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The Ubyssey Apr 10, 2007

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Array THE U
Volunteering to be crucified since 1918
Tuesday, 10 April, 2007
Students protest cluster bombs.
Page 3
Cutting class to climb mountains.
Page 4-5
New laws have strong implications for
students voting.
Page 6
GAP display raises protest, questions
YET ANOTHER YEAR: Pro-life and pro-choice groups go at it head-to-head at the SUB plaza last Thursday, colleen tang photo
by Brandon Adams
Pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators lined up in the lower Student
Union Building (SUB) plaza on
April 5. The occassion? The arrival
of the Genocide Awareness Project
(GAP) on campus, which raised serious questions regarding freedom
of expression, public spaces, and
graphic images.
Put on by Lifeline, an AMS club
opposed to abortion, the Genocide
Awareness Project (GAP) demonstration centres around four large
signs, each with pictures of historic
genocides—Rwanda, the holocaust,
southern  racist lynching—beside
images of aborted fetuses. The
GAP has been demonstrating at
UBC since 1999 and every year
has faced counter-protests from a
number of student groups.
GAP leaders and UBC students
Lorena Plastino and Peter Horner
defended the graphic images used
on the GAP signs.
"The display itself compares
past genocides to the current genocide of abortion," said Plastino.
"We put it into the historical context where people can recognise
things that they know are wrong
with something else that is wrong
see "GAP"page 2.
UBC students advocating for African politics minor
Petition signed by hundreds of students presented to department head
by Amanda Stutt
Due to increasing student interest,
an African studies minor has been
implemented into the Faculty of
Arts. But ironically, while there
are classes that have aspects of
African politics within them, there
are no classes that focus solely on
African politics.
To address this gap in the curriculum, the student-activist-run
UBC Africa Network presented a
petition signed by hundreds of
UBC students to the political science department, requesting that
a course specifically devoted to
African politics be created. The
petition, which has over 800 signatures—a majority of which came
from students who major and minor in Political Science or International Relations—gauges the support and demand for a course that
focuses on Africa.
UBC Africa Network was started
in 2002, "by a group of students,
faculty and community members
committed to raising awareness
and advocating for African issues
at the UBC community," explained
co-chair Jenny Francis. "There's
really no mistaking student demand for courses, so the [African Studies] minor was instated,
which is great."
Francis said supporting the
African studies minor is important because "it's such a key part
of UBC's commitment to interna-
tionalisation and development of
global citizenship."
"But just as UBC's curriculum is really incomplete without [any courses] about Africa,
unfortunately the African studies minor is incomplete without
any [courses] in political science,"
Francis continued. "It's impossible
to look at African issues in depth
without a political perspective...
and having a course on Africa
will really enrich the poli sci
"There is a lot of support
for our goals from the student
body," she added. "Our support
from the faculty has been strong.
I'm optimistic."
UBC Africa Network co-chair
Tara Cooper said "the most important thing...in this process has
been just the dialogue that has
taken place between the variety of
people at UBC; students, professors, faculty, administrators."
Professor Barbara Arneil, director of undergraduate studies
at UBC's political science department, explained that the main
reason for the gap is that currently there are no faculty in the
political science department who
specialise in African politics, but
there are those whose work "connects to Africa."
In terms of resource availability, Arneil said, "It is difficult...at
this point in time there are a number of economic callbacks."
"Where the resources becomes
important, is that you have to be
able to hire a sessional to teach
a course, and making decisions
about sessional teaching has to do
with the demands of the students,
and who's available to teach, as
well as resources.
"To create a course initially, we
would have to hire a sessional to
teach it," Arneil added. "We are
not adding any faculty at this point
in time, so that's where it would
have to come from."
Political science department
head professor Ken Carty said that
there is no one within the department whose "principal research
interests" are focused primarily
on African politics.
"There are opportunities for
hiring sessionals, but they come
and go. It's helpful to have [them]
teaching courses, but it doesn't
give any continuity to the program.
So we have to think about how we
can find ways to build something
that's permanent rather than just
temporary," he added.
Carty will be presenting the
petition to the political science
department. He emphasised that
they "always care about what the
students have to say."
"When we hear the voices of
the students, it really moves the
department. It's a continuing legacy, to see the gaps and want to fill
them," said Arneil. @
Future of film
program in
New budget targets the
small department
by Candice Vallantin
The spending freeze caused by the
UBC budget deficit has suspended the film production program
Brian Mcllroy, chair of the film
program, explained that admittance to the production program
was suspended last fall originally for a one-year period so that
the curriculum could be re-structured, but a $3.2 million dollar
budget cut to the Faculty of Arts
has delayed the re-development
of the film production program
indefinitely as the whole Department of Theatre, Film, and
Creative Writing goes through a
re-structuring process.
