UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Sep 13, 2012

Item Metadata

Download

Media
ubysseynews-1.0126863.pdf
Metadata
JSON: ubysseynews-1.0126863.json
JSON-LD: ubysseynews-1.0126863-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): ubysseynews-1.0126863-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: ubysseynews-1.0126863-rdf.json
Turtle: ubysseynews-1.0126863-turtle.txt
N-Triples: ubysseynews-1.0126863-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: ubysseynews-1.0126863-source.json
Full Text
ubysseynews-1.0126863-fulltext.txt
Citation
ubysseynews-1.0126863.ris

Full Text

Array NOT HAVING A FETISH FOR MEASUREMENT SINCE 1918
SEPTEMBER 13,2012 | VOLUME XCIV| ISSUE IV
_/i_/i_/i
\-{ \-{ \-f \-f \-{ \-{ h-f \-t \-{ \-f \-f \-{ \-{ \-{ I-. »Page 2
What's on
HIS WEEK, MAYi
Live@Lunch finale: 12 p.m.-l p.m. @ SUB North Plaza
Wrapping up the Live@Lunch concert series hosted by CiTR, pop indie
rocker Jay Arner will grace the stage. If you haven't shown up to any of the
concerts yet, you should check it out! Free.
ipgj
FESTIVAL »
-8
10th annual FarmAde: 3-
p.m. @ UBC Farm
FarmAde is back! This all-ages
event is for everyone looking to
celebrate local food, music and
community. Farm veggies, a
beverage garden, henna tattoos,
bands, square-dancing and
more! Free.
OPERA »
Opera Tea in the Gardens:
2 p.m. @ the Botanical Garden
Enjoy some afternoon tea and
the stylings of the UBC Opera
Ensemble. From recitatives to arias,
they will perform an assortment of
pieces, all in the dreamy scenery
of the lush Gardens. Light refreshments provided. Tickets $15-20.
UBC sororities recruitment:
9:30a.m.-4p.m. @
Panhelenic House
Sorority recruitment kicks off
with a full day tour. Don't miss
the chance to chat with current
members and get a better
understanding of what each of
the eight sororities is all about.
Register at ubcsororities.com.
GAME DESIGN »
Electronic Arts Employer
Information Session: 5:30-
7:30 p.m. @ CHBE building
Computer scientist/engineer
interested in designing video
games? Meet with company
reps and get some information on
what it's like to work for a gaming
company. Discuss career opportunities with EA today!
Got an event you'd like to see on this page? Send your event
and your best pitch to printeditor@ubyssey.ca.
Video content
Make sure to check out the
refreshed Ubyssey Weekly Show,
airing now at ubyssey.ca/video
'JjTHE UBYSSEY
SEPTEMBERS,2012 | VOLUMEXCIV| ISSUE IV
Coordinating Editor
Jonny Wakefield
coordinating@u byssey.ca
Managing Editor, Print
Jeff Aschkinasi
minted itor@u byssey.ca
Managing Editor, Print
Andrew Bates
webed itor@u byssey.ca
News Editors
Will McDonald*
Laura Rodgers
iews@ubyssey.ca
Senior News Writer
Ming Wong
Tiwong@u byssey.ca
Culture Editor
Anna Zona
culture@ubyssey.ca
Senior Culture Writer
Rhys Edwards
•edwards@u byssey.ca
Sports + Rec Editor
CJPentland
sports@ubyssey.ca
Senior LifestyleWriter
ZafiraRajan
zrajan@u byssey.ca
Features Editor
Natalya Kautz
featu res@u byssey.ca
Video Editor
David Marino
video@ubyssey.ca
Copy Editor
Karina Palmitesta
copy@ubyssey.ca
STAFF
3ryce Warnes, Catherine
Gyan,David Elopjon
Chiang, Josh Curran, Scott
Mac Donald, Peter Wojnar,
Tanner Bokor, Dominic Lai.
Mark-Andre Gessaroli,RJ
Reid, Colin Chia, Anthony
Doon,Vinicius Cid,Veroniks
3ondarenko, Yara De Jong,
=van Brow, Lu Zhang
Art Director
Kai Jacobson
a rt@u byssey.ca
Graphics Assistant
Indiana Joel
joe l@u byssey.ca
Layout Artist
Colly n Chan
cchan@u byssey.ca
Videographer
SooMinPark
spark@ubyssey.ca
Webmaster
Riley Tomasek
webmaster@u byssey.ca
LEGAL
The Ubyssey is the official cedent newspape1 of the University of British Columbia,
t Is published every Monday
andThursday by The Ubyssey
Publications Sociely. We are ar
autonomous, democratically
'un student organization, anc
all students are encouraged to
aartlclpate.
Editorials are chosen anc
written by the Ubyssey staff.
