UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Feb 2, 2012

Item Metadata


JSON: ubysseynews-1.0126743.json
JSON-LD: ubysseynews-1.0126743-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): ubysseynews-1.0126743-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: ubysseynews-1.0126743-rdf.json
Turtle: ubysseynews-1.0126743-turtle.txt
N-Triples: ubysseynews-1.0126743-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: ubysseynews-1.0126743-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

P3 Our Campus
One on one with
the people who
make UBC
__^m ■— 1
Drawing! News»
Editors: Kalyeena Makortoff & Micki Cowan
02.02.2012 | 3
UBC ordered to process animal research information request
Micki Cowan
News Editor
A provincial ruling will force UBC
to make some decisions on whether
they will reveal additional animal
research information.
STOP UBC Animal Research
(STOP), an animal rights group that
has been working to get more information publicized about animal
research at UBC, received word this
week that the university will have to
continue processing their requests
for information.
The group made a complaint to
the Office ofthe Information and
Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) after
their requests for information from
UBC were stonewalled.
"Earlier last year, UBC appeared
to be moving forward with processing some of our requests, and then
they sent us a fee estimate," said
Brian Vincent, a spokesperson for
STOP. "Shortly after that, UBC appeared to have changed its mind
and said no, we're goingto apply
Section 3.1.e to everything, you're
not getting anything from us."
Vincent was referring to Section
3.1.e ofthe Freedom of Information
and Protection of Privacy Act
(FIPPA), which exempts records
from applying to rules in FIPPA if
they contain research information
on faculty members, teaching or
research assistants, or other persons
carrying out research at a post-secondary education facility.
But the decision made by the
OIPC adjudicator, Jay Fedorak,
was that while many ofthe items of
information STOP was requesting
could be protected by UBC, some
were applicable under the code.
The three items of information
the adjudicator found to not fall under the section were lab inspection
reports conducted bythe Canadian
Council on Animal Care, the source
of primates used at UBC, and names
and affiliations of members ofthe
Animal Care Committee.
"The most important thing is
this ruling does not require [us] to
disclose more information about
animal research...It's about whether
these records are subject to request," said Paul Hancock, Access
and Privacy manager at UBC.
"Once the issues are addressed,
then we need to gather it, then we
need to review it and then we need
to come to a decision on what to
release," he said.
UBC will have 30 calendar days
to decide what steps it will take.
"You're looking at a David and
Goliath situation here...It's encouraging, given those odds, that we [may]
actually manage to compel UBC to
reveal something," said Vincent. 13
—with files from Justin McElroy
TAs rush to find union agreement
Andrew Bates
Senior Web Writer
After ayearandahalfof little
progress, TA contract talks could
escalate quickly.
On Tuesday, executive members
of CUPE 2278, the union representing teaching assistants at UBC, held
an emergency meeting to update
members about "drastic" changes
to the bargaining situation. They
emerged after 90 minutes of discussions vowing to meet again on
February 15, and raised the possibility of calling a strike vote.
"We have been bargaining under
the understandingthat [UBC is]
operating under a net-zero [increase]
mandate. We recently found out
that some people [at UBC] are being
paid increases while some are not,"
said CUPE 2278 President Geraldina
Polanco. "There is money, they're just
not going to budget money for us."
The union pointed to the
Schedule of Remuneration and
Expenses Paid to Employees, which
showed a 9.33 per cent increase in
take-home pay for UBC President
Stephen Toope from 2010 to 2011.
"When I first heard about the
financial injustices that were going
on, I was shocked and appalled,"
said Molly Campbell, a Master's student in Land and Food Systems. "I
really hope we can mobilize all TAs
in the university and make everyone
aware ofthe situation."
But Lucie McNeill, director of
Public Affairs, said that the faculty
and management have not had an
increase in base salary, which may
not be reflected in renumeration
documents. "It's not a secret, [the
net zero mandate] is widely known,"
McNeill said. Toope has not taken an
increase in base salary in four years.
CUPE will be returning this week
News briefs
New animal research data
UBC released new information on
Monday. January 30 about the purposes for which animals were used
in research and educational activities
in 2010.
The information includes a breakdown of six purposes, and what proportion of UBC's animals are used for
each: basic research (64.9 per cent),
medical research (27.1 per cent),
regulatory testing (1.2 per cent), education (1.4 per cent) and breeding
(5.4 per cent).
This information was released to
supplement a prior report stating
how many animals were used for research, what species they were and
how invasive the research was.
A large number of TAs are graduate students and are represented by the Graduate Student Society
to bargaining with the information,
and will have a membership meeting on February 15.
Proposals by both sides have
included a number of changes to the
current contract, including separating a TA's employee duties from
their student duties, and making
a threat of academic harm for TA
complaints worthy of a union grievance. UBC and CUPE have been
negotiating since the current collective bargaining agreement expired
in 2010.