Brian Danin, a fourth-year film
production student finishing his
term as an Arts Faculty senator explains that the Dean of Arts, Nancy
Gallini, asked a group of students
and faculty to write up separate
reports suggesting changes to the
current curriculum in the fall of
2006. Danin was asked to chair
the student ad-hoc committee
whose final report was handed in
December 1, 2006.
"The dean wanted to bring the
program to a new level," he said. It
was decided that the program curriculum should be re-structured
following a number of student
complaints and negative external
reviews rating the film production
program poorly.
Despite this criticism, recent
graduates have done extremely
well in the film industry. Jaime
Travis and Amy Beijing's graduating film Why the Anderson Children
Didn't Come to Dinner aired on the
CBC, PBS, the Comedy Network,
and at over 60 international film
festivals, earning them numerous
awards including a Leo Award for
best production design in a short
drama. Travis has since released
Patterns (2006), a trilogy of short
films, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival,
and Belling was the associate producer of Mount Pleasant (2006),
Between the sheets: Stayin safe at Arts County Fair News
Tuesday, 10 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
Chair of the film production program does not know if or when the program will be taking in new students
"Film"continued from page 1.
a feature film that premiered
at the Vancouver International
Film Festival.
But considering UBC's new
budget constraints, should the
university continue to support
a film production program that
only enrolls a total of 30 students?
Danin says yes.
"UBC is very different and it
has an extremely unique program," he said. "This University
has a lot of potential extremely
in the creative arts and I don't
see a reason why we can't have
a successful and a really strong
film production program. I think
it could be highly beneficial
not just to the University but
to the Vancouver film industry as
a whole."
Danin's proposal to re-structure the production program cur
riculum suggested creating a single film production program that
would involve a collaboration between post-secondary institutions
such as BCIT and Emily Carr to
create something similar to the
new master's in digital media being offered at the Great Northern
Way campus starting 2007.
"That way you don't have a
limited amount of resources
being split amongst the universities so that the different programs don't have to fight over
what the government has to
offer," he said.
The future of the film program
will likely remain in limbo until
the long-term effects of UBC's
$36 million deficit are ironed out,
which the University won't get an
idea of until next year's budget is
announced or discussed in January of 2008. But Mcllroy is positive that things will work out.
SAY GOODBYE: Fewer film production students will be roaming around campus fliming. levi barnett photo
"Once there is a realistic plan-
given current resources—for a
new production curriculum that
all the stakeholders can buy into,
I would expect things to turn out
well," he said in an email. @
If freedom of expression infringes on other peoples'rights and it's degrading it needs to be addressed, says student
"GAP" continued from page 1.
but isn't necessarily portrayed as
being wrong."
Created by the Center for Bio-
Ethical Reform, the controversial
GAP display has been seen at
campuses across North America
and has often generated strong
responses from students and student organisations. The display
has caused controversy at most
places it has visited—it has been
banned from the University of Alberta, Carleton, Capilano College,
and UBC-Okanagan campuses.
The GAP display has been
banned from Alma Mater Society
(AMS) property and the signs are
restricted in size and number, explained Plastino.
Pro-choice demonstrator and
UBC student Kelsey Patton explained that while freedom of expression is important it must be
balanced with other concerns.
"While it's important that
groups have freedom of expression on campus," said Patton, "If
that freedom of expression infringes on other peoples' rights
and it's degrading and offensive
to other people there needs to be
measures put in place to address
those concerns."
Patton explained that she feels
the warning signs placed around
the   plaza   are   inadequate   and
that the GAP display needs to be
moved to an enclosed space.
"What we're hoping to do is
to ask for the display to happen
within a confined place such
as a classroom so people can
choose to go and see it, that way
they still have a right to express
their opinion and to engage in
that dialogue, but there are measures for accountability on the
University's part to create a safe
environment on campus."
Students walking through
the plaza had differing opinions
about the GAP display.
"It's definitely pretty convincing, it hits home a lot more," said
Kaela, an Arts student who stum
bled upon the display while walking between classes.
"Turning away from it doesn't
make it go away," Kaela continued. "As a pro-choice person I
agree with the other side but this
is very convincing."
Some students were not as accepting of the display as Kaela.
"I think that it's horrific,"
said Kristen, a history student
who walked through the plaza
during the demonstrations. "I
don't think the demo behind this
one is congruent with the values
of students."
