13, 1998

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ubyssey magazine
unlucky in love since 1918
www. ubyssey. be. ca
by Stoke Tonne
rd week in January and two days after judging
architectural competition in China, Canada's most
mqj-med architect Arthur Erickson is delivering a lee-
-tnre-trra full house at the Robson Conference Centre.
Erickson seems at home in front of the local crowd, a
crowd whose tastes he helped develop. He begins by
r-^o.sp^a^pgakjng passionately about the "irrepressible spirit of
ir       r ~JLa"**~ism," an architectural style which ran from the
Sfesj^r period up until the nineties, and the style in
..j i    / wl-jga^tje was schooled at McGill University in the 1940s.
> Erickson romantically commended the strengths of
ie modern style, it was obvious that this was more than
^ tribute to the integrity of modernism. It was a poignant
rebuttal against the world for having left him and his
ieslj**ns in favour of the flair of postmodernism.
PosHBodemism in Vancouver began with the Terry Fox
ial and is still steaming along with such master-
ieces of architectural plagiarism as the new Vancouver
LibraryVlts borrowing of past decorative styles to enhance
"otherwise mundane buildings has, says Erickson,
re8u<*ea architecture to animation. "The architect has had
i beewne a cartoonist," he says.
ause he has refused to become a cartoonist, both
SaSi'SQn and his own style of modernism have had to
' takj-^^ond stage to the hype of postmodernism in this
i&*educated and overstimulated decade. As he harked
iack to the post war period in design and theory, he
praised an age where both he, his style and his profession
5*re centre stage.
; vanity, however, has been tempered by the short-
pjs of his career, which have shown him that talent
k guarantee success eternal. He is simultaneously
•igand proud, strong and weak. It is in this balance
ice and awareness that we find Arthur Erickson.
(dj-ys later, on a rainy Friday afternoon, Erickson sits
is architectural office near Granville Island, quietly
aping up the week's work. Dim lighting shrouds a
laM^Maire assemblage of books, notes, sketches, and
•mwan terWhere once such outstanding awards such as the
American Institute of Architecture's gold medal must
c f|dprned the lavish halls of his own international
^ce sjShey now he untrained on the top of a bookshelf,
jippearance of his office stands in sharp contrast
-j-icJsson for although, according to Vancouver maga-
. zn^fnoe-may be just "scraping by," he is still an impecca-
bj^ana expensive dresser. In an industry where image is
_^every "hing, his wearing of a crisp pressed houndstooth
suit v ith a shirt and tie to match remind me that this is a
man who never looks bad. His wisdom in age is evident
i his eyes and face but it is after hstening to him speak
TEaJs^realize it is his experience that lends him the abili-
L,to speak on any topic with a reasonable air of authorial seem convincing. He is most convincing however,
cussing architecture.
Itj [Modernism] was a presentation ofthe latest excite-
entjof the new theories of space, the whole idea of the
continuum of Einstein. That's why the room as a
broken through, space flowed inside and out, that
the scientific and philosophical realities of mod-
says Erickson.
The 'modern' style was born out of the ferment of
intellectual and scientific currents of thought growing in
Europe in the interwar period. Art and science were
becoming one as Cubism was visually breaking down the
world of painting into the three dimensions of space and
the fourth dimension of time. Architecture was watahing.
Loaded with revolutionary philosophical theory and
scientific thought, modernism swept through the Western
world of architecture as its principles gave architects the
intellectual justification they were looking foj" in their
designs. The box was no longer a box, but a
cube of intersecting planes and angles. Tl e
open planning on the inside of the box com
Erickson's focus on fhe relation ofthe bunding to its site
was what made his houses stand out The calibre of bis
work was well above the norm, and BC began to take notice.
In 1965 he was chosen to design SFU atop Burnaby
Mountain. This would be Erickson's crowning achievement in BC. The sweeping geometry and massive scale of
the university helped redefine the modern campus.
"There was a preoccupation in the architecture of the
"60's to solve the problem of the new campus, SFU
■helped do that"
plimented the honest, straight lin is an d
right angles on the outside. The b >x wj s
becoming a home and Arthur Eiicksoi
moved in.
Erickson began his work in Vanco iver b y*
promptly getting fired by two firms. H s earl r
designs were too radical and too difft rent t >
be accepted by those used to the noi m. Hi i
early works made strildng, abstrac refei -
ences to the classical Western and I lasten
architecture he had seen on his trave s afte:
university. Although misinterpret ed b;
many, his self-belief stems from his o jserva
tion that in all the great works, "there is with
great effort an ability to achieve infinit i calm
He is the master of contradiction in
architecture,   as   reflected  in  the
weightless geometry of his early
houses,    which    are    scattered
around   the   North   Shore   of
Vancouver.    Erickson    states,
"Architecture is all about contra-  -
diction, the reconciliation of the
site with human intervention."
The    sixties    houses,    the
Graham,  the  Smith,  and the
Craig houses, are testaments to
contradiction   as   all   are  both
simultaneously strong and weak.
Heavy concrete suspends beautifully
light timbers in a dance of intersecting
planes and levels which cascade down
their site.
"If a building suits its site then it is a classical
building," he says. All great buildings respect their site
and work to enhance it"
In his works are clear references to the modernist spirit yet each of his buildings is endowed with something
more powerful: beauty in both form and site. Erickson's
fascination with light, clarity in line, and desire to open
the building up from the inside out are clearly modernist
values. However, in each of his early Vancouver houses
there is evident a more finished sense of overall cohesion
between site and structure.
"I really had too much experience seeing how well
buildings in the past fit in their surroundings, especially in
ancient Greece, Japan, where they had beautiful sites to
work in. And they took advantage of the site in an extraordinary kind of way. We had the attitude, unfortunately, that
we have to spoil this site with a building. I had the attitude
that, because of my historic experience, that we're going to
improve this natural site by putting a building on it"
Erickson  originally  envisioned the campus as having
water-filled roofs to further accent
the   mountaintop   light.   In   what
appeared as reflecting pools these watery
roofs soon became a problem in the wind and were
phased out
Throughout the fifties and sixties, pockets were deep
and the sky was the limit for building projects. It was in
this environment that Erickson thrived. But in the seventies and eighties the modern style, with its monolithic towers, slowly hung itself on the rope provided by the cheap
reproductions ofthe once glorious, modular box. Builders,
developers, and less gifted architects alike came to see
modernism as an easy means to produce cheap imitations
of original spirited modernist designs. Building technology slumped, as did original architecture, as the seventies
and eighties slowly strangled the spirit of modernism with
inferior designs and poor knockoffs.
"It became a very cheap solution where that in fact is not
the spirit of modernism at all—the spirit of modernism is
very close to the spirit of North America, that is to keep
continued on page 4... THE U8YSSt*Y • FRIDAY, fl&RUARY 13,1998
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In "Questionable equity within the Faculty of Law,"
which ran in our February 10 issue, we misspelled
the name ofthe Law Dean. His name is Joost Blom.
We also misspelled the term that was at issue,
'quimblets.' Further, we incorrectly wrote that
equity in the faculty was 'questionable,' when in
fact the intent was to say that people were 'questioning' equity in the faculty. The article also said
that quimblets were defined as "an immoral,
addictively vile novelty, with the ability to lead
young people astray." In fact that definition was
only implied. We sincerely regret the errors.♦
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Allegations divide Law faculty
 by Chris Nuttall-Smith
The dean of UBC's Law school reacted publicly yesterday to an emotional debate over
equity in the faculty after some students complained of sexism and racism there.
'On behalf of the Faculty of Law, I want to
express my deep regret that students were
recently given an assignment that centred on
a made-up word that was discovered, after
the assignment had been distributed and
worked on for some time, to include an
obscene reference," wrote Joost Blom, dean
of Law.
Blom also wrote that he took UBC's discrimination and harassment policy seriously
and urged that faculty "treat each other with
civility in dealing with these difficult issues."
Blom's statement referred to an assignment given last month by Bruce MacDougall,
an associate professor of Law, to a first year
class. One of the students in that class complained to Blom that a term used in the
assignment, 'quimblet,' was similar to
'quim,' a crude seventeenth century term for
female genitalia.
MacDougall said he made up the word
'quimblet' specifically for the assignment
and that he didn't find it after looking it up in
more than one dictionary. He said he hadn't
heard of the word 'quim' until the complaint
was made. He then apologised to his class
and changed the offending word. Neither
MacDougall, nor Blom could be reached yesterday for comment
But the fallout from complaints that two
second-year law students made about that
incident and the way it was handled by the
Law faculty—complaints printed in the
Ubyssey this week—have many Law students
debating whether allegations of a discriminatory atmosphere in the faculty are valid.