They are the expressed opln-
on of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views ofThe
Jbyssey Publications Sociely
or the University of British Co-
umbia. All editorial content
appearing in The Ubyssey is
the property ofThe Ubyssey
Publications Society. Stories,
opinions, photographs andart-
Business Manager
Fernie Pereira
ausiness@u byssey.ca
Web Ad Sales
Ben Chen
3chen@ubyssey.ca
Print Ad Sales
Sifat Hasan
shasan@ubyssey.ca
Accounts
Tom Tang
ttang@ubyssey.ca
work contained herein cannot
ae reproduced without the
expressed, written permission ofThe Ubyssey Publications Society.
The Ubyssey is a founding
member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adheres
to CUP's guiding principles.
_et
ir must
aeunc- ..        Please
nclude your pnone number,
student number and signature (not for publication) as
well as your year and faculty
with all submissions. ID wil
ae checked when submissions are dropped off at the
3d tori al office ofThe Ubyssey;
otherwise verification will be
done by phone. The Ubyssey
•eseives the right to edit sub-
Editorial Office: SUB 24
604.822.2301
Business Office: SUB 23
604.822.6681
Student Union Building
6138 SUB Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T1Z1
Online: ubyssey.ca
Twitter: @ubyssey
Tiissions for length and clarity. All letters must be receivec
ay 12 noon the day before intended publication. Letters received after this point will bs
aublished in the following issue unless there is an urgent
time restriction or other matter deemed relevant by the
Jbyssey staff.
Itis agreed by all persons
alacing display orclassifiedad-
vertsing that if the Ubyssey Pub-
ications Sociely fails topublish
an advertise men tor if an error
n the ad occurs the liability of
theUPSwill not be greater tnar
the price paid for the ad. The
J PS shall notbe responsi ble for
slight changes or typographi-
caFerrors that do not lessen the
value or the impact of the ad.
OUR CAMPUS
ONE ON ONE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UBC
KAIJACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
UBC graduate Jason Kwan attributes his status as a world-class Tetris player to math skill and a healthy perspective.
Lining 'em up with the best
Arno Rosenfeld
Contributor
Do you ever finish an online
game and wonder who the
people behind those outrageously high scores are? In the case of
"SirJeivus," one of the world's
top Tetris players, the face behind the name is Jason Kwan, a
recent UBC graduate.
Kwan is currently in the midst
of a worldwide Tetris tournament. He's made it into the
double-elimination round, and
after losing to the No. 1 player
in the world last Saturday, he's
waiting to face his next opponent
this weekend.
Kwan graduated from UBC in
2010 with a degree in chemical
engineering. He's been playing
Tetris since the beginning of
high school. After the online
Tetris client he played on was
shut down, Kwan went on Tetris
hiatus for several years until a
cocky classmate compelled him
to get back in the game.
"He was thinking he was top
gun, so I decided to practice a
bit," Kwan explained. Building
on his previous experience,
Kwan polished his skills and,
after a few early losses, started
beating his classmate. His past
rival has since stopped playing
the game, but for Kwan, it was
just the beginning. He now
ranks in the top 25 on many
of the multiplayer games that
are the core of the competitive
Tetris world.
Kwan, who designs portable
lubrication devices for balls and
bearings at ATS Electro-Lube,
is influential beyond individual
games. He has worked with
Tetris Online Inc. to detect bugs
in the software and promote the
game internationally, is planning
a trip to Taiwan for a tournament
in the near future and regularly
posts videos of his gameplay
on YouTube.
How did Kwan get to his
current level? He says that an
understanding of math is important, as well as utilizing all the
features of newer Tetris games
(like "T-Spins," a feature which
lets pieces fit into tight spots).
Finding a good platform to
play on is important, too. Kwan's
preferred site is tetrisfriends.com
because it doesn't suffer from lag
time as much as other sites, like
the Facebook Tetris client. That
lag might not be noticeable to the
average player, but when you're
clearing 40 lines in 27.2 seconds
like Kwan, speed is essential.
There's more to Tetris than
what most people experience
when they're looking for a quick
distraction or study break. Kwan
participates in Tetris "battles,"
where opposing players actively
attack each other by sending
lines of blocks into their opponent's game. He attributes Saturday's loss to Japan's hebo_MAI
to poor defensive tactics, which
become an issue in advanced
Tetris play.
When he's not playing Tetris,
Kwan likes to play other retro
games like Super Mario. In his
current Facebook profile picture,
he pays homage to the game by
sporting the Italian plumber's
overalls and signature hat.