Several AMS officials were
present at the demonstration, but
declined to comment. @
(1036 Richards)
Croation Cultural Center
April 11,9:30pm
(3250 Comerdal Drive)
Chicago-based   rockers   with
April 10,7:00pm
guests Dearhunterfrom Atlan
Playing tunes from their debut
ta.Tickets $14 at Zulu, Scratch,
CD.Zombies! Aliens! Vampires!
Red Cat, Highlife, and Noize!
Dinosaurs!.   Guests Boys Like
Girls and the Hush Sound.
Tickets $20
Beautiful Child
Havana Theater
The Laugh Gallery
(1212 Commercial Drive)
Rime (1130 Commercial Drive)
April 11-14, 8:00 pm
April 11, 9:30pm
UBC   Players   Ckub   presents
Local comedian Graham Clark
Nicky    Silver's    tragicomedy
mixes   stand-up  and   sketch
about a family struggling to
comedy; videos and awesome
stay intact when secrets are
prizes involved.  Cover $5
laid   bare.  Proceeds to  Kids
Help Phone.
The Ponys
Tickets $18/15.
Richard's on Richards
The Ubyssey [April 3[:
"Finding lost goods made easy"
The founder of Propercop, David Brierley, is a Vancouver Police Department officer, not an RCMP officer.
[March 30]:
"A helping hand or fuel to the fire?"
Goldis "Chamis" should be "Chami".
The mesh nets were set up in South America, not Africa.
The Ubyssey regrets the errors.
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Tuesday, 10 April, 2006
Editorial Board
co ordinating@ubyssey. bc.ca
NEWS EDITOR Brandon Adams &
Colleen Tang
news@ubyssey. bc.ca
culture@ubyssey. be. ca
sports@ubyssey. bc.ca
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features @ ubyssey. bc.ca
p ho tos@ ubyssey. bc.ca
Champagne Choquer
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feedback@ubyssey. be. ca
WEBMASTER Matthew Jewkes
webmaster @ubyssey. bc.ca
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University
of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
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publication. Letters received after this point will be published in the
following issue unless there is an urgent time restriciton or other
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AD SALES Cynthia Zhao
AD DESIGN Michael Bround
"This isn't working," Michael Bround thought to himself. He
was trying to get Laurence Butet-Roch and Mary Leighton to
agree to a capture the flag match with archnemises Amanda
Stutt, Alison Bailey and Candice Vallantin. But Humaira Hamid
was making it very difficult to get the plans off the ground.
Together with Bahram Norouzi, she got Matthew Jewkes and
Andrew MacRae to police the puppy-punting practices of Paul
Bucci, though Levi Barnett made sure he didn't go through
Champagne Choquer-esque withdrawl too often. Meanwhile,
Oker Chen was having a ball taunting Momoko Price with
promises of Boris Korby's happy dance. Jesse Ferreras was
skeptical, though no morethan Collen Tang or Eric Szeto. And
Isabel Ferreras was simply oblivious to itall.
Michael Bround
University     Canada Post Sales Agreement
Press Number 0040878022 THE UBYSSEY Tuesday, 10 April, 2007
Students petition against cluster bombs
Cluster bombs cannot
discriminate between child,
civilian, or soldier, says lieutenant
by Colleen Tang
Two UBC students organised a
demonstration last Thursday with
the help of the Canadian Forces to
promote awareness about a deadly
killer: cluster bombs, which can be
likened to scattered land mines.
According to Stephen Pies, a
lieutenant from the primary reserve unit with the Canadian Forces, a cluster bomb or cluster mine
consists of smaller submunitions
stacked in a case which is then
fired or airdropped, at which point
the multiple submunitions are scattered over a given area.
Cluster munitions have a five to
30 per cent failure rate and approximately 360 million submunitions
have been dropped since the arrival of cluster bombs in the 1960s
and 1970s, according to Mines Action Canada.
Any area previously exposed
to a conflict generally will have a
density of anti-personnel mines, as
well as air-scatterable mines and
UXOs—unexploded ordnance that
were meant to go off but didn't and
were left behind, said Pies.
Nae English and Lisa Robbins,
students in Richard Price's Political Science 373—Ethics in World
Politics—class, decided to organise
a demonstration with members of
Canadian Forces to educate and create awareness about cluster bombs
for their term project by providing
examples of cluster bomb fields,
equipment displays, and de-mining simulations.