"I don't think the point is why we believe
MacDougall, it's why we shouldn't believe
him/ argued Brigitte Gerdes, one of
.MacDougaU's students. "He is one ofthe people in the faculty who fights for minority and
equity issues." She argued that the allegations have unfairly marred MacDougaU's
The president-elect of the Law Students'
association (LSA), Doran Chandler, said he
could understand that some students feel
they have legitimate complaints about equity.
But he added that from what he could see,
complaints last fall about an article and a
lewd photo in the Informer, the Law faculty
student newspaper, as well as the recent com
plaints about MacDougall, are overblown.
"A lot of it depends on how sensitive
someone is," Chandler said, "but relative to
the rest of the world outside this faculty, I
think there's far less of a problem with equity in this program."
The complaints in the Ubyssey also provoked a flurry of angry phone calls from Law
students in support of MacDougall, as well as
letters to the editor. One such letter calls the
complaints an "absurd attack" and a "non-
One of the women who went public this
week with complaints about MacDougall,
however, said the reaction against the allegations is what one can expect
"When people voice [complaints of] discrimination it isn't about asking members of
the dominant society to decide if there is discrimination," said Brenna Bhandar. "I really
don't understand why people are upset that
students are speaking up at Law school."
"We don't have a climate at the Law
school where people are respected when
they raise a critical voice." She said that in
such an environment students should be
able to bring complaints about sexism,
racism or harassment—even if they're
anonymous—and the complaints should be
dealt with publicly.
Bhandar also said she couldn't believe
MacDougaU's defense—that he had never
heard of the word 'quim.' She said that
MacDougall should have known the meaning
of the word before printing it.
But Bhandar said that she hadn't heard of
the word either. "I didn't really know what it
meant until someone told me, but I'd rather
you didn't print that"
Sarah Lerchs, a third year Law student
and a representative on the university senate, said that although she doesn't support
the recent allegations, she has seen a backlash against some of the students who raised
them. She said she knows some of the
women personally.
"People who have spoken out are being
made to feel a bit unwelcome, partly because
people don't agree [with the allegations] and
partly because [the Law school] is not a good
environment," Lerchs said.
She gave the example of an LSA meeting
last fall when some students rose to
demand that the LSA stop funding the
Informer. Those complaints, Lerchs said,
were greeted with rude comments from a
few students, who were supported by the
applause of the majority there. ♦
T-Bird Shop loses by a hair
 by Cynthia Lee
The Thunderbird Shop fell 73 votes short
of survival last night as the privately-
owned store lost its last-ditch struggle to
overturn an AMS council decision not to
renew the shop's lease.
Ofthe 3985 votes cast in the referendum last Friday, Monday and Tuesday,
3037 students voted in favour of renewing the Thunderbird Shop's lease for five
years; 932 students voted against renewing the lease.
But the yes votes fell just short of
quorum—ten per cent of daytime UBC
students—required to pass a referendum.
Bob Gray, the Thunderbird Shop's
long-time manager, said he could think
of better ways to spend his birthday
Thursday than by losing his job. "To be
so close and not to achieve quorum is
tremendously upsetting because we put
in eighteen months of hard work," said
Gray, tears welling up in his eyes.
This was the shop's third shot at averting an end to its 25 years in SUB. Last
year the AMS council overturned an exec
utive decision not to renew the shop's
lease. That decision was made after complaints that the AMS executive overstepped its authority in evicting the shop
without council's approval.
Then last January 7 a council motion
to renew the shop's lease failed in an 18-
14 decision. That decision was also the
tacit approval for replacing the
Thunderbird Shop with an AMS-run
retail operation in the same space.
But a 5000-signature petition presented to the AMS by the Thunderbird
Shop two days later required the student union according to its code and
bylaws to bring the shop's fate to a student referendum.
The narrow loss last night had Gray,
and some student council executives
questioning whether the council should
take a message from the support for the
"In light of these results, council may
choose to reconsider that decision [to
end the lease]... the results are over-
whelmiiigly in favour ofthe Thunderbird
Shop," said Vivian Hoffmann, the AMS
presidentelect A few minutes later she
said: "I don't know why they [students]
voted against that decision, but if it is the
will of the students to extend the lease,
then that's what we're going to do."
Hoffman added, however that she still
opposes renewing the lease.
Scott Morishita, the newly elected
AMS director of administration, ran on a
platform to renew the Thunderbird Shop
lease. "I wouldn't say it [the loss] was
shocking, because we knew it would be
hard to reach quorum. Because it came
so close...and such a high percentage
voted in favour of keeping the shop, perhaps they [the AMS] should look at renegotiating the lease."
Several of the Thunderbird Shop's
supporters complained before the
results were announced yesterday that
the scheduling of polling days—three
days in the middle of mid-terms, separated by a weekend—was done to discourage students from voting.
But the AMS elections administrator,
Kaaren Vlug, noted that the turn out
over three days was as good as the
turnout for the five-day AMS election
last month ♦
DAVID LEVITT faces College of Physicians and Surgeons discipline,
but it isn't expected to affect his practice, ubyssey file photo
WAITING: Bob Gray, manager of the Thunderbird Shop,
awaits the decision Thursday night, ubyssey file photo
Medical professor pays price for assault
by Daliah Merzaban
The College of Physicians and
Surgeons has completed its investigation of a UBC professor who
adriiitted to common assault in
BC Provincial court earlier this
But there has still beeu no
word on the progress of the
Umverei^s investigation, which
is being conducted separately
from the College.
Dr David Levitt pled guilty to
common assault in January fallowing charges of sexual assault
dating back to last spring, when a
secretary at his office complained
to police that Levitt kissed her
and touched her breast
Her complaint led to au invns
tigation by the College uf
Physicians and Surgeons |CPS],
which oversees tlie activities of
doctors in BC.
Arcon mg to T F Handley, the
Registrar or tlie CP-S, Levitt's
adrnissio: i of guilt wat- enough to
terminate a hearing before the
CPS inqu jy committee, which is
often consulted in order to decide
penalties dealing with unprofes-
, sional conduct of doctors.
'If the doctor comes forcward,
as Levitt |did|, and acknowledges
certain aspects of the charges,
then thev can be entered into a
process, whereby consent agree
ment the physician agrees to
accept throu^a legal council, a
certain penalty- with respect to
those admissions of guilt," said
One of the penalties imple-.
mented by the College was the
removal of Levitt's. name from
Uie Medical Registrar into the
Temporary* Registrar, which signifies a doctor doesn't have complete registration, but has certain
conditions attached to Ids or her
The conditions, in accordance
with the CPS's release to the;
media, include: >
• a formal reprimand which °.;
will be published and sent to tie .'
• p-yrnent of $3500 to fee
CPS, to cover costs of the investigation
• participation in assessments and counseling on issues
mainly concerning boundaries of
relatic nships with other people
• Levitt's future professional
conduct must be beyond
reproach in every respect
Although the Temporary Registrar is a public document,
Handley said it won't affect
Levitt's practice.
Tie registrar doesn't restrict
practice in any other way. The
purpose of the registrar is to teQ
members of the public what the
qualifications are and what the
meml-ership status is of a member of the College/ he said     ~-
Haadley added that when alt
the conditions are met Levitt
may apply to have his name reinstated in the Medical Registrar,
Levitt has been registered in
the College since 1980, and is
also a clinical associate professor
at UBC. He teaches a class mis
term on clinical diagnosis.
Peggy Ross, associate dean of
equity for the Faculty of Medicine,
m handling UBCs investigation.
In a previous inteiyiew with me
Ubyssey, Ross said the investigation will only be partially based
on the GPS' ruling because *tfee
college is a licensing 00%, bat Dr
Levitt is a clinical associate professor at UBC so the university
needs to get involved as weB/ .'
, Ross could not be readied to
comment on the CPS' ruling,♦   : featiir
...Arthur Erickson continued from p. 1
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D r o w i n s   c
breaking through to new frontiers.'
Even though the profession
seemed to be imploding, Erickson
didn't seem to show signs of slowing down as he steam-rolled
through the seventies with massive
projects like the Robson Law
Courts and Conference Centre and
UBC's Museum of Anthropology.
His style remained spectacular as
he continued to make Vancouver a
better place to look at and live in.
Canada was paying attention to
Erickson as his works back east,
such as the Bank of Canada building
in Ottawa, and the Roy Thomson
Hall in Toronto, allowed him to
prove himself as Canada's most talented architect He helped represent this nation's fiercely independent spirit in creating the Canadian
Chancery in Washington DC.
Erickson's modern interpretation of
a classical building made mocking
references to the strict neo-dassi-
cism seen in most of Washington
DCs buildings and helped reinforce
our nation's individuality.