Despite his prominent status
in the Tetris community, Kwan
keeps a healthy perspective on
life. "Even though I play Tetris
competitively, I always maintain
that you should play for fun,"
said Kwan. tJ
AH of the social medias:
JJ @ubyssey 4-
%■ @llbysseynews       ubyssey.tumblr.com
hM @ubysseysports
^0 @ubysseyculture   facebook.com/ubyssey tNewsl
WILL MCDONALD + LAURA RODGERS
GOVERNANCE»
TRADES]
COUNCHIAPHOia/THE UBYSSEY
The survey won't take place until after the UNA'S annual general meeting and election on September 26 at the Old Barn.
UNA to survey residents on services, demographics
'Census' of UBC's residential neighbourhoods may not ask about governance void
Ming Wong
Senior News Writer
University Neighbourhoods
Association (UNA) residents will
soon get a chance to voice their
opinion on a variety of topics,
possibly including future UBC
governance options.
The UNA is continuing with
their 2011 plans to conduct a community survey of their constituents, including potential questions
that ask residents to comment
on future governance options.
However, Kiran Mahal, AMS VP
Academic, contends that it is not
certain whether there will be governance questions at all.
"There has been no decision
made that governance questions
will in fact be asked," said Mahal.
"If there ends up to be questions
on governance, we don't know
what they will be yet, so it's a little
premature for us to see how this
survey will impact the issue of
governance moving forward."
The last time the UNA conducted a census-like survey was in
July 2008, and the demographic
data collected then does not reflect
the current UNA population,
which has grown to an estimated
6,000 residents.
Alongside any potential questions on governance, the survey
will ask residents of the five UNA
neighbourhoods to comment on
their household compositions and
level of satisfaction with community services and programs. Soon
to be carried out by the outside
market research firm Ipsos Reid,
the survey will not move ahead
until after September 26, when a
new UNA board is elected.
Prod Laquian, the chair of the
UNA, said that the data gathered
will mainly be used to help with
community management. According to Laquian, the data should
be available to the board next
year. Any questions on governance would be used to gauge UNA
residents' opinions on potential
governance options.
Students in accommodations
outside the UNA jurisdiction,
such as UBC Housing, will not be
surveyed. Laquian said in an email
that there might be future town
hall meetings to discuss the results
of the survey. "All stakeholders, including students, will be welcomed
as participants in those meetings.
There is no intention to limit anyone, certainly not students, in the
discussions on governance."
Mahal said that the AMS
does have a policy on governance and stands by the fact that
students do have a voice in any
future decisions.
"Students do need special representation ... on the campus, because it is a university," said Mahal.
Maria Harris, the director of
Electoral Area A, which includes
UBC, said she hasn't committed
to any specific governance plan
going forward.
"It's important to have a local
government that's effective and
legitimate in the eyes of the local
constituents, but I'm open on what
particular form it would take,"
said Harris.
Despite the fact that Metro Vancouver has previously expressed
an interest in conducting their
own survey on governance, Harris
said the city is more concerned
with regional issues than problems
unique to UBC.
"Metro Vancouver's interests
arise out of the fact that with the
growing population at UBC, local
decisions increasingly affect the region and regional decisions affect
more and more people locally,"
said Harris.
Mahal added that the provincial
government will be the ones to
commission an external governance review, but before that could
happen, there must be consensus
between all parties that make up
UBC.
Laquian said UBC is in a unique
governance situation, and he
doesn't know how the future will
play out.
"All of us who are currently
living on the UBC campus are engaged in an exciting experiment,"
said Laquian. tJ
NEWS BRIEFS
CUPE 2950 prepares for strike
vote in October
The union representing clerical workers at UBC's libraries and hospitals,
CUPE 2950, has decided to hold a
strike vote on October25. The union
has been in negotiation with UBC
since 2010, but a new collective
agreement has notyet been reached.
Union President Nancy Forhan said
that the union and UBC had already
ironed out some non-monetary
issues between the parties, but they
are still stuck on negotiating pay
increases. Forhan said that she was
hoping the university would come
back with another proposal before
October, but she expects the strike
vote to pass if it is held.
UBC to get electric vehicle
charging stations
UBC will get 10 electric vehicle charging stations as part of a program
partially funded by the province to
put 450 charging stations across
B.C. The stations are expected to be
completed by March 2013.
Elie Wiesel awarded honorary
degree from UBC
UBC granted an honorary degree
to Elie Wiesel on September 10.
Wiesel won a Nobel Peace Prize in
1986 for his global work in support
of oppressed people, stemming
from his personal experience during
the Holocaust.
"In hisquestfortruthandjustice,
Professor Wiesel inspiresthe world
to a higher moral vision," said UBC
President Stephen Toope. "He bears
witness for the defenceless and
brings a message of hope." Xi
TOWN HALL »
UBC prez talks
transit, housing at
annual town hall
Laura Rodgers
News Editor
In UBC President Stephen Toope's
annual town hall Q&A on Monday,
he was cautiously optimistic about
the future of the university.