Until now, they've been negotiating on non-monetary issues. The
union aims to finish those negotiations this week before moving on
to monetary issues, which include
obtaining wage parity with TAs at
the University of Toronto.
Staffer from UBC sentenced to
house arrest
John Mwotassubi. who stole
$460,000 from UBC while employed as a financial manager at
BC Children's Hospital, has been
sentenced to two years of house
Mwotassubi stole the money over
seven years by writing fraudulent
chegues to a consulting company
that he owned. The theft was discovered in 2010.
Mwotassubi will be reguired to pay
back the money, and Judge Ronald
Fratkin stated that public shame will
also serve as a punishment: "He'll be
the guy that stole the money from
the Children's Hospital. That's how
he'll be remembered."
Wages for UBC TAs are only
$29.54 per hour compared to $39.92
"I still have a lot of questions,
but a general sense of anger," said
Ryan Davison, a PhD student
at the Institute for Resources,
Environment and Sustainability.
"It's more of a value principle that
the same value of work is valued
more at U of T than UBC."
"UBC doesn't compare itself to
SFU or UVic or the colleges," said
Polanco. "They compare themselves
to U of T. They say that they're a
world class university, then we want
to be treated as though we're employees of a world class university."
"It's a little bit hard to compare,"
McNeill argued, notingthat at some
schools, hourly rates are higher but
Professor's technology brings
the sun inside
A technology developed by UBC
physics professor Lome Whitehead
is set to go into commercia
Whitehead developed compact
sunlight collectors and a prism light
guide, allowing sunlight to be collected from the outside of a building
and transmitted through pipes to
light up the interior.
Plans are underway to incorporate
the technology into prefabricated
building panels leading to substantia
energy savings. The technology has
already been used in demonstrations at BCIT. and is set to be incorporated in the Oregon Sustainability
Centre in Portland.
hours per week are lower. "We want
to make sure we're competitive and
fair across the whole spectrum, not
just one institution."
McNeill remains hopeful. "The
discussions are progressing, they're
respectful, they're productive, I
hear," she said. "I understand that
the parties have reached agreement
on a number of non-monetary issues.
Obviously, the university's priority is
to conclude successful negotiations...
We work for and hope for successful
negotiations as soon as possible."
But the union is worried that budget deliberations won't be addressed
until the summer. "Our labour power is certainly more valuable when
there's a lot of teaching and TAing
that's being done on the campus,"
said Polanco. tH
UBC student allegedly
An alleged assault has left a woman
paralyzed from the waist down and
her family devastated.
Jin Ying Ni. who was just a few
courses away from completing
her Certified General Accountant
designation, was allegedly assaulted
on January 14 by her husband. Mark
Jia. and at time of press remained in
The two met while both attending
UBC. An article in The Province guot-
ed Ni's mother at a news conference,
who said that "the incident destroyed
[Ni's] life." Jia has been released on bail,
and has been ordered not to enter the
hospital where Ni is being treated or
have any contact with Ni. 13
SUB basement
thefts from clubs
still unresolved
Ashwini Manohar
Part of being a club at UBC is managing finances, which translated
this December into the club offices
becoming a target for theft.
The UBC Yoga Club, Dancing
Horizons and the UBC Brewing
Club became victims of theft this
December. The clubs, located in the
SUB basement near Copyright, had
cash boxes with several hundred dollars stolen. In one instance, a small
laptop was taken.
Kathy Yan Li, president ofthe
UBC Brewing Club, lodged a complaint with AMS Security right after
the theft occurred. "They said that
we weren't the first people to report
that and there had been one or two
cases earlier that week. I'm a bit
annoyed about that because they
should've warned us," she said.
But AMS Security manager
Shaun Wilson said that although
one report was filed earlier than the
other two, "nothing in that report
gave notice that we could expect the
other two offices to be stolen from
too." Because the thefts occurred
within a week and at a specified
location, AMS Security now sees a
connection in the incidents.
Since the incidents, various security measures have been taken to
prevent further thefts, including re-
angling existing security cameras in
the targeted hallway.
"Please keep your [door lockbox]
code confidential. Also the policy is
that we don't advise you keep valuables like laptops or large amounts
of cash or cash at all in the club
rooms," added Wilson.
"The problem is that there are no
security cameras here, so we can't
actually see who comes into the
clubs," said Vicky Hoang, treasurer
of Dance Horizons.
The clubs, for the most part, have
written off the loss and moved on.
"We're now considering buying a
safe, just because it's safer—no pun
intended," said Reisz. 13 41 News I 02.02.2012
Low subsidies, high taxes for graduates
Post-secondary graduates contribute more taxes than they were subsidized
Arshy Mann
Managing Editor, Web
A new study argues that students
aren't the freeloaders that some
might believe them to be.
"Paid in Full: Who Pays for
University Education in BC," published bythe Canadian Centre for
Policy Alternatives (CCPA), has
found that British Columbians with
a post-secondary degree contribute
more to the public coffers through
future income taxes than it would
cost taxpayers to pay for their entire
degrees now.