"The point was to do a project
on an issue of ethical concern,"
said English, also president of International Relations Student As
sociation (IRSA). "Obviously cluster
bombs are kind of a no-brainer but
we feel that this is an issue that has
been very prominent in the recent
conflict in Lebanon.
"Canada was instrumental in
the ban on land mines [and] the
Ottawa process in 1997, and this
is another initiative that we think
Canada should support," she said,
adding that having the Canadian
Forces at UBC doing exercises
made their demonstration visually
According to English, having
the de-mining simulation shows
students how complex the issue is
as well as how costly it is.
"Depending   on   the   situation
we're broken into groups of three
to five overlooking a mine field,"
explained Bryan Tennant, a corporal in the Canadian Forces. One
person, the 'prodder,' is the first
person that goes into the mine
field. "[He will be] checking with a
wire feeler for any trick wires that
maybe in his path and then he gently feels the ground to determine
if there's any small anti-personnel
mines that have been buried," explained Tennant.
"You're working at such a slow
methodical pace because you don't
want to miss anything and some of
the anti-personnel mines can be no
bigger than an inch to two inches,
so you're  literally prodding  the
ground at an inch interval," added
The prodder looks for tiny little
prongs sticking out and when he's
satisfied that there are none in his
path he uses a prodding device to
check the ground for any buried
mines which get identified with
spraypaint, he continued. "With
training you get good at being able
to determine what's a rock and
what's a mine."
Following the prodder is the section commander, who will confirm
any marked mines, then finally the
section will be swept with a mine
detector as final vertification.
A petition to call on Canada to
ban cluster bombs was made avail-
able to students at the demonstration, but according to Robbins, also
IRSA Internal, it wasn't just about
getting students to sign.
"I think what we hope to achieve
is just that you [have] greater awareness to have more people understand this issue, be more involved
on the ban on cluster munitions or
the momentum on the ban on cluster munitions," she said.
"The mine is an indiscriminate killer. It knows no boundaries. Soldiers, civilians, children,
and so that is the threat. Once it's
laid it stays there until something
triggers it or sets it off," said Pies.
"Awareness...and education is the
best way to combat it." @
UBC Vice-President stepping down to focus on Great Northern Way
by Boris Korby
Dennis Pavlich, UBC's VP External
and Legal Affairs for the past 12
years, will be stepping down at the
end of June.
But Pavlich, who informed UBC
President Stephen Toope of his
decision prior to the March 22
Board of Governors meeting, is
far from retiring. The UBC professor—currently on leave from
the Faculty of Law—will instead
be directing his full efforts to expanding the Great Northern Way
Campus (GNWC)— where he has
served as President since February—before returning to the classroom in two-three years time.
"It's been one of the most excit
ing segments of my life to be honest," said Pavlich of his time as VP
external. "I've loved being a professor, and I intend to retire as a professor, and that is very important
to me—that I go back into the classroom and finish up my career the
way I started. But having said that,
being in a leadership role and being part of central administration
and helping lead the university
has been very very fulfilling. And
certainly University Town and especially the University Boulevard
project—the square component of
it—has been very challenging but
very exciting too."
Pavlich said he has relished
his involvement in the venture,
because of the controversy and
community opposition that has be
come associated with it.
"I feel very grateful to have been
part of that process I have to say.
I've loved it to be honest. Even the
controversy I've loved and dealing with the
because the
points that
have been
made [by the
UBC com
munity] have
been very
good ones."
Pavlich said he'll miss the challenges afforded by his current position, but is looking forward to
moving on to another initiative in
which the University has a great interest in seeing succeed.
"I'm going to miss it, but the
Great Northern Way is another interesting experience, it really is. It's
a different kind of higher education
experience that we're creating," he
said. "It's one that's somewhat different than anything we've seen
in the past. To maintain academic
values even though the social and
commercial construct around it is
going to be quite different, but making sure you retain those key, everlasting values is another challenge
for me, and I really relish that.
"It has the support of four higher education institutes, and we're
really dealing with three or four different cultures, and trying to make
that work to advance a segment of
higher education presents interesting possibilities."
Great Northern
Way Campus
♦ GNWC is a collaborative institute jointly managed by UBC,
SFU, BCIT, and Emily Carr.
♦ The 8.9 hectare campus is
located on Great Northern Way
between Clarke Drive and Main
♦ GNWC seeks to offer a mix of
traditional academia and first
hand experience within the
fields of urban sustainability,
transforming arts and culture,
and digital media.