'I made sure to make the;
Embassy adhere to the city's mas--
terplan by appearing somewhat;
classical by including an arcade of;
columns, which looked great but;
supported nothing."
By the early eighties, architecture  desperately needed  to  be
understood.  Postmodernis-pi was
so literal, so blatantly understandable with its Disneyesquej refer- ;
ences to the past that it became an \
immediate success with the public
and left Erickson wondering where :
the integrity behind design had
gone, "I couldn't believe it would
catch on, I just couldn't see how it
would be popular."
As modernist buildings were
reduced to mere shades of what
they once were, so was the importance of the architect No longer a
visionary but a slave to a style
cheapened by imitation and a
steadily worsening economic climate, the architect began to be seen
as a charlatan, not worthy of the
respect once given. Architecture
itself lost its footing on the professional ladder and remains a fallen
profession. It is hard to see the status of the architect rising in this
development minded, lean and
mean, postmodern decade. When
asked about the profession,
Erickson replies: "The status of the
architect has indeed fallen, due to
the apathy of the architectural profession and the whorish nature of
Erickson took the fall of modernism and the architect quite personally—after all, it capsized his
career. As the world's tastes shifted
in the late eighties, from the expensive simplicity of his modern
designs to the cheap gaudiness of
post-modernism, he was caught
with his pants down as the onset of
the nineties brought Erickson's bigger, better, faster, eighties-minded
expansion plans to a grinding halt
In 1992, his offices in Toronto
and Los Angeles were shut down,
leaving hundreds without work and
millions owed to banks. He says of
the eighties, "I was heading too forward, too fast without looking to
see what was going on around me.
I've had to slow things down, be
content with smaller projects.'
Slowing things down does not
mean wrapping things up. Although Erickson may just be sur
viving here in Vancouver, he is still
an impressive force in the world of
local architecture.
It was he who envisioned the
recently completed the Koerner
Library. The powers that be at UBC.
thwarted his plans for 25 years,
and surprisingly enough allowed
his wish to become a reahty only
when the eyes of the world were
upon the campus during the APEC
It looks as though Erickson may
see another vision of his become a
reality on campus as design development for the Liu Centre is underway. He is, however, limited to a
design consultant role in these projects. It is hard to think of such a
man not getting the chance to do
what he wants, but since fhe fall of
his business he is left with wishes
unfulfilled. And not only because
he's now forced to drive ajapanese
import rather than ajaguar.
And not only because he's now
forced to drive a Japanese import
rather than ajaguar. -
He has had lo let other 'dreams
go and has regrets like "not being
able to be involved in the larger
scale projects I once was involved
in, not being able to design an airport or a hospital.'
It takes a certain amount of
humility to swallow the cruel twist
of fate of losing your business. It
also takes a strong sense of pride to
carry on and not change your artistic style accordingly.
Erickson's one consuming passion is architecture and it is evident as he draws all other interests
and disciplines in his life into
Such awareness is not as common in Canada as in other places
says Erickson. "The problem, very
often, in Canada is we don't care
enough to make the sufficient effort,
we don't focus ourselves, it's too
easy, we're given too much, we're
too lucky, therefore we don't bother."
Erickson is an enigmatic figure
of both success and tragedy—a portrait of the modern style. All of his
buildings reflect a type of modernism personalised with the insight of originality. His originality
and inventiveness make for difficult imitation and were noted as
being different The same differences that allowed him to avoid
being labelled as a classical modernist were those that permitted
his designs to stand as testaments
to the fundamentals of design, to
stand in the eternal present
Modernism and Erickson, the
two are intertwined, and stood
together to ultimately fall at the
hands of postmodernism. Style is
style however, and as times and
fashions change ever so quickly in
these retromanic times, it would
not be inconceivable to see the
world come around to Erickson's
way of seeing things.♦ THE UBYSSEY • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13,1998 ,
Electing Electoral Area A
-■j^ttc ,,;-.&*".
Dr. Patricia Rupnow, Optometrist
Dr. Stephanie Brooks, Optometrist
General Eye
and Vision Care
4320 W.1 Oth Ave.
Vancouver, BC <
(604)224 2322
"If we have any problems
we go to UBC. They
[the university] are
the owners, developers,
and government all in
one, it's not workable."
—Dianne Wells-Ledingham,
resident of hampton place
the UBC campus as shown above along with Pacific Spirit Park and the endowment lands may get its own
elected municipal government pending a report from the governance committee.
 by Alex Bustos
A committee of local politicians and university representatives is
about to begin a study that could bring a municipal government and
elected representatives to the UBC area for the first
Electoral Area A, the region comprising the university campus and neighbouring endowment lands, is not
part of the city of Vancouver.
"The endowment lands" explains Paul Tennant, a
UBC political science professor, "is the only urban area
in British Columbia directly ruled by the province."
Residents of the endowment lands pay taxes to, and
receive services from, Victoria, but are barred from voting in Vancouver municipal elections.
For those living on university administered land, the
situation is stightly different: on-campus residents, who
also cannot vote in city elections, pay the university a
fee for such services as water and solid waste.
Dianne Wells-Ledingham, representative for residents from Hampton Place—which lies within the area
controlled by UBC—says this situation cannot continue.
"If we have any problems we go to UBC," she said.
"They (the university) are the owners, developers, and
government all in one, it's not workable."
Unlike those living in campus dorms or Hampton
Place, university endowment lands (UEL) residents
receive services from the province and do not have to
pay the university any residential fees. This doesn't
mean, however, that people living in the UEL are not concerned about
acquiring local government.
Peggy Bloom, a director on the UEL Tenants Society, is adamant
about making the residents of some 440 endowment lands households heard.
"We can make this process work," she insisted, "and if we are not
represented we will make our voices heard by fax, by telephone, by
Like Wells-Ledingham, Bloom is keeping a close eye on the local
governance issue.
"Our principle interests (in the process) are that it be democratic,
that the tenants' concerns be represented by per son... and that our
interested be more represented."
The governance of Electoral A came into question during the formulation of UBC's Official Community Plan (OCP) which passed in
July 97. Input from the area's students and residents on the plan
stressed the importance of creating a municipal government.
This past summer the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD)
passed bylaw 840, calling for a study to look into bringing local government to Electoral Area A, and whether it is a good idea. According
to the document outlining the studies structure, the governance committee must decide on "whether all or part of the Electoral Area A is
included in a new incorporated municipality or whether all or part is
included within the City of Vancouver."
A governance committee, a seven member panel, has been given
the mandate to oversee this study.
Erica Crichton.. the elected Electoral Area A GVRD representative,
said the committee will probably be in place by February 20—almost
a month behind schedule. The delay, said Crichton, was caused by a
holdup in the selection of committee members.
There are four appointed members on the governance committee:
a representative from the university, the city of Vancouver, the GVRD,
and Crichton. This group is currently in the process of selecting the
remaining three members who will represent Hampton Place, UEL
residents and the campus community respectively.
The governance committee is scheduled to present its final report
this coming October. Once this report is presented, UBC, the city of
Vancouver and the GVRD will study the recommendations and in turn
advise the Minister of Municipal Affairs on what course of action
should be taken. That decision could bring elected government to the
area by January 2000.*>
2291   West Broadway Ph.   733-2821
DOOtf&S AT liPmf
fti%If*<r >0\jPi& OWEETIE*! THE
UBC FilmSoc
Feb 13-15, Norm Theatre, SUB
Romeo & Juliet
9:30 PM
1-3697      A L'fe Less Ordinary
The Pacific Rim Club presents...
A Wine &Cheese Event
"Coast to Coast in the Pacific Era"
Tuesday, February 24th, 7:00pm to 9:30 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Dr. Martha Piper, President of U.B.C.
Dr. William Saywell, President of the Asia Pacific Foundation
Dr. Paz Buttedahl, Buttedahl R&D Associates Inc./ Team Canada
Tickets are limited. Earlybird and Group Rates. Tickets are at the U.B.C.
Box Office. For more info, call 822-6401
Gold Sponsors:   Hongkong Bank of Canada
The Asia Pacific Foundation
Hyatt Regency Hotel
1320 FM
Allders International Duty Free
Japan Airlines
Silver Sponsors:
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Round Trip Fare-$7.00
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Administration- (604) 926-5612
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Lounge is dead, long live lounge
by Bryce Edwards
During a night like this, in the packed, smoky, plush surrounds of The Waldorf Hotel, the barriers between the audience and the performers, between the entertainers and the
entertained, start to slip. It's the third Saturday of the
month, which means the Blue Lizard Cocktail Club is up and
swinging. .And the show is not just the fourteen piece swing
orchestra on stage. The show, swirling around the tiki torches and faux-Gaugin paintings, is the audience.