"There seems to be a conventional
wisdom...that students are subsidized and they should stop complaining about high tuition fees because really taxpayers pay for their
education," said Iglika Ivanova, an
economist with the CCPA and the
author ofthe report.
"But because [post-secondary
graduates] earn more money, they
end up paying more taxes. The question is how much more do they pay
in taxes and is that enough to cover
the upfront costs of their degree."
In the study, Ivanova compared
how much it costs to fund a four-
year degree to the expected lifetime
income tax contributions of a university graduate. The higher earnings of degree-holders combined
with lower rates of dependence on
welfare or employment insurance
meant that students more than end
up paying their own way.
"A lot of people, when you talk
about lowering tuition fees, think
you're saying you want to subsidize education," said Ivanova. "But
you're not really subsidizing it. They
Accordingto her findings, governments could cover the entire cost
of tuition twice over and would still
be getting a bargain.
The CCPA study didn't take into
account the various other ways that
degree-holders contribute to the
economy, such as by paying higher
consumption taxes and contributing
to economic growth and innovation.
Ivanova embarked on the project
in order to update a previous CCPA
study done by UBC economist
Robert Allen in 1998, which came to
a similar conclusion.
She was interested if Allen's findings still held at a time when tuition
rates increased substantially and
British Columbians were paying less
in taxes.
"Some people have speculated
that we have so many graduates now
[and] that university education isn't
what it used to be. Maybe it no longer
has a payoff for students," she said.
"But by and large we continue to
find that almost every field of study,
includingthings that you would
Net contribution to government by university graduates
In the graph, darker bars represent male, and ligther bars represent female.
think have no practical value, like
humanities, pay for themselves."
Visual arts was the only discipline
that didn't cover its own cost, because artists tend to earn considerably less than their peers in other
Ivanova went on to argue that
because many prospective students
experience "sticker shock" when
confronted with the high cost of a
university degree, they may decide
to pass on higher education and that
governments are therefore missing
out on the potential tax revenue.
"So why are we putting barriers to
education for so many people by having high tuition fees instead of making sure that everyone who wants to
can get an education and contribute
to society?" she said.
Zach Crispin, chairperson for
the BC wing ofthe Canadian
Federation of Students, argued that
decision-makers should take heed of
this study.
"I would definitely hope that
[governments] would take a look at
the data that's been presented here
bythe CCPA and at least choose to
freeze and work towards reducing
tuition fees in the short term and
really think fully about getting rid of
financial barriers to post-secondary
education," he said.
He also pointed out that the
study demonstrates that the net
gains to the public treasury from
higher education have actually been
"The fact is that when we used to
have a more progressive tax system,
those numbers were higher," he said.
"As we move to reduce tuition fees
and increase the tax base through a
progressive tax system, students are
goingto be paying for their education
more times over and we can actually
increase the quality of it at the same
Ivanova emphasized that regardless of how high tuition fees are, students end up paying for their degrees
one way or another—it's just a matter
of when.
"It's economically feasible and
fairer to ask graduates to pay for
their degrees through taxes after
graduation rather than asking them
to pay through high tuition fees up
front." 13
Profs awarded for research
UBC announces its 2011 faculty awards
Micki Cowan
News Editor
UBC has announced its 2011 faculty
research awards, with awards going
to research on topics ranging from
HIV to computer screens.
The Jacob Biely Research Prize,
which is awarded to an active faculty member with a distinguished
record of research, went to Julio
Montaner for his work in the field of
Montaner has been researching
HIV for "at least a few decades" and
is best known for his contributions
to the development of highly active
antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
His group was central to the
creation ofthe HAART cocktail,
which was unveiled at the 1996
International AIDS Conference in
Vancouver. Since then, Montaner
and his colleagues in Vancouver
and the United States have treated
thousands of HIV-positive people in
BC and millions around the world
with HAART.
"BC today has driven morbidity
and mortality to an all-time low; the
number of new HIV diagnoses in
BC is down by greater than 60 per
cent and the trend continues to go
downwards," he said.
Montaner said he hopes winning
the award will shed light on the issue and garner support.
"BC has been blessed by the support that the provincial government
has been able to give us but...we
haven't been able to convince our
colleagues across the country or at
the federal level that [HAART] is
the way to go."
Wolfgang Heidrich, winner of
the Charles A. McDowell Award,
has been recognized for his excellence in "pure or applied scientific research." His research is
Julio Montaner has received an award for his research on HIV treatment
in computational imaging and
displays, where he works to codify
optical and computational methods.
"For example, in standard photography we just have light projecting through a standard camera lens
onto an image plane and then we
obtain a photograph," said Heidrich
in an interview with The Ubyssey.
Heidrich has been researching in
the field at UBC for ten years. More
recently, he has been working on 3D
Heidrich said that it's a great honour to win the award—not just for
him, but for his graduate students as
well. "It's not just me sitting in my
office and coming up with formulas
and things like that. Every individual project has a very strong involvement bythe graduate students, so I
see it as a recognition also of theirs,"
he said.