For More on University Boulevard and the controversy surrounding the project, see page 8. @
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THE UBYSSEY Tuesay, 10 April, 2007
H* -
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NUV^ (LaUS id/ NcpuL:  cUmMitg the AHAiajMM'nA Mmuvtauvs
M 0 ePal is a small, land-
^\M locked country wedged
# ^ between China and India.
It boasts some of the highest mountains in the world, including Mount
Everest. When my mother, the esteemed travel director, began piecing together a plan to trek through
Nepal's Annapurna mountain
range in March, I consulted the UBC
calendar. With our absurdly early
"reading     week"
in February, I saw that I would be
stuck in the middle of midterms
with not a break in sight. How could
I take off for nearly three weeks and
still graduate? One word: Arts.
With my books in a duffel, I
flew from Vancouver, to London, to
Doha (Qatar), to Nepal's capital of
Kathmandu, and finally to Pokhara,
the city from which we would begin
our     trek.
Our group had fourteen members,
a hodge-podge of families and
friends, even before we factored
in our leader Razzu, our guides,
and the porters and kitchen staff
that made camping possible. We
hiked for nine days through an area
that had previously been closed to
tourists due to Maoist insurgency. The Maoists, since 1996,
have fought over
swathes of Nepal in an effort to
throw over feudal institutions and
create a Maoist state—at a cost of
more than 15,000 lives. Things
are looking up, though, with peace
talks, and now a place within the
interim government for the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
On Day Two of the trek, we encountered the Maoists in person,
in the form of some women from
the mothers' wing of the party. We
paid them 1,000 NRs. ($ 18) to
leave  us  alone,
my mother and I handing over the
money with bows and the standard
greeting, "Namaste."
Travel writing is a funny thing,
because it is so surprisingly subjective. I kept a journal, but so did
half the group, and they all wrote
differently about our trek, based
on what filtered up through their
senses and down from their consciousness. Janet Giltrow, with
whom I took a class titled "Rhetoric
of Travel," seemed to be in my ear
the entire time, reminding me of
travel narrative's place in a history
of imperialism  and  colonialism.
"Constructing the other" is a popular phrase in the English department, but it's not just lingo to score
class points—it's a process of creating our own realities whenever we
make observations. Photography is
no more objective than writing.
But it makes the role of
the lens more obvious. @
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^/S^^M University of Emmanuel College
Affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan
and member of lhe Saskatoon Theological Union
Meet the College's entrance
Have worshiped regularly with an
Anglican community for three years
or more
SfaameCefid Editorial
Tuesday, 10 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
Our voting, ourselves
Open up your wallet. See that little plastic
card labeled 'driver's licence'? Seems pretty innocent doesn't it?
Of course, to obtain one of those oft-
sought pretties, you have to produce some
paper. Birth certificates, SIN numbers, and
proofs of residence, usually. But remember that as the hot receptionist scans those
pieces of paper and takes your photograph,
the government instantly knows who you
are, what you look like, where you live,
and, if a SIN is involved, where you work.
Driving is a privilege, so they say, and
this info is needed to insure the safety
of all lawful drivers. Buying alcohol and
tobacco is a privilege too, apparently. And
so whenever the clerk asks you for ID, he
is also making sure the government is up
to date on your personal info.
Voting though, isn't a privilege. Voting
is a right, and it is such a basic right that
the government has no place requiring
the unnecessary surrender of personal information, and in doing so one's personal
autonomy, in order to exercise it.
Personal autonomy is a basic individual
right which allows citizens to choose
how their lives and personal information are controlled and surveilled by the
Yet with the introduction of Bill C-3 1:
Integrity of the Electoral Process, we will
soon be required to carry government ID
with current addresses in order to vote,
creating a serious infringement of this
fundamental right.
The bill, first introduced to the House
of Commons in 2006, is currently in Senate and just a couple meager steps from
becoming law. As it stands now individuals can vote with relative ease, even if
they don't possess photo ID. While the
current process has lots of vulnerabilites
which could allow for elections fraud, it
has created a situation where students, the
homeless, and others who don't posses
up-to-date ID can still exercise their right
to vote.
Under Bill C-31 the first people who
will be affected will be the homeless and
other under-represented members of
society—those who typically do not have
government ID. Without a confirmed address, it will basically be impossible for
these people to obtain the ID that this bill
There is a provision in the bill allowing for those without sufficient ID to find
someone who does have the sufficient ID
to vouch for them. But this extra step is
unjust and simply forces someone else to
is Kere -to get Ki$ vo-te on/ tte%-Cj -fckis
is   My   only   IP-
possess what the government deems sufficient ID, effectively creating a situation
where only the minority can avoid possessing ID.