As the martinis wear on, it starts feeling more and more
like a waking dream, like a time forgotten. Lost treasures,
like bowler hats, fezzes and feather boas, have been pillt ged
from grandparents' closets and dusted off. Most of the * >eo-
ple in the room weren't alive for swing the first time
A few people remember, but even they havi' to li^ht off
the fog. Hartley Brown, pushing fifty, remembers see ng
Louie Armstrong in Ontario in 1959. "This reminds mi of
that," he says. "It's like those 38 years never
happened," says Hartley, who was seven
when he last tripped the light fantastic
in the cocktail scene.
He is possibly the only person in
the room with lounge experience
prior to the nineties. He is also
one of the few baby boomers visible in the crowd tonight. The Blue
Lizard is a boomer-free zone.
But their kids are on to something, indulging in a curious nostalgia for a time long passe. Moving
past the sixties psychedelia, past the
British invasion, well back into the cultural vault, the kids have come up with the
world before World War Two: swing, hot jazz,
cocktails and sophistication. But the scene at the
Blue Lizard is vintage, not antique. Antique implies
fragility while vintage culture, like vintage wine, implies
something at the peak of its flavour. Something that is wise
about the world and vital, despite its age.
Lounging was reborn in Vancouver when Edward
Tokarek, Kenneth Schroeder and Maxine von Minx decided
they needed some glamour in their fives. Three refugees
from grunge, they took a road trip to Las Vegas. Upon
returning, they rented the Polynesian rooms at The Waldorf
Hotel on East Hastings (which are rated by world Tiki culture expert Otto Von Strauheim as the fourth best Tiki
rooms in the world) and started hosting cocktail parties on
the third Saturday of each month, dubbing them the Blue
Lizard Cocktail Club. The first was on June 15, 1995. Within
months, the scene had exploded. The shows continue to sell
out today.
Since then, Tokarek has left Blue Lizard, returning to
antique furniture restoration, and Von Minx is working in
the rave scene. Only Schroeder remains, and from the bamboo hut bar of Blue Lizard Productions' Gastown office, he
says the phenomenon is all about rediscovering something
that should never have been forgotten: "People are just
embracing it now, because old values are back. People want
to touch again. People want to 'touch dance,' they want to be
able to talk to somebody, to have a great conversation over
a nice drink...there's nothing better."
While many in the mainstream have heard ofthe lounge
scene, it still remains, like raves, a somewhat rarefied
event. Somewhat.
"At the beginning, it was a real edgy kind of hipster
thing," shouts Cass King, Blue Lizard 'diva of ceremonies
and chief bottle-washer,' above the grey-haired, tuxedo-clad,
hot-swing orchestra. "A lot of young, trendy people were
The Blue Lizard
Lounge has been
going strong for
more than two years. Some
are saying lounge is dead.
Maybe not...
-S ** ;
*«,   *
CAS.S KING holds on for dear life at the Blue Lizard Lounge.
corxiing...and now we're seeing a broader mix." Charged
largely with setting the ipie. King, resplendent in a feathered tiara and shimmering cocktail gown, drifts through the
packed Polynesian rooms at The Waldorf Hotel, smiling and
schmoozing with the five hunclred strong crowd.
"People want an excuse to be fabulous," King says. In this
world, we dress and we act like drudges..! live near a high
school, and everybody...they looklike they're in uniforms. I
don't want to say "These kids today,' but people dress down.
They dress like they're going gardening. We are the backlash. We are the excuse for people to come out, dress up, put
on the ritz and be fabulous." " .-
If you had to sum up the Blue LizardfjOunge in one word,
'fabulous' would do it. That's fabulous, %ind you, not fab.
Here, all hearkens back to the grand old ti%ps, when sophistication and etiquette and eloquence went wnd in hand in
hand. '^
Still, the crowd at fhe Blue Lizard reflects f|e ambiguous
nature of the establishment While they enjoy^an elegant,
sumptuous, fantastic scene, they also entertain va%ie worries
of its expiry date. The doubts crop up. Why this frlof nostalgia? Are we performing CPR on a corpse already embalmed?
"It's not a trend, it's NOT a revolution," insists
Terence Gunn, a DJ and lounge-scene founder
from Seattle. "It's culture. It's a lifestyle." The
loungers don't want to be seen as a fad, resting as
they do on sixty-plus years of history. And in one
way, they're right: it's hard for something so
interwoven into the fabric of our culture to die.
"People like to put labels on things so they can
tuck them away and dismiss them," says Cass,
"but I think this is more than any label. It's more
than lounge, it's more than swing, it's more than
kitsch, it's more than vintage or retro...this is a
vitality. Look at those people dancing," she commands, gesturing to the swinging, chaotic dance
floor, "That's vitality. That's life."
While curious onlookers now horde into the
Blue Lizard, eccentrics keep the floor interesting.
They get a lot of encouragement down here at the
Lizard, which can feel like a game of Clue come to
life. The naughty nurse, with high-cut dress and
low cut top, doles out spankings to willing penitents. A gentleman wears a complete dandy suit,
monocle included. At least two Austin Powers
cruise the waters, one complete with fake cross-
hatched teeth, muttering "be-have" to passers-by.
Several martinis to the wind, someone informs
me that he is the fourth Earl of Berrick, and that
the third is not expected here tonight. Cass tells of
a man who showed up with business cards that
read 'Sweaty Lazar— Talant Agent.' "He'd come up
to you and say 'Oh baby, oh baby, you're fabulous.
Stick with me, baby, I'm going to make you a
star,'" she laughs, "and then he'd tuck the card
into your lapel or something."
Pushing the limits of taste and fashion is a
Blue Lizard specialty. "We had a woman show
up on New Year's wearing nothing but a lace
dress," says Megan-Fay, the Massage Goddess,
holding court between the mambo hut and the
Polynesian room. "Nothing." Her eyes widen at
the memory.
-Drifting around, Mary, a dowager from Seattle,
can be seen, her smile brilliant beneath her
sequined hat, her black cocktail dress clinging to
her ageing body. The point is not that, by general-
consensus standards, she looks fabulous. But
tonight, on her night of nights, she is fabulous, and
no one is going to make her believe otherwise.
She may be missing the irony. Or those stuck in nineties
cynicism may be creating it. The beauty of the lounge scene
is that it resurrects a world without irony, or at least a world
before irony. And though any resurrection can't help but
have an ironic twist, those, like Mary, who can see through
the irony and the fear and cynicism that engender it, are
having more fun.
Tough for us i*wentysomethings to take, at first That anyone could, as King puts it, "reject the pretension of apathy
and angst."
But more and more are twigging to the power of make-
"Yeah, it's all pretense," says Geordie Aitkens, a UBC student whose spiked hair sits like a crown of thorns above a
silver lame shirt, "but it's a pretense lacking cynicism."
It's a view echoed by many of the students here tonight.
"It's got a lot of style, a lot of class," enthuses Jen Sussman,
a first-year Arts student, "It's so much more exciting than
the average night going to Sonar."
"It's not the past it's not the future," says Aitkens, surveying the swinging dance floor. "It's out of time, you know
what I'm saying?" ♦
Almodovar uncovers the many layers of Live Flesh
Live Flesh
opens on Feb 13 in selected theatres
by Holly Kim
Live Flesh is a movie about love, lust, passion, and revenge.
Yet it manages to deliver more than just cheap thrills and a
lot of naked people. It's an illustration of how the lives of five
people hving in Spain are intricately related to each other.
It's also a satire on how American culture dominates Spain,
while giving an intimate record of the political changes that
Spain has gone through in the last 20 years.
The film begins with the night Victor is born on a bus
during a period of political instability in Spain. Twenty years
pass by and the adult Victor falls in love with a diplomat's
daughter, Elena. While Victor tries to win Elena's affection,
he gets involved in a shooting of a police officer, David, and
is sent to jail. After 4 years, Victor gets out of jail with
vengeance on his mind. The lives of all involved get more
and more complicated and destroyed.
Throughout the film, writer/director Pedro Almodovar
criticises how American culture dominates contemporary
Spanish society. .Almodovar includes well known
American products and brand names in several scenes,
showing the insidious affect j\merican culture has had on
the day to day lives of Spanish people, although his
approach to the satire is not an obvious one, it is very effective and identifiable.
He also includes, in the beginning and at the end of the
movie, a narrative on the changes that the Spanish political
system has undergone in the last twenty odd years—how it
changed from the Franco government's State of Exception
of limited freedom to a democratic society.
Every single aspect of this movie works together. The acting is superb, and the story line original. The music carries
a lot of meaning and the lyrics assume the role of narrator.