The President's Award for Public
Education through Media was
presented to Alfred Hermida ofthe
School of Journalism for sharing
research expertise via the news
The Killam Research Prize
goes to full-time faculty members in recognition of outstanding
research and scholarly contributions. Recipients from the Faculty
of Arts included Neil Safier from
history, Jessica Tracy from psychology, Barbara Dancygier from
English and Dominic Lopes from
From the sciences, winners
included Mark MacLachan from
chemistry, Nemkumar Banthia
from civil engineering, Randy
Gascoyne and David Huntsman,
who both study pathology and
laboratory medicine, and Victor
Leung from electrical and computer
Along with the research awards,
ten fellowships were awarded to
assist faculty members on a recognized study leave. 13
Application website
crashes at deadline
Laura Rodgers
Applying to university is a nerve-
wracking process to begin with,
but some prospective UBC students
were given yet another reason to
worry on the eve of their application
At approximately 10:30pm on
January 30, the second-to-last day
UBC applications were accepted,
prospective students logging in to
submit their applications were unable to do so. When all they wanted
was to submit their information and
then breathe a sigh of relief, a server
outage crashed the online form.
Surrey high school student
Shayne Kelly had saved his application earlier that evening, then
tried to submit it after the outage
"It was definitely confusing as to
whether my application was submitted or not," he said in an email. "I
ended up refreshing the page over
and over again, [and] got a few different error messages."
Kelly was not the only student
frustrated by this incident. "Of
course when I decide to leave [my]
UBC application until the last minute, the site has 'technical difficulties' and crashes," tweeted applicant
Megan Gallant.
UBC still does not know the reason why the server outage occurred.
"[UBC Academic Services] are investigating, but they're not exactly clear
as to the cause ofthe disruption,"
said Sam Saini, Associate Director of
Undergraduate Admissions.
"We can't confirm right now if
it's because of increased server load
or increased applications being submitted at one time," he added.
Accordingto Saini, this sort of
outage is unprecedented. "Not to my
knowledge, I can't remember a server outage that prevented us from
collecting applications," he said.
The server outage continued
until about 3am. By 6am, applicants
were already reporting on Twitter
that their applications were going
through without a hitch. "OMG...
submitted [my] UBC application,"
wrote prospective student Jeffrey
Baldwin via Twitter at 5:41am.
Kelly was able to log back in after
the outage was fixed. "I was quite
relieved once I could finally log in
and see that my application had
been processed," he said.
Enrolment Services hopes
that lengthening the deadline to
February 1 at 11:59pm has made up
for the outage.
We can't confirm right
now if it's because of
increased server load or
increased applications.
Sam Saini
Associate director. Undergraduate
Saini claims that Enrolment
Services has the situation "in hand"
right now, and the application form
has been restored to full functionality. He also confirmed that no application information was lost during
the outage.
UBC isn't sure how many students were affected by this issue,
but will continue to look into how to
prevent this from happening again.
"We will continue to investigate,
to ensure students aren't [again] put
in a rather unfortunate predicament," said Saini. 13 »  1
'   "*
l*°   I » Sports»
02.022012 | 9
CanWest gold for the UBC swim teams
With two teams loaded with talent, UBC hopes to bring home CIS gold next
Colin Chia
It was a successful weekend for
UBC's varsity swimmingteam as
they brought home both the men's
and women's Canada West championships from Edmonton.
In his first season as head coach,
Steve Price was happy he was able to
continue the Thunderbirds' winning
"The expectation of me coming
in here was not only that could I try
to bring the program up, but also recapture the dominance that we had
in the 90s," he said.
UBC topped the women's standings with 949 points to University
of Calgary's 830, while the
men's team had 861 points to the
University of Alberta's 744. Each
team has now won two consecutive
Canada West championships.
Savannah King was named
athlete ofthe meet after winning
three gold medals, one silver and
one bronze. Martha McCabe, who
is preparing for the Olympics in
London this summer, beat her own
record in the women's 200 metre
breaststroke. She finished with a
time of 2:22.40, which beat the record she set lastyear of 2:22.57.
"Martha McCabe is by far our
number one prospect. It's great that
she's using the university season as
a launching point into her Olympic
year," said Price. He also noted the
contributions ofthe team's rookies,
with first-year Rebecca Terejko winning a silver medal.
The men's and women's teams pose with their new banners. Tommy Gossland and Martha McCabe both set records at the meet
At the end ofthe competition,
Price won the women's coach of
the year award. "I really appreciated that. It's a selection by your
peers, so for those guys to recognize the work I'd done with the
women's team was pretty special,"
he said.
On the men's side, Tommy
Gossland was the stand-out, winning seven medals, six of them gold.