Not only is this situation unjust because
it forces already marginalised members
of society to jump through extra hoops in
order to maintain their suffrage; it also
creates an environment where individuals
must choose between maintaining their
personal autonomy and participating in
the most fundamental elements of our
Furthermore, there is the possibility of
identity paper creep. Requiring an updated
driver's licence to vote, which includes
your name, photo, and current address,
combined with the SIN information the
government already possesses creates a de
facto ID card system. This de facto ID will
further force individuals who decide to
maintain personal autonomy to the fringes
of society.
Fortunately several groups including
the BC Civil Liberties Association, the
Downtown Eastside Residents Association, and the BC Public Interest Advocacy
Centre, have decided to challenge Bill C-3 1
in court. They believe that the bill violates some of the fundamental freedoms
guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. Members of the AMS Council
passed a motion which will allow them to
explore also getting involved in the case,
either as a petitioner or a friend of the
Students must be able to vote, whether
they choose to do so in their hometown
or in their newly adopted Vancouver digs.
Elections Canada needs to realize that
students and many others lead transitory
lives, and their identification, if they have
any, may not reflect their most current
personal information. @
How much effort would you go to in order to vote?
—Danielle MacKenzie
Arts, 3
"I'd go to a fair
bit of effort."
Civil Engineeering
PhD Candidae
"I don't know.
Not much because
it's not difficult."
—Brendan Takata
Human Kinetics, 4
"I guess it would
depend on what
election itwas, and
what it was for. I've
never voted for the
Undergrad Society
but I always vote in
municipal, provincial
—Sam Rapoport
Arts, 4
"Undying effort"
-Mike Champion
Forestry, S
"I went to FedEx to
have my absentee
ballot shipped in a
day to Colorado."
— Coordinated by Alison Bailey and Oker Chen
Save University Boulevard
by Tristan Markle
The centre of our campus, including the
grassy knoll, is slated to be leveled this
coming June to make way for an underground bus loop with a mall on top, and
market housing on top of that.
This is clearly a space used primarily by students, and should cater to our
needs: study space, social space, green
space, plazas, and other suggestions
made clear by students over the past few
Yet students' visions have not been
implemented. The process has been
flawed, and even deceitful, from its inception, as planning preceded consultation. The private corporation Properties
Trust decided that the old bus loop and
the grassy knoll occupied prime retail
space, and determined that shops must
go there. Then when studies showed that
there was no better location for the bus
loop, logic dictated that the bus loop go
underground. To maximise returns,
market housing units were to sit on top
of the mall. An international competition was held, where architects improvised three variant impressions of the
underground bus terminal/shopping
mall/market housing unholy trinity. A
non-binding vote was scheduled, and
students demanded that a fourth "none
of the above" option be included on the
ballot. It wasn't, and the variant that
sucked least won the non-binding vote,
which created the illusion of consultation
since an appointed jury (with actual power) chose the same variant. Since then,
the architects quit, the design has been
changed, the AMS has not even seen the
new plans, and still Properties Trust is
trying to get the "final" plan approved at
the May BoG meeting in order to bring
out the bulldozers in full force by June.
The inverted consultation process is
indicative of perverted priorities. UBC
Properties Trust makes decisions based
on cost-recovery models. Then, after
the fact, the problem of "consultation"
is tackled. Properties Trust is not a consulting firm, and so the university gets
other offices to sell development plans to
students, even though the offices do not
even know what the latest plans are. For
example, the U-Town office is mandated
to consult with students about U-Blvd,
but even they had not seen the "final"
plans as of last week.
What we need is a revitalised center
of campus that actually reflects students'
needs and vision. Universities are supposed to be model societies. What world-
class university has a shopping mall and
market housing at its heart?
Some may say that we have wasted
so much time tweaking the U-Blvd plan
that we might as well go through with it.
But just because we have invested our resources into designing a noose, doesn't
mean we should hang ourselves with it.
In fact, the delays and the skyrocketing
costs are precisely diagnostics of the
original incoherence of the plan.
Until now, students have been quite
polite about the whole debacle, but since
the hour is nigh, it's time for us to stand
up and say loud and clear what everyone
has been thinking all along. This plan
isn't about students. It's about money.
And that is not acceptable.
Finally there is the question of student empowerment. Some curmudgeons
insist that we have no power, and that
"the administration" (Properties Trust?)
will just do what it wants, and we should
just keel over. Ah, if only we were so docile. Talking to hundreds of students this
week, I have been so heartened to hear
that they do give a shit about their campus, and are itching to see their ideas put
into practice.