The work of cinematography is so beautiful every scene
could stand alone as a vibrant colour photograph.
The director didn't just stop at making a beautiful, sexy
film about love and lust. Live Flesh is a sophisticated movie
with different layers that range from the social, historic, and
political situation of Spain to a universal love story. ♦
From free jazz
to the Duke,
Montreal dance
troop swings
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Feb. 10
by Jo-Ann Chiu
You don't need to know anything
about ballet to enjoy Les Ballets
jazz de Montreal, li you like jazz
music, you would have enjoyed
the company's only Vancouver
performance, Tuesday night.
The company presented three
works, starting with Art-Tisse,
which featured the thrilling clarinet music of French musician
Michel Portal. It was a virtuoso
instrumental piece, where the
music contained an energy reminiscent of Tex-Mex Tejano and
even evoked the same electric air
of African drumming.
There was no fretting over
frilly tutus or satin pointe shoes,
Les Ballets jazz is less about
dancers as bouncing dolls or sugarplum fairies, than it is about
using the human body as an interpreter of music. This was demonstrated by the company through
out the evening—right down to the
hula-like wiggle of the dancers'
Circuit, featured music by
British composer Django Bates
and was described by one critic as
"a nervous and frequently aggravating score." After viewing the
piece myself I understand this
reaction was possibly due to atonal influences in the music similar
to Ornette Coleman's free jazz.
Free jazz is anything but accessible—to some it can sound like a
fusion between a set of horn
instruments and a nightmare. But
the company's funky black outfits
and the sheer athleticism of its
dancers made up for the musical
The final piece. It's in the Air,
used music from several composers, but extensively featured
jazz great Duke Ellington and his
'jungle music." Twirling choreography, combined with the dancers' great costumes, thrilled the
People who are strictly interested in traditional, classical
dance may not necessarily
empathise with the freedom and
vibrancy of Les Ballets jazz de
Montreal, but if you're into fiinky
takes on ballet and jazz it was a
show not to be missed. ♦
Another Farf of the House Thursday
by Migdalia Cruz is inspired by to Sunday at 8:00 p.m.
The House of Bernarda Alba Adults $10
by Federico Garcia Lorca Seniors & Students $8*
* contains suggestive scenes
Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery & N.W. Marine Dr. Call 224-8007
3rd Annual General Meeting
ofthe Ubyssey
Publications Society
Wednesday, February 25,1998
12:00 noon
AMS Council Chambers-
SUB 206
All members of
the Ubyssey Publications Society
are invited to attend the AGM
Come and meet
the new Board of Directors,
editors, and staff.
The UBC Writing Centre offers six-week non-credit
courses emphasizing English writing for academic,
technical and research purposes.
Classes are held on the UBC campus.
Getting Ahead with Grammar
Enables participants to detect and
correct grammatical errors as well as
produce clear, concise sentences and
Tuesdays, February 24-March 31,
7-10 pm. $175.
Writing Essays about Literature
Focuses on literary terminology, close
reading, essay development and
techniques for incorporating
quotations and references.
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
February 24-Apr 2,12:30-2 pm. $175.
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
February24-Apr2,4:30-6 pm. $175.
Persuasion and Rhetorical Analysis
Focuses on effective organization,
development and expression in
argumentative essays.
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
February 24-Apr 2,12:30-2 pm. $175.
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
February 24-Apr 2,4:30-6 pm. $175.
Preparation for Professional
Communication I: Case Studies for
Memos and Letters
Outlines standard memo and business
letter formats and analyzes the most
effective ways to communicate
messages to their intended recipients.
Mondays and Wednesdays,
February 23-April 1,4:30-6 pm, $175.
Preparation for Professional
Communication II: Oral Presentations
Enables students to assess and engage
an audience, present themselves clearly, organize material logically and use
audio/visual tools effectively.
Mondays and Wednesdays,
February 23-April 1,4:30-6 pm. $175.
Information: 822-9564
www.cstudies.ubc.ca/wc 8
Vancouver Rape Relief and
Woman's Shelter needs women who
are interested in volunteering for our;
24 hour crisis line and Transportation
house for Women and their children
Training Sessions Tuesday
For more info, and a training interview call 872-8212
Forum on the MAl
Wed Feb 25 12:30-1:30 in lhe conversation pit Speakers from the Council of
Canadians and the Centre for Policy
Alternatives. Presented by the Global
Development and Student Enviroment
First Nations House of Learning 10th
Year Anniversary Celebrations. UBC
President Speaker's Series: Sacajawea
and Her sisters: Images and Indians.
Feb 26 12:0O-2pm Sty-Wet-Tan 1985
West Mall
Movies \
(Over 5,000 diverse videos)   s
(Music CD's buy & trade)
(PC, Nin 64, Sony PSX)
III Hllf.  IJImi
t Newspapers & Video   p
i       4453 West Tenth
■ |   (Two Blks East of University Blvd. Main Gate)   :
•    (604)222-8322    (604)222-8333
The Madeleine Sophie Barat Award
Subject: The Creative and Responsible Use of Freedom.
Choose your own focus, e.g. Literature, Art,
Capitalism, Political Science, the Environment,
Interpersonal Relations, History, etc.
Eligibility: All 3rd and 4th year undergraduate and all
graduate students at UBC.
Prize: $1000.00
Submission Deadline: Friday 29 May 1998
Prizes awarded: Friday 25 September 1998
Application Forms are available Monday to Friday 10
am to 4 pm at St. Mark's College, 5935 Iona Drive,
at the extreme North East corner of the Campus.
SAVE 25%
on all Rentals
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Open 7 days a week
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Michelle Johansson
had a chance to be
with the best in
Nagano. But she's
staying home.
by Wolf Depner
P«k Royal North
Whit* Spot —*•» r^j
Upper Uvtlt Higtwiy {#1)
isr fantasies
She could be over there with the world watching her.
Instead, she'll stay up late to watch the Olympics on
the tube, losing sleep while hoping for a moment of
insight into a world many time zones away. .And as
she watches the players go up and down the ice,
she'll recognise numbers, faces and names.
"Oh, I know her. I used to
play with her. She has got a
great wrist shot," she'll say.
She'll get right into the game.
But when it is all over, after
the final horn blows and the
players step off the ice,
Michelle Johansson will still
be in Vancouver. Nagano—an
ocean away. .And she has every
reason to be bitter.
As a dual citizen (she holds
an aAmerican and Canadian
passport) Johansson tried out
for Team USA and Team
Canada this past year, only to
be sent home both times. "I
was closer to [making] Canada
than the United States, which
is kinda scary," she says. 'But
then again, I don't think my fence-hopping helped in
the matter. Nobody wanted me."
Johansson, now playing for UBC, knows rejection
well. "I think I hold the record for being cut the most
from the national team," she jokes as she talks about
her many failed attempts to make the aAmerican
national team. Her first tryout was in 1990. She was
let go, only to come back the next year. And so on.
She finally made the team in 1996, playing four
games in the Three Nations Cup tournament, won 1-
0 in overtime by Canada over the United States.
"I played my best hockey that year. Those were my
glory days." But her steady performance, which includ
ed being named the game's first star in a 4-3 US victory over Finland, was apparently not good enough for
head coach Ben Smith, who cut Johansson just before
the 1997 World Championships.
She gave it one more shot this past spring, but as
in years past, she was asked to clean out her locker
This time around it hurt the most. She was
reminded of her pain when Canada and the United
States met in Vancouver in late November for a
Nagano tune-up match. "It was a little bit hard for me
when they came to Vancouver," she says quietly, her
voice lacking its trademark bounce.
As the Games drew nearer, family called to see
how she was holding up. "My brother has been calling me, asking 'Are you OK? So has my mom because
there is the realisation that it is actually here and I'm
not there."
She will be home, watching and wondering what it
would be like to make history. "I know how hard
everyone worked, and, like, it is such a great moment
for the sport that whoever is there is going to represent the sport so well. It is just going to be a blast. It
is not like I'm sitting there
watching bitter. Like I'm
just excited and want
everyone to do well.
"I wouldn't lie," she
adds. "It is true. I'm a little
like 'oh I could be there.'
But I am not and deal with
She has dealt with it
through humour. Indeed,
she seems to have a good
time all the time as her
easy-going manners and
quirky language leave no
room for pretense. She
makes fun of her love for
theatre and dismisses
classic literature as 'old
stuff even though she
loves reading Plato and Homer. "Who is this girl ?