Gossland also set a new Canada
West record in the men's 100 metre
freestyle with a time of 49.28, besting Chad Hankewich's University of
Calgary record of 49.46 set in 2007
"To get on the podium for all
seven events is pretty amazing," said
Gossland joined Kelly Aspinall,
Rory Biskupski, Craig Brazier and
Duncan Furrer as the men's Canada
West all-stars. Brittney Harley
Savannah King, Heather MacLean,
Martha McCabe, Fionnuala Pierse,
Grainne Pierse, Rachelle Salli and
Tera Van Beilen were named to the
women's all-star team.
The goal for the Thunderbirds
now is to win on the national stage at
the CIS championships in Montreal,
held February 23-25.
UBC last won the women's national championship in 2009, while the
men haven't won since 2008. Both
national titles have since been in the
hands ofthe University of Calgary,
and the challenge will now be to
reclaim them.
"Calgary's still a really strong
team, and the next step is to take the
results from CanWest and try to take
the championship," said Price.
"It's a different meet. When you
have the entire country there, it's a
little harder to get the points and a
little harder to get on the podium. So
you really have to be on your game,
especially on the relays."
And while Martha McCabe-
Canada's 2011 female swimmer of
the year—has all but booked her
ticket to London, there are a few
other members on UBC's swim
teams that have goals that go beyond the national level.
On the men's side, Tommy
Gossland and Rory Biskupski both
hope to represent Canada at the
Olympics. As well, the men's team
has pair of imports looking to
make a splash at the international
stage; Duncan Furrer and Kevin
Chu are both vying to represent
Switzerland and China, respectively. 13
A new club beckons lacrosse enthusiasts
Despite playing Canada's oldest sport, UBC's lacrosse club is still in the formative stages
It is strange that Canada's oldest
sport appears to be a product ofthe
sports created after it. It combines
the speed and power of football and
hockey with the endurance and
strategy of soccer and basketball.
We are talking, of course, about
field lacrosse.
While UBC boasts varsity teams
in all ofthe aforementioned sports,
field lacrosse—Canada's official
summer sport—is noticeably absent.
A few dedicated lacrosse lovers, however, are doingtheir best to change
"Last year, in February, I was
missing the sport a lot and I got
together with a few guys I knew and
started a lacrosse club," said Dan
Millar, a second-year mechanical
engineering student and co-founder
ofthe newly minted Thunderbird
Lacrosse Club (TLC).
"Mostly through word of mouth
we've been growing the club, expanding it and trying to find new
players," he said.
This past November, the TLC
was officially constituted by the
AMS—thanks in large part to the
passion and vision of Millar and two
of his friends, Sam Neuharth and
David Hammond. Millar said there
had been previous attempts to form
a lacrosse club on campus, but for
various reasons all of those ventures
came up short.
While this group has had comparatively more success establishing
a lacrosse club than others, the fledgling team still faces many challenges.
In addition to constantly looking
for new recruits and "struggling
at the goalie position," procuring
competition has been quite a chore.
"We were working on setting
up games with Washington State;
unfortunately that fell through due
to a field-use issue," Millar said.
"We've been working to get playing
with other universities in the Men's
Collegiate Lacrosse Association.
There are a few teams; Simon
Fraser has a team, and so does the
University of Western Washington.
We've been trying to get some
games with some local clubs too,
but at the moment we're really not
quite ready for a competitive schedule. Hopefully, next year we'll be
really ready for that."
The new club has high hopes for
the future. Millar and his fellow
TLC executives hope one day to
see the club join the varsity ranks
at UBC.
"That's the ultimate goal," said
Millar. "I don't know how long it'll
take, but I'd love to see it happen.
I'd love to see it happen while I'm
still here at UBC."
The club consists of 20 men
and women with varying degrees
of experience and talent, and is
constantly looking to add to that
number. "You don't need any experience to come out; we'd love to
have every player we could grab. A
few ofthe executive members even
started out without any [experience]," said Millar.
"There are very few people I know
who have tried lacrosse and itwas
their sport within a year." 13
The Thunderbird Athletics Council's Athlete of the Month
After dominating at the Canada West, Gossland hopes for CIS gold in February
The athlete of the month
for January is Tommy
Gossland. Gossland is a
fifth-year veteran on the men's
swim team, and this past weekend he was phenomenal at the
Canada West championships.
He won six gold medals and
set several records. Grassland
achieved three personal bests
at the meet, which translated
into two Canada West records
and one UBC school record. He
was also an essential part of the
men's 4x100 free relay, in which
he swam a strong last leg in the
Gossland's success in the
pool helped the UBC men's
swim team win the Canada West
championship for their second
consecutive season.
-Thunderbird Athletics Council Opinion »
B Editor- Rrian Piatt
02.02.2012 | IQ
The Last Word
Parting shots and snap judgments on today's issues
Does UBC need a spiffier name?
Last month, the University of
Western Ontario decided to drop
everything from its name that
would lead you to believe that it's in
London, Ontario. Administrators
felt that its name was too provincial
for an international university, so
in a great unveiling, UWO became
"Western University."