Let us put the old crusty plan out of
its misery, and issue in a new era of accountability, meaningful implementation, and creativity. Let's do it right from
the start this time.
—Tristan Markle is a third-year
Biology student THE UBYSSEY Tuesday, 10 April, 2007
Arts County Fair 16: Have fun and be safe   Why I believe in humanity
The time has come for another
awesomely spectacular last day
of classes. If you're reading this,
then you're probably planning
to attend Arts County Fair 16.
On behalf of the entire staff,
have a blast. But for crying out
loud, be safe at the Fair, and follow our suggestions! Do you want
to wind up in the Richmond drunk
tank? Do you want to lose your cell
phone, shoes, jewelry, and/or sanity? We doubt it, so we've compiled
this nice list of things for you to do
to stay safe, happy and to have a
wonderful time.
1. Don't end up passed out at
3pm. It's quite simple: pace yourself, because the Fair goes until
8pm. That way you won'tbe tossed
out or handed off to the cops.
Also, don't show up drunk to the
fair: you won't be allowed in,
and that would suck. There's no
need to worry about drinking
before you arrive—we'll have
plenty of beverages at the Fair to
tide you over.
2. Wear appropriate clothing:
it might rain, it might be scorch
ing hot. Be prepared for anything.
Avoid sandals or high-heels as
you will lose/break them and
end up falling over all day. Wear
sneakers or other footwear that's
firmly attached to your feet. Walking around bare-footed hurts and
can cause you a world of trouble
and pain.
3. Get familiar with the fairgrounds before you arrive and
arrange a meeting point with your
friends. Cell phones are great, but
they also get lost by the dozens, so
keep that in mind. It's best to plan
4. Eat fooooooood. Food is
great, there's no question about
that. If you're going to be rocking out for eight hours, then you
really shouldn't be doing that on
an empty stomach. Why? Because
you'll be hungry!
5. Don't drive to the fair if
you're drinking. Bring your U-Pass
and attach it to your pants. Don't
lose either (Pass or pants). Failing that, make arrangements for
a designated driver or bring taxi
fare and the number of a cab com
pany that you trust.
6. Drink lots of liquids...not
just the alcoholic kind. But seriously, drink lots of water before
and during the Fair. It will keep
you lucid, and besides, it will help
avoid a hangover on Friday.
7. For pity's sake, do not urinate on the hill. Lots of good
people volunteer to clean up after
the fair's done when you're safe
at home. Don't make it just that
much worse for them. We have
many, many portapotties.
8. Have a buddy. Yes, it sounds
like kindergarten, but it's a great
idea. There's safety in numbers.
9. If you need any sort of help,
know where the Safety Tent is in
case you have to head there. It's
off to the left of the stage. You'll be
well taken care of there.
10. Have a good time. When
all's said and done, that's what
this whole shindig is for. Enjoy the
Fair and be safe!
—the Arts County Fair 16
Safety Committee
What surprised me most about Steven Green's letter ("Why I Believe
in God" [April 3]) was its lack of
faith. I'm not talking about a lack
of faith in God—there's clearly no
shortage of that—but in humanity. "Without God," Green writes,
"I would not be who I am today."
Instead, Green "would be more oriented towards success...care more
about [himself]...[and] view women more as sexual objects." The
list continues. Basically, a godless
Green is a money-grubbing, self-
centred, and shallow Green.
I suppose I should be concerned
for myself. As a non-believer, is
this bleak fate that Green describes
in fact mine? However, I am more
concerned for Green: without God,
he declares, he would be "without
meaning...help...love...[or] hope."
I worry that a Green without God
would be unable to discover the
abundant and incredible meaning
that life has to offer, and give up
on it completely.
Individuals of course have personalized sources of meaning. For
me, meaning derives largely from
my relationships with other people, rather than with a God who to
me is elusive at best. It is also in
people that I place my hope. Sure,
history has shown that humans
possess an enormous capacity for
evil, but it has also demonstrated
our ability to do good—good that
does not have to be attributed to
a higher being. To say that "God
can enable me to be stop pretending I am good and really be good,"
reduces human agency and limits
the bounds of human compassion.
Green believes that "without
God, [he is] not that much different from those who have made the
world the mess that it is." Such a
statement is not only offensive,
but also historically—and currently—inaccurate. In a time where
religious extremists continue to
wreak havoc in the name of God, it
is in humanity I trust.