She is so cultured," she asks self-mockingly. She is
humble all right, a trait which has served her well
over the past years. But Johansson has also every reason to follow the Bard's advice: to thine own self be
Johansson may not be going to Nagano, but she
can be proud of the places she has gone to in the
rapidly growing world of women's ice hockey. Her
career sounds even more impressive when you consider where she was born and learned the game.
Hockey Star continued on p. 9
It is just going to be a
blast. It is not like I'm sitting there watching bitter.
Like I'm just excited and
want everyone to do well. I
wouldn't lie. It is true. I'm
a little like 'oh I could be
there.' But I am not and
deal with it.
Hockey Star cont'd from p. 8
Walnut Creek, CA, a suburban enclave of 70,000 souls just
north of San Francisco, perfect for raising a family But hockey?
Don't they play more hockey on the ice ball that's Pluto?
As Johansson grew up, there was only one other kid in
town who knew how to lace'em up: her brother. And ten years
ago, only twelve girls in all of California played the game.
"Kids on my team would come from all over the place and
there were like no hockey friends at school. A few people
knew I was playing hockey, but it was like 'what? whatever!"
Her next stop would be Providence College in iRhode
Island where she played with current Team USA star Cammie
Granato, sister of NHL forward Tony Granato. They roomed
together and are best friends to this day.
During her four years at Providence, she was team captain
for two years and led her school to two straight East Coast
Hockey Association titles. (The streak eventually stopped at
four). She then moved north, playing three years for
Concordia University in Montreal, before corning to UBC in
the summer.
The Birds are currently in Calgary, competing in the first
ever Canada West championships. And when Johansson steps
on the ice, she is asked to do two things: create offense—she
was the leading scorer during the regular season with eight
goals and nine assists in 23 games—and lead the kids.
As the Birds' most experienced player, she has assumed a
quiet leadership position on a team still adjusting to an influx
of young, inexperienced players. "My role on the team is
probably more like 'show the kids where they can be, where
they can get with a lot of hard work.' I still take any ice time I
can get just to get better and hopefully, they'll see that. All
these girls have the potential to go as far as they want."
"She is a real team player and unbelievably positive," says
Birds goalie Julie Douglas. "On her first day here she knew
everyone's first name, last name, and she was right in there,
getting everybody involved. She totally expects to win every
game and when people expect to win, then everybody else
starts believing they can win and it makes a difference."
Johansson hopes to make a difference beyond her playing
days also. Planning to be a teacher, Johansson says she wants
to coach one day "just for fun, because I have a good time."
More good times are around the corner as she follows
Cammie on TV, but every so often her thoughts drift off into the
"May be 2002—I'll only be thirty. But the game is evolving so
fast, that I think it's a younger kids game now, you know. It is
changing, but oh well. That's OK»
KEEP nr UP Sarah Maxwell and Jay-Ann Major go digging tlnursday night richard lam photo
by Wolf Depner
When the women's volleyball team
faces the Saskatchewan Huskies, Uie
results are as predictable" as
Hallmark cards being exchangc:d on
" Valentine's Day.
Last night was no exception.
. Needing only tlie minimum
three sets, the Birds continued I heir
recent domination of the Huskies,
beating them by scores of 15-10, 15-
4 and 18-12 lo take a 1-0 lead in.
their best-of-three Canada West
The Birds are now one victory
away from facing the Alberta
Pandas in the Canada West final.
Game Two goes this afternoon at
3:00 pm.
'We haven't underestimated
them at all. We know they are going
to come out strong and we're totally
prepared for it," said power Barb
Bellini who was named a Canada
West All Star earlier this week.
Bellini certainly justified her nomination as she led the Birds with ten
kills, seventeen dig.-?, and live blocks
as the Birds continued to have their
way with the Huskies.
The* Birds won all lour leagues
games against rhe Huskies this sea
son and Ihe last tine tlio two teams
met during the regular season, the
Birds needed less than an hour to
de^law the Huskies, who finished
11-11 on the season.
But Thursday's game was more
competitive right from the start as
the Huskies jumped out to a quick 7-
2 lead, thanks to some strong blocking and several umforced errors
committed by this-Birds.
"The first five, six points were
just jitters, you know, ihe nervousness and anxiety of starting arid just
playing/  said UBC head  coach
Enmnia Russo, named Canada West
coach of the year earlier this week
after kading the Birds to a 16-6
record in her rookie year as bench
boss. "But I was happy with the way
they came out of it"
UBC rallied to tie the game, eventually winning the set 15-10 as a
Melanie Griswold and Izabela Rudol
combined for a big block.
The Birds maintained their
momentum into the second set, winning the first six points to clinch the
second set 15-4.
Set number teee was the most
entertaining as the Huskies pushed
the Birds all the way, toading points
for points. "We have to be able to
play like that/ said Russo, "All our
matches from here on are going to
be like mat Back and forth—and you
have to stay in the match.
Omerwise, it is going to be over
pretty quickly/*!-
Arts Undergraduate Society Elections
are coming up
Positions available:
:     President
Vice-President (Internal)
Vice-President (External)
Vice-President (Finance)
Academic Co-ordinator
Promotions Co-ordinator
Sports Co-ordinator
Social Co-ordinator
AMS Representatives (5)
General Officers (6)
-Pick up your elections packages today at the AUS Office (Buch A207)
•Nominations are due in Buch   A207 by 4:00, Friday, Feb. 27th.
-Voting takes place in Koerner Library, the SUB and Buchanan A from
Monday, March 9th to Friday, March 13th.
•Any questions, contact Jason Murray, AUS President, at 822-4403 or drop
by Buch A207.
Travel CUTS offers you another exclusive deal1.
Fiy forgPgn
Now, for a limited time, you can fly for $290
to London luhen you book a specific Contiki tour.
Drop by your nearest Travel CUTS for details.
Owned and operated by the Canadian Federation of Students
SUB, 822-6890
203-5728 University Blvd.
Contiki is the world's
largest tour operator for
18 to 35 year olds.
-Tor   Xa-3Sa
Participants must have a valid International Student ID Card (ISIC). Tours must commence by
09 May 1998 and must be paid in full by 31 March 1998. Valid for departures from Calgary, Edmonton
or Vancouver only. Full details available at Travel CUTS.
Bring UBC RCMP detachment head Lloyd Plante's business card
to  the  Ubyssey  office (SUB 241k)  and  you could  win  a pair
of courtside seats to an upcoming Grizzlies home game. IARY 13, 1997
|      FEBRUARY 13,1998 • VOLUME 79 ISSUE 34
Editorial Board
Coordinating Editor
Joe Clark I
Sarah Galashan and Chris Nuttall-Smith       \
Richelle Rae j
Wolf Depner j
Jamie Woods
Richard Lam j
Federico Barahona
The Ubyssey is the official student newspa- i
per of the University of British Columbia. It j
is published every Tuesday and Friday by
The Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an  autonomous,  democratically j
run student organisation, and all students 1
are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the ■
Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opin- :
ion of the staff, and do not necessarily >
reflect    the    views    of    The    Ubyssey \
Publications Society or the University of j
British Columbia. i
The Ubyssey is a founding member of \
Canadian University Press (CUP) and firmly «
adheres to CUP's guiding principles. i
All editorial content appearing in The j
Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey ]
Publications Society. Stories, opinions, pho- \
tographs and artwork contained herein >
cannot be reproduced without the j
expressed, written permission of The j
Ubyssey Publications Society.
Letters to the editor must be under i
300 words. Please include your phone j
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 j
at the editorial office of The Ubyssey, oth- \
en/vise verification will be done by phone. >
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 ;
words but under 750 words and are run \
according to space. j
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by j
Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be given j
to letters and perspectives over freestyles j
unless the latter is time senstitive. Opinion }
pieces will not be run until the identity of the j
writer has been verified. \
Editorial Office
Room 241K, Student Union Building,
6138 Student Union Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301 fax: (604) 822-9279
Business Office
Room 245, Student Union Building
advertising: (604) 822-1654
business office: (604) 822-6681
fax: (604) 822-1658
Business Manager
Fernie Pereira
Ad Sales
Stephanie Keane
Ad Design
Afshin Mehin
It had finally come, reading break. Doug Quan
couldn't find suntan lotion and was frying somewhere south of Joe Clark's House, Quan would later
die of skin cancer. Federico Barahona and Wolf
Depner were at home cheering on Bryce Edwards
and Ian Sonshine in the two man bob sled. Jamie
Woods and Richelle Rae were mugged on the way
to Vegas by a fat Elvis impersonator, who revealed
himself to be Richard Lam. Sarah Galashan, Daliah :
Merzaban and Kate Butkus were busily trying to
fumigate Galashan's bed when they had a craving :
for pizza. To their surprise Chris Nuttall-Smith, the
new pizza boy arrived with their pizzas twenty minutes late. Holly Kim and Cynthia Lee decided to fly
to Toronto and had their plane hijacked by Tara
Westover and Stoke Tonne and ordered the pilot to  :
take them to Mexico. Ron Nurwisah, who wouldn't !
buckle his seat belt got in their way and was :
sprayed with bullets. Jo-Ann Chiu tired from j
midterms just studied Todd Silver ate pizza. While \
Alex Bustos stayed glued to the Women's figure :
skating finals.