There's a lot of prestige when you
can market yourself as a global institution; it helps you in the rankings,
and international students bring in
great wads of money. UBC has developed its reputation internationally, but are we really happy with the
name? Yeah, it combines two international-sounding words ("British"
and "Columbia"), but perhaps we
can jazz up our title a little more to
make sure that prospective students
know what we're all about.
A few possible suggestions:
To reflect UBC's chilled-out West
Coast sensibilities: the University
of Now.
To reflect UBC's status as the
world's most sustainable place
ever: The Sustainable Institute of
Research in Sustainability.
To attract ski bums with rich
parents: The University of Whistler,
Vancouver campus.
All we're saying is, let's be open
to some creativity here. We could
throw off all the baggage associated with sleepy old BC, and make
this university the sleekest, sexiest,
money grabbin'-ist university in the
The UBC swim team deserves
more recognition
Last weekend, the UBC swim team
went to Edmonton and won the
Canada West championships. Again.
It's something they've done for
many years during a 15-year reign of
dominance in Canadian swimming.
UBC produces more world-class
swimmers than any other school in
this country, and you'll see full proof
of that during the 2012 Olympics in
London this summer. That's nothing new; it's been this way for over
a decade. But the amount of praise
they get from the university is much
less than other elite sectors of this
Such is the fate of those in the
separated silo of sports at UBC. The
university's research is given heavy
publicity, and rightfully so—but it's
unfortunate that we often give our
athletic acheivements only cursory
UBC should strive to celebrate
the achievements of those that come
here to research butterflies as much
as those who come here to swim
A few lessons from the
Kwantlen debacle
The long and absurd saga ofthe
Kwantlen Student Association
(KSA) over the past six years tells us
a few things about student unions.
First, it reminds us that the AMS
isn't so bad. Despite a few publicly
embarrassing acts by executives or
a few thousand squandered student
dollars, there's nothing at UBC that
resembles the incompetence or the
viciousness ofthe KSA. Not even
The second lesson to learn is
the importance of student journalism. It's highly unlikely that the
true identities of Justine Franson
and Nina Sandhu would have been
revealed if it had not been for The
Runner, a small and relatively young
paper. The mainstream media
doesn't have time to hang around
campuses and find out what's really
And finally, it makes us all very
thankful that we didn't choose to go
to Kwantlen.
Good news for gender diversity,
but let's not be too satisfied
The AMS executive has historically
been dominated by males, most of
them white. But after this election, it
will have two females for the 2012-
13 school year, with the election of
Caroline Wong as VP Administration
and Kiran Mahal as VP Academic
and University Affairs.
It is the first time since 2007-08
that we will have two women in the
What does The Ubyssey think
about this? About time! Gender
diversity is something we should not
only desire on Council, but expect.
Yet the vast majority of our student union presidents have been
male, and a female majority on the
executive is extremely rare.
While this is good news on the
gender diversity front, it's only a
small step. The AMS needs to constantly be thinking about how to
lower the barriers not only for gender, but for all the different aspects
of diversity.
The Ubyssey mounts a case for
thieves, then abandons it
As our news section chronicles in
this issue, the SUB has had a rash of
thefts recently.
At this point, you might expect an
editorial givingtips on how to protect your stuff and condemning the
despicable thieves. But is that what
you turn to The Ubyssey for? No. You
turn to us for cutting edge perspective, swear words on the front page
and snarky comments about people
in power.
So let's consider the benefits of
stealing. Of course, if you're the one
doing the stealing, the benefits are
clear: you get things and don't have
to pay for them.
But is society better off with
people stealing things?
It prevents complacency, for one
thing. Having thieves out there
keeps us on our toes—especially
in the library, where falling asleep
can mean waking up with a missing
Perhaps most importantly, the
presence of thieves among us is are-
minder that there are lot of assholes
in the world, and while we need
to trust the goodness of strangers
every so often, we should also keep a
certain level of cynicism.
Okay, this editorial is probably
a case of contrarianism run amok.
We should also acknowledge that if
it had been any of our stuff that got
stolen, we'd be absolutely furious. 13
Elite universities need
dynamic student bodies
m.     m^      McElroy
How much should the grades you
get in high school matter? And how
much should those grades determine where UBC will evolve as a
Those are the questions this
school wrestled with over the past
few years as it made its transition to
broad-based admissions.
The debate is not about whether
UBC should care ifyou played trombone in Grade 11 or Nathan Detroit
in Guys and Dolls. It is about whether
they can take the steps needed to
truly become the elite, world-class
university they so dearly wish to be.
Let me explain.
There are many reasons why
UBC doesn't quite match up to the
Ivy League, and many reasons why
plenty of talented Canadian students
want to go to McGill, Western or
Queen's rather than here.