— Lixian Cheng is a fourth-
year English Literature
„ uoUfllttXJ
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Tuesday, 10 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
Students protest and petition against University Boulevard
by Bahram Norouzi
The University Boulevard development project, ten years in the
making, is slated for approval at
the next Board of Governors (BoG)
meeting in early May. Funding has
already been partially approved for
the first phase, and the next stage
of approval will allow construction of the project to begin this
June. Members of the Alma Mater
Society (AMS) Council have raised
concerns over the project, and a
student petition is currently circulating to halt approval.
The project began in 1997 with
the passage of the Official Community Plan, which designated
University Boulevard (the area
from Wesbrook Mall to East Mall,
including the old bus loop, trolley
bus loop, outdoor pool, and the
grassy knoll) as a "pedestrian-oriented commercial centre, with the
commercial uses to be oriented
toward the day and evening convenience needs of the university
population." In January 2004, University Boulevard officially became
one of University Town's (U-Town)
eight neighbourhood plans.
"The overall neighbourhood
plan is intended to do a number
of things—create a 'heart' for this
campus, a sense of arrival, plus
provide more student housing,
and more shops and services that
meet more of the daily needs of the
campus community," said Nancy
Knight, UBC Associate VP Campus
and Community Planning.
The plan's design places an
underground bus loop outside the
SUB and four new buildings along
University Boulevard and outside
the SUB. These will have retail on
the ground floor and "University
rental housing" above, according
to the University Town office. Car
traffic will flow from Wesbrook
Mall along University Boulevard
to East Mall.
AMS Council passed a motion
on March 28 expressing dismay
that the Council had not been
shown the latest plans, despite
repeated requests since November 2006. The motion calls on the
University to make a presentation
to AMS Council before any further
University Boulevard decisions
are made by the BoG.
An ongoing concern has been
the lack of student consultation regarding the project. AMS President
Jeff Friedrich noted "there hasn't
been a place in any consultation
process for the type of criticism
that questions the fundamental nature of plan ideas."
In an architectural competition
in March 2005 students voted on
one of three designs for University
Boulevard, and there was controversy at the time that a "none of the
above" option was not included.
Since that time, the plans have
been revised twice and the original
architects have been replaced, thus
altering and removing many of the
original plan's features.
AMS VP Academic Brendon
Goodmurphy, who said he is concerned about the basic land uses
proposed for University Boulevard, asked, "Is this the area,
the heart of student social space,
where we should emphasise cost
recovery and retail?"
UBC   Properties   Trust   plans
to take out a 25-year loan worth
about $100 million to pay for the
majority of the project, which will
be paid off by retail leasing and
housing rentals.
"We have the unique opportunity among major universities to
create a university town in a new
urbanised environment and, in the
process, create a huge endowment
for UBC," said Dennis Pavlich, VP
Legal and External Affiars.
The U-Town website declares
that "from the perspective of University Town, building the endowment is a principal objective."
U-Town profits are expected to
generate $800 million for the endowment. BoG student representative Darren Peets stated that "it
was never really about what students wanted."
In an effort to make the student
voice heard, a group of students
has created a petition against the
University Boulevard development project. "Students have been
against this project since they
became aware of it in 2004, and
it's high time that we're listened
to" states Margaret Orlowski, a
graduate student involved with
the petition.
On the first day of circulation,
the petition was signed by over
400 students, notes Orlowski. "A
serious petition will be very powerful at the May BoG meeting,"
she said. "Students have protested
against this issue before and it has
at least delayed approval, but the
University can't afford to ignore
several thousand of their stakeholders' signatures—their reputation is at stake."
The petition itself calls on UBC
and the BoG "to refrain from approving any further decisions on
the University Boulevard project
until land-use options have been
revisited, and until meaningful
consultation has occurred with students, the AMS Council, and the U-
Town Committee." @
Cuts to honours give more
selection to major students
The UBC history Department will
offer only two exclusive seminars
to their honours students next
year, instead of the usual seven.
This cut was made in order to provide more seminars to history majors who will have a selection of 22
seminars to choose from next year,
a 90 per cent increase from previous years, said history department
head Daniel Vickers. The honours
history program at UBC is an intensive program with only 15 honours students enrolled each year
out of 150 to 200 students.
AMS moves to fight Bill C-31;
legal action is a possibility
The Alma Mater Society (AMS)
Council passed a motion on April 4
giving the AMS Executive Council
the ability to determine whether or
not the AMS will pursue legal action regarding Bill C-3 1.
The bill, which is currently in
Senate, would require voters to
present ID with an up-to-date res-
idenital address in order to vote
in federal elections. While the bill
does have provisions for those
without a residential address,
councillors are worried that students without up-to-date ID will be
disenfranchised. @


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