Welcome to the New Millenium?
The federal government's budget comes out in
under two weeks and there's some excited
whispering going on around Parliament. After
a few years of scrimping and saving, cutting
and underfunding, the feds have come up with
a surplus. So what to spend it on?
If all the leaks, press reports and hype ring
true the answer will be fhe so-called Millenium
Fund—ringing in at anywhere between $800
million and $3 billion—as a sinking endowment
fund for student scholarships and bursaries.
Sounds great, right? Dressed up as a fund
that's partly for needy students and partly for
academic acheivers, this is another feel good,
everybody wins boost for Canada's universities and colleges, thanks to our Liberal government. Or is it?
This is the same government that has,
after all, not exactly been committed to post-
secondary education during its five years in
There's been the $2.7 billion cut from post-
secondary education transfer payments since
1993, the national average tuition fee increase
of of 45 per cent, and the rise of average student
debt from $ 13,000 to $22,000.
The feds have put the burden on provincial
governments to make up for the shortfalls by
raising tuition and making universities more
Meanwhile, science labs are cutting back
on equipment and research, classes are getting bigger, libraries are cutting subscriptions
and retiring faculty aren't being replaced. This
federal government has downsized almost
everything about university but tuition, user
fees, enrollment levels and mediocrity.
The Millenium Fund is a band-aid, a flashy
band-aid perhaps, but small use for the gaping
wound that is post-secondary education funding.
Welcome to the new Millenium.4-
Canada Post Publications Sales Agreement Number 0732141
Ubyssey covmgfi
"unfar," "mAious"
As students ofthe Faculty of Law, we
sit stunned at the display of 'yellow
journalism' in Tuesday's Ubyssey.
Your article, "Questionable Equity
Witiiin the Faculty of Law" and its
companion editorial "Ignoring
Complaints Won't Help" were so
malicious and deliberately unfair
that we are nearly too angry to write.
Your paper has singled out the
respected aAssociate Professor Bruce
MacDougall for making up a word
called 'quimblet' in a Irypothetical
law school moot fact pattern. Two
students who aren't in his class (and
who apparently possess a much better dictionary than any of ours)
assert that four letters in that 8-letter
word, when standing alone, spell
out a rude euphemism for 'vagina.'
Professor MacDougall might be
excused for not knowing all the
'crude descriptors' for the female
genitalia, let alone a slang term
from the "turn of the seventeenth
century," and in feet he claims that
he had no idea that a four-letter-
word was lurking within his hypothetical. We see no reason to doubt
his word on this.
The students in question reject
the explanation, arguing somewhat
incredibly that "ignorance is never a
legal defence." This is ridiculous, as
any law student who's actually
cracked a text will know: ignorance
ofthe facts upon which one is acting
is almost always a valid legal
defence (the mens rea requirement
look it up). It's ignorance ofthe rules
that is often no excuse, and noone is
accusing Professor MacDougall of
The ^j-*ssey then holds out this
incident as an example of UBC
Law's "questionable" equity (it is still
difficult to believe that you use
'questionable'—which means doubtful, dubious, shady, untrue or dishonest according to various dictio
naries—in your front-page headline,
rather than your editorial page).
"Many," according to you, report
that these two incidents represent
examples of "growing racism and
sexism within the faculty." "Growing
racism?" One wonders how many of
us you talked to before making this
sweeping generalisation. One of us,
a First Nations student asked your
reporter to call him while she was
preparing the story so he might give
another perspective; she didn't of
And what of Professor
MacDougaU's feet pattern with the
archaic affront? The word was
changed, as soon as a complaint
was made (one student had also
complained that the monickers of
MacDougaU's fictitious htigants—
named for characters from The
Iliad—bore too close a resemblance
to the words 'dUdo' and 'anus': bad
Homer!). The Professor apologised
to his class the next day, and letters
retracting the word frantically flew
out of the Moot Court Registry to
dozens of members ofthe legal community. But again, this was not
enough to satisfy the Ubyssey editors and those who want to see the
Professor's figurative blood spill.
We are most frustrated by the
way that the Ubyssey leaped upon
this nonstory, giving a front page
forum to a couple of students who
are pressing this absurd attack for
reasons best known to themselves.
You then offered opinions ofthe law
school "atmosphere" after interviewing a tiny percentage of the student body.
In your editorial you condemn
certain students as "racist" and
insincere without even talking to
them. This is irresponsible, slanderous and frankly disgusting. When
law students complained about this
at the Ubyssey s office we were told
that it was a 'volunteer paper.' Being
volunteers doesn't absolve you from
acting responsibly, any more than it
excuses the 'volunteers' who tight
ened the nooses at Salem or rooted
out 'pinkos' for McCarthy.
The sad irony is that there are
real problems with gender and
racial equity in the legal profession.
These problems are deep, and they
are complex. Those not inclined to
deal with them might find it easier
to attack those, like Professor
MacDougall, who are trying to. In
doing so for their own political purposes, students do not risk being
"marginalised" they simply risk
being marginal You do yourselves
discredit by going along for the ride.
Doran Chandler (Law 2),
Veronica Franco (Law 3),
BrigUte Gerdes (Law 1),
Craig Jones (Law 3)
Ron Morin(Law2l
Kathy Murchie (Law 2\
Cathy Wauans(Law3)
David Lecovin (Law 3)
Kathryn Trenery-fHarker (Law 3)
John McLachlan (Law 3)
Gabriel Duchome (Law 3)
Jennifer Smith (Law 3)
Jayce Henderson (Law 2)
Ubyssey leaves
distorted impression
The Ubyssey's irresponsible, sensa-
tionalistic pieces in its Feb. 10th
issue convey a malicious and distorted impression of the Faculty of
Law. Presented as evidence of
"growing sexism and racism within
the faculty" is obscure 17th century
prefix, used inadvertently in one
word in one assignment by one professor. The professor, once
apprised of fhe meaning of the prefix, apologized to his class and
changed the wording of the assignment
To support these aUegations, the
Ubyssey editorial referred to "racy
and racist articles" appearing in our
faculty's student newspaper six
months ago. This is an outright lie.
Our faculty and student body would
not tolerate it We are not racist or
sexist Furthermore, the authors
would face action before the BC
Human Rights Tribunal, which,
incidentaUy, is chaired by one of
our professors. There are laws
against racist and sexist publications.
Nor did the Ubyssey see fit to
talk to the Iaaw Students Association
about the complaints process at the
Faculty. We would have told them
that we have an elected
Ombudsperson. Her job, as
described in the official Faculty of
Law Handbook for 1997/98
includes assisting students who
"experience any form of harassment or discrimination from other
students, staff or faculty members."
Law students are aware of this, as
the elections were recent and weU-
publicised. Complaints are not
The comparison to the McEwen
report was way out of line and
extremely offensive. There is no
"systemic sexism and racism" in
the law faculty. I encourage and the
LSA has always encouraged any students with concerns to approach an
LSA executive member or the
Ombudsperson, as we are eager to
constructively resolve any problem
in the faculty in as public or private
a manner as the complainant
desires. And I encourage the
Ubyssey to think twice before portraying a faculty racist sexist and
unresponsive when a bit of footwork would have shown the opposite to be true.
Donovan Plomp
Vice-President External Law
Students Association
more letters
see next page 0
' ' i '      s I j ; t i    i •     1 . '
THE UBYSsiY ->fRirjA¥, FffiRUARY \3,fW-.'UL.
Kenyan activist's road to democracy
APEC was nothing
compared to what
Reverend Timothy
Njoya has seen in
his native Kenya.
Watch him as he
comes to UBC on
a speaking tour.
by Faith Maina
Last night I had a dream. Jean
Chretien with a smile, standing at
the end of a red carpet, waving
frantically to the landing plane. Out
of the plane came a smiling Daniel
A r a p
V^*****""""*%,/ Moi    °f
(   Perspective
with happiness, holding his right
clenched fist in the air, and as if in
motion, walking down the red carpet and into Chretien's bear hug.
And from nowhere appears Martha
Piper who leads Moi to a high table
where she dines him, wines him
while Chretien marvels at the beauty of Kenya's wildlife, shaking his
head as he wonders how Kenya
manages to produce all those longdistance medallist runners every
year. Outside of what seemed like a
house can be seen a group of people shoving, jostling and shouting.