But one of them is the perception
that we're a degree factory. That
you go to UBC to study hard for four
years, get a shiny piece of paper and
Much of this is UBC's doing, of
course. Ifyou have an admissions
process that only cares about grades,
ifyou have a campus that's hard to
live close to, ifyou have an administration that compartmentalizes
faculties, if your main financial
incentives are based on high school
grades (as was the case with the
now-departed President's Entrance
Scholarship), then students are
trained to value certain things when
they get here.
But the fact remains that you don't
become a degree factory without
the consent ofthe people inside the
Gary Mason of The Globe and Mail
hit the nail on the head in his column
earlier this week:
"As undergraduate admission
standards have shot ever further
skyward, the student body has been
something of an intellectual—and
some would say cultural—monolith.
"Yes, the students are unquestionably bright, but many are nerdy, high
achievers consumed with one thing:
marks. Consequently, the student
body has become increasingly uni-
dimensional, dominated by brainiacs
void of any curiosity about all that
university life can be."
Here's the thing: he's right. Ifyou
talk to alumni or read back issues
of The Ubyssey, you'll notice this
university used to be much livelier. It
had students less preoccupied with
marks while still making amazing
contributions to society.
It's different now, for many reasons. It's different because as tuition
and the value of a degree has risen,
the desire of students to spend time
on pursuits not directly related to
studies has fallen.
It's different because as the cost of
living in Vancouver has skyrocketed,
more and more people spend more
and more of their time on buses, re-
movingthem from campus.
But it's also different because
students who get 80 to 90 per cent in
high school are becoming an endangered species here. Many smart high
school students come from all types
of backgrounds and have many different extracurricular pursuits. They
probably could get 95 per cent if they
needed to, but they have other priorities. And it's much harder for them to
get into UBC than before.
(And a note: UBC is not different because there are more Asian
students who care about marks
than in the past. This university has
been on the forefront of attracting
outstandingAsian students from
outside Vancouver for 20 years,
inside Vancouver for decades longer,
and always will. Those who accuse
UBC of not being commited to racial
diversity are, frankly, race-baiting
without tangible evidence.)
As a result, while UBC has grown
and improved by leaps and bounds in
the last three decades, the dynamism
ofthe student body has stagnated.
And that, as much as anything else,
will need to change if this university
is to become the "elite" institution it
so desires to be.
A school needs all types of students to have a well-rounded, stimulating centre of higher learning. We
need more curious, rabble-rousing,
eccentric people—people who can do
more than recite numbers and please
professors. We need students who
want to start their own businesses
and make their degree worth something, even if they aren't hired right
out of school.
So what can UBC do? There are
three main things that come to mind.
First, they can hope the provincial government starts to really care
about post-secondary education, and
puts billions more into UBC over the
next decade.
Alright, big laugh there.
But seriously, there are three simple things. One is to sharply increase
the amount of housingfor students
and faculty while decreasingthe
price, so that the cost of Vancouver
doesn't become an impediment to attracting quality people.
Another is to continue to build
the endowment to rival those in
America, so UBC can ensure finances aren't an impediment for
any students or faculties that want
to embark on the grand academic
endeavours that make universities
And the third thingthey need to
do is take more control over who
comes here. The difference between
a 73 and 83 per cent student in high
school is fairly stark. The difference
between 83 and 93? Not nearly as
much. Grades aren't the only mark
of a great student who will do great
things for a university, and the more
tools UBC has at their disposal to
select students, the better.
The Sauder School of Business
made the change to admissions years
ago, and while I can quibble about
the hive-like, sometimes creepy
culture around the faculty, the commitment to a full range of engagement, academic and otherwise, starts
before they even come here—and the
results speak for themselves.
From them, we know what the
future can look like on campus. UBC
has become the first major university in Canada to adopt broad-based
admissions across the entire campus,
and if they implement it correctly, it
will be a game changer.
This discussion means little to us.
We're already at UBC. But we might
be pleasantly surprised at what this
place is like when we come back to
the (newly-built) alumni centre for
our ten-year anniversaries.
I suspect that UBC's change on admissions will be a big reason why. 13 Scene»
Pictures and words on your university experience
02.02.2012 | 11
Oscars continue "white saviour" film trend
We should think critically about what we watch-not whitewash history
Television legend George Takei
posted an alternate poster for the
Academy Award-nominated movie
The Help on Facebook recently.
Rather than the title, the poster
read, "White People Solve Racism."
And then, as a kicker: "You're
welcome, black people."
I should state right away that I
haven't seen this movie, nor do I
plan to. And it's not because I'm
not interested. I actually really
like Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas
Howard, and I think Viola Davis is
one ofthe most talented actresses
working today. She deserves her
nomination, and with any luck
she can beat reigning queen Meryl
I also haven't read the book by
Kathryn Stockett, though I understand it does a marginally better
job of balancing its depictions of
American segregation in the 1960s.
A few of my friends have tried to
convince me to give it a chance. But
the reason I won't buy a ticket to see
The Help is that I don't want to support institutionalized racism.