The closer they get to the house, the
more wine Martha Piper pours in
Moi's glass. I'm stiaining to hear
what these people outside are saying. They are making inaudible
voices...why are they speaking in
whispers, I wonder. I can only
vaguely read their posters,
HUMAN RIGHTS? Just when they
were about to get close to the door,
I see a shadowy figure carrying a
fire extinguisher edging close...and
with no signal empties the entire
content on the faces of the unsuspecting crowd. A stampede,
screams, groans. I guess the noise
woke me up...and now...it was just
a dream!...Or was it a lightmare?
Yes, it gives me nightmares to
imagine that my own University
has chosen to remain silent or
appear politically neutral in dealing with countries with questionable human rights records
in the name of trade. And
by the same token, I feel
extremely proud ofthe students   and   faculty   who
steadfastly refuse to be cowed. It is
a battle that can and must be won.
But how long, you may wonder,
can students continue to defend
these fragile freedoms? One way
this can be done is for students to
equip themselves with appropriate
knowledge because as Foucalt says,
"knowledge is power."  Students
need to consciously self-educate
themselves about the events taking
place  around the world.  Every
Student has to be curious, thirst for
knowledge beyond their borders
and link that knowledge to fhe
events surrounding them.   Using
knowledge this way can no longer
Bmger places have food waiting.
We Ye waiting
to make it
At Subway, your sandwich
doesn't sit around and
wait for you. You watch
while we make it just
the way you want it ,
Come and taste the
freshness for yourself
be left to a handful of students
often labeled "troublemakers" in
academic institutions. It is the
responsibility of all students to
defend their freedoms because
freedom can no longer be taken for
granted. Going by the recent APEC
events, complacency is a luxury.
Today it's pepper spray, tomorrow
it could be worse.
Take for instance what is happening on my country, Kenya,
today. Pepper spray and tear gas
for university students? Piece of
cake. Just last July, police gunned
down four university students as
they led a peaceful demonstration
against what they perceived as
roadblocks in the march toward
democratisation. One female student was shot in an exam room.
The policemen in question said
that they did it in self-defense. You
might wonder, defense against
what? Papers and pens? This brutality is not limited to university
students. Other people, including
the clergy, have had their own
Reverend Dr. Timothy Njoya, a
renowned Kenyan scholar and
political activist has his own story
to tell. Last July, as he was preaching at the AU Saints Cathedral in
Nairobi, over 40 policemen came
in. Fumes of tear gas filled the
church. They attacked Njoya together with more than 2000 worshippers with bayonets. These policemen carried weapons, guns, bayonets, helmets. The only weapon
Njoya and his congregation had
was the bible. Njoya is currently on
sabbatical at the University of
Toronto where he came to recuper-
'*% ''••:• .->■
a*» v
www.subway.com    ' -"*■-- .-- j
© 1997 Doctor's Associates Inc.
"*ilr*'iLil M^
1 He
Sfyiiniiii in iPiii-*-*
tv » 'W' *nWF jal *H*ay     8w? fSSSI *&
Buy any sandwich (Deli style or Footlong) and a medium drink and get a second sandwich of
equal or lesser value for 990 ( Expires February 20/98 ). Downstairs in Village, 5728
University Blvd. 221 -7823. Open Wed, Fri, Sat 10-2 am and Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sun 10-12 am.
ate and attend a clinic because of
his broken limbs. He says, "there is
no price tag for democracy, for a
worthy cause. Many more people
may die."
Reverend Dr. Njoya, at the invitation of UBC Kenya Students
Association and International
House, wiU be speaking on the origin of the current democratisation
process in Kenya and the part faith
as the context, forum, reason, catalyst, strategy and resource for
awakening an acquiescent civil
society into an effective movement
for change. This has taken away the
immunity and impunity of the gov-
An open letter
to ihe Ubyssey sbtf
Since we MMly spoke iibout your
articles about the law school you
have admitted that the coverage was
flawed. I suggest mat it was more
than that
You have said that equity at the
law school was 'questioi table'. You
now admit that this conclusion is not
ernment to violate human rights, to
lie and loot without accountability.
"New history of Kenya has painted
itself with our blood," he says.
The title of this topic wiU be The
Tedious Road to Democracy.
Njoya's address wiU be preceded
by a Multidisciplinary Conference
in which Kenyan students wiU give
paper presentations. ♦
Faith Maina is a PhD
candidate and a member of
the Center for the Study of
Curriculum and Instruction
letters cont'd
You have said that Professor
I You now admit that this was not true
i either.
You have said that quimblets'
: were described as vile novelties. You
i now admit that this was false.
! You say that "man*/ romplain of
I; 'growing racicsm and sexism" in the
| feculty, bul now admit that you didn't talk to "many student**" who said
The entire balance of the discus-
. sions of "quimblete* simply quotes
two students, whose complaints
were largely based on the mistruths
mentioned above coupled with their
own narrow political aganda which
in the opinion of many has more to
do with the relative power of certain
faculty members man with legitimate complaints.
And yetyou have the gall to reply
to those students who compfein
about the errors above that you
stand by the substance of your story,
when every premise on which it is
based is dernon^tti-ably false.
On the basis of these and other
falsehoods matt you have parroted,
you have tarred good people as
racists and mi^igymsts. It is your
responsibility to salvage what you
can from the damage to their
careers. Are you now prepared to
offer a fufl apology, with tlie same
vigor with which you pursued the
witch hunt to begin with?
Come in during
reading week
and get
Our value makes cents.
2291W. Broadway (at Vine)* 733-2821
On love lost, never had and Jack Daniels
Trevor Presley
Once again Valentine Day springs her deadly arrows unto us. Now I warn you, those
of you who are happily attached, calling each other cute nicknames like "smuggens
face", hopelessly disillusioned that you won't one day be burning their clothes and
putting "Neat" in their shampoo bottle after they dump you for your
roommate...well this
rant may not be for you.
Besides your time is
probably better spent in
over-priced Italian
restaurants being served
by actors you can't nail
an audition celebrating
a day invented by
Hallmark. No, this little
diatribe is for those who
only companion on
February 14 will be Jack
Daniel's and a TV documentary call "The origins of butter—a true
Now St. Valentine is
especially cruel this year
as his blessed day falls
on   a   Saturday.    Now
usually Feb. 14 falls
on a weekday like a Wednesday
where you can just go along in
your  day  to  day bliss  eating
cheese  doodles  on  the  couch,
combing your knuckle hairs and trying to
remember the names of the Smurfs when
suddenly   POOF!  you   are   watching   Dr.
Carter perform a vasectomy on Dr. Ross
and you realise it's Thursday and you completely forgot about Valentines Day! Well
chump, you're not going to be that lucky this year!
You see Saturday is a day in the week where you
have to make plans with your friends like, "Hey Niki, Marc, Sarah and Mike, let's go
down to the PIT, drink till we can't see, spend the morning over the toilet bowl re-living what we had for dinner as a freight train with extra locomotives and overloaded
box cars runs through our heads as we make a mental note to drink more water next
time!" Well, making plans this Saturday is going to be a litde tricky as your "couple
friends" spend the night making Muffins and exchanging litde useful presents like
those litde cinnamon heart candies that get lodged behind the bookcase
where their girlfriend's cat finds it and chokes to death on it. "Look
smuggens face, I accidentally killed your cat which used to cause me to
break out in allergic hives— happy Valentines Day!"
With them out of the picture you'd be left spending the night with Andy "Stalker" Smith and Jane
"recently released from the flesh-eating bacterial
clinic" Summers. The three of you will of course
spend the night drinking your faces off until you
finally get up the courage to call your exes (courage
meaning losing all sense that phoning a person at
3 am in the morning intoxicated is not
found in the Martha Stewart etiquette
Well take heart, there's usually some great
movies on TV like "Casablanca", "Gone With the
Wind", "The Princess Bride"...well maybe TV isn't
such a great option if don't want to end up gobbling
down to contents of your aspirin bottle or find your
self on top of the clock tower with a deer rifle.
Perhaps a better option would be the laundry
mat and supermarket which, strangely enough, are
usually deserted on Saturday night..So cheer up
and send your self a card and some flowers, that is
if you can call Hemlock a flower...and remember St.
Patrick's day is just around the corner, and that all
that holiday requires you to do is guzzle green beer
and pretend you like those potato farming Irish
who drink so much they think they see leprechauns
at the end of rainbows!*?*
Trevor Presley is a former UBC student who
now works in the exciting world of insurance
sales. He does not have a date for Vakumne's Day.
•VANCOUVER 688-1277
•VICTORIA 384-2215
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