For those of you who are new
to the controversy, here it is in a
nutshell: this movie, no matter
how well-intentioned, is revisionist history that casts white people
as the saviours of poor, simple black
For other examples of this trend
in movies, which are often called
"white saviour movies," see The
Blind Side, Gran Torino, Dances
with Wolves, The Legend of Bagger
Vance, The Green Mile and even
The Help may only be the latest in
a long line of these movies, but now
it's been nominated for an Academy
Award for best picture. It stands to
make a lot more money. (It's already
made more than $100 million.)
And audiences are walking out of
theatres feeling sniffly and inspired,
though they haven't stopped to
consider the implications of what
they've seen.
Here's the thing. I am, like
the protagonist of this movie, an
Despite efforts to
market the book and
the film as a progressive
story of triumph over
racial injustice, The
Help distorts, ignores
and trivializes the
experiences of black
domestic workers.
Statement made by the
Association of Black Women
ultra-privileged white person with
little or no knowledge ofthe historical context. So I'd like to share some
observations from people who know
a lot more than I do.
Here's a statement from the
Association of Black Women
Historians: "Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial
injustice, The Help distorts, ignores
and trivializes the experiences of
You're welcome, black people.
white people
solve i
black domestic workers. We are
specifically concerned about the
representations of black life and the
lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism."
Okay, and here's another from
actor Wendell Pierce, who played
detective Bunk Moreland in tne hit
HBO series The Wire. He described
The Help as "passive segregation lite
that was painful to watch." Pierce
took his mother, who had raised a
number of white children years ago,
and she found the movie to be "an
He later tweeted, "Watching the
film in Uptown New Orleans to
the sniffles of elderly white people
while my 80-year-old mother was
seething, made clear distinction...
the story was a sentimental primer
of a palatable segregation history
that is Jim Crow light." He added
that Hollywood often wants films
that depict black experiences as
long as they include a "great white
Now, I understand that a lot of
people really enjoyed this movie.
Many thought there was nothing wrong about it, and some even
found it touching.
I'm not trying to take that experience away from you. I just think
we should think more critically
about the entertainment we're consuming, and consider the potential
There's an interesting dialogue
to be had here. And that's what I'll
be watching closely. 13
The Business School
ways to
Event Management
Financial Planning
Global Business Management
Human Resources Management
International Development
International Marketing
Marketing Management
Public Administration
Are you interested in sustainability and innovations in building science?
The BCIT Building Science Graduate program offers a unique,
interdisciplinary approach that teaches the theory and practical skills
necessary to deliver durable, healthy and energy-efficient buildings.
Learn more about these degrees:
> Master of Engineering (MEng)
> Master of Applied Science (MASc)
Apply now for September.
It's your career.
Get it right.
Staff meetings are Tuesdays at noon. Stop by and learn the internal workings of the media machine. 121 Games 102.02.2012
■   !S
■     -:
■ 33
■ iJ
■ 4;
■ 41
■ so
■ 52
(CUP) - Puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com. Used with permission
1-Arabian republic
6- Falls short
11- Family man
14- Hersey's bell town
15-Capital of Jordan
16- Afore
17- Senate attendants
18- Cheers waitress
19-Adult males
20- Blunted blade
22- Healing plants
24- Exacted retribution
28- Pleasing
30- Inhabitant of Tripoli
31- Hebrew prophet
32- Agent
33- Wife of Akhenaton
37- Attila. e.g.
38- Rich cake
39- de mer
40- Skewness
43- Jewish scholar
45- Brooklyn's _ Island
46- Flat roofing tile
47- Lease holders
50- Engage in textual misprision
51-Single things
52- Pith helmet
53- Actress Ruby
54-Group of eight
57- Chancy
62- Tolkien ogre
63- Midway alternative
64- Bert's buddy
65- Fish eggs
66- Sherpa's home
67- Chairs
1- Mouth, slangily
2- Writer LeShan
3- Periodical, briefly
4-Chemical ending
5- Posy 6- Washed out
7- French friend
8- _ little teapot...
9-PC linkup
10- Athletic shoe
11- Brit's discharge
12- Staggering
13- Compact
21- Compose
23- Endure
24- A. as in Athens
25- Infectious agent
26- Black-wooded tree
27- Greek goddess of night
28- Towering
33- Short letters
34- Permeate
35-Small hand drum
36- Greek epic poem
38- Canvas shelter used on camping trips
41- Future doc's exam
42- Rainy season
43- Dwells
44- Cabinet dept.
46- Apex
47- English royal house
48- Diciembre follower
49- Bridget Fonda, to Jane
50- Standard for comparison
52- Skater Lipinski
55- Friend of Fidel
56- Faucet
58- Metal-bearing minera
59- Kind of fingerprint
60-Obtain, slangily
■   1
■  ■
.. ^ s
1 ■ 1
3 ■
' H
W 1 A
-} H H "'
■    ■ N
1 11
■  S
l||  N
*H -
■ ■
3 ■


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items