The one-hour event saw Toope
touch on some of UBC's most prominent issues: government funding,
student housing and rapid transit.
In an interview segment between
Toope and Peter Klein, director of
UBC's School of Journalism, Toope
first discussed what's become the
bane of many students this year:
widespread construction.
Klein asked why, in a time when
university funding is seeing a signfi-
cant crunch, there is ground being
broken for so many new buildings
on campus. Toope's quick response
was that the capital funding for
many of the new projects around
campus was committed before the
upcoming funding cuts.
Those cuts are expected to be one
per cent less next year and two per
cent less the year after for the entire
provincial post-secondary budget.
"There will be more financial pressure on the unversity," said Toope.
But he also mentioned the volatility
of the situation, given an upcoming provincial election in May. "Of
course in the pre-election period,
there are conversations happen-
KAIJACOBSON PHOTOffHE UBYSSEY
Stephen Toope answered questions from School of Journalism director Peter Klein.
ing with the official opposition,"
Toope said.
He acknowledged that, although
UBC maintains a large stock of student housing, it still isn't enough to
meet the needs of students, faculty
and staff tryingto live in one of the
least affordable cities in the world.
"[Housing] is the single greatest
issue in recruitment and retention of
faculty and staff, and students," said
Toope. He said UBC was "working
hard on the student housing front"
and noted the commitment to add
1,400 more student beds to campus
by 2015.
Although he went into detail
about housing affordability for faculty and staff, he focused his attention on the availability of student
housing, not on its price.
On the topic of transit, Toope
counted the high use of transit to
and from campus as a success for
the environment. But he was also
aware of the amount of frustration
over overcrowded bus lines. "We
also know that, for many students,
the U-Pass has become the Pass-U,"
he said. He added that he was in
favour of rapid transit to campus,
and planned to work with the City of
Vancouver to develop solutions.
He also mentioned the limited
availability of child care on campus.
"We're trying to find new child
care opportunities whenever we're
building out in new construction,"
said Toope.
After the interview segment,
Toope only had time to take two
questions from the crowd. One was
about the relocation of Acadia Park's
student families to smaller housing units, which he dismissed by
asking the questioner to "look at the
bigger picture" — i.e., the fact that
there is other student housing being
built elsewhere on campus at the
same time.
After a quick query about whether or not UBC's libraries should be
centralized or not, the event ended
abruptly with a student hoping to
ask a question still waiting at the
mia'a
Students get
hands dirty in
new horticulture
program
Will McDonald
News Editor
<AIJACOBSOWHEUBY
At UBC, a new technical program
is growing.
For the first time, UBC is offering
a one-year program in horticulture
starting this September. There are
currently 15 students enrolled in
the program.
Students not only learn the
science behind horticulture, but
also take part in the physical labour
required to grow plants.
Doug Justice, the program's director, said that graduates of the program have a variety of employment
options. In the public sector, there
are obviously gardens and parks. "At
UBC, the Botanical Garden needs
gardeners. Every city in the Lower
Mainland has a parks board,... so
there's a fair demand for gardeners
there, but there's an even greater
demand in the private sector."
Run through the UBC Botanical
Garden, completion of the $5,500
program entitles students to enter
Level 2 of the B.C. Provincial Horticulture Apprenticeship Program.
Justice said that he had to jump
through a number of hoops before
starting a vocational training program at UBC.
"UBC administration is not really
used to vocational training, and this
is something that is outside of the
realm of education at the university," said Justice.
"Maybe it isn't a direct reflection
of the university, but it makes the
Botanical Garden a better botanical garden," said Justice. "[It] will
ultimately reflect on the university,
but maybe not in the way that the
university sees itself in the world,
which is as a research and teaching
university."
Program director Todd Major
said that he had concerns about
whether the hard work of horticulture would appeal to young people.
"I've had people come to work
for me and [say], 'Do I get an office?
Is there a computer? Is there an app
for that?' It's like, no, there's no app
for that, it's called a shovel; you dig,"
said Major.
Major added that UBC is a school
where most students use their
brains, not their bodies.
"These people live in their heads;
they just have bodies to carry
their minds around," said Major.
"The younger generation today is
definitely technology-focused, and
frankly, from my own experience,
don't want to get their hands dirty
and they are lazy. And if they're not
in a white coat or a lab or a corporate office or a bank, they're not
interested."
But, accordingto Major, if
students can get past their aversion
to manual labour, horticulture is a
rewarding career.
"I come home every night and
I say to myself, T planted another
tree, planted a shrub, everybody's
breathing my oxygen.' You know, I
sleep at night knowing I've done
something good." Xi
—With files from Christy Fong Sports + Rec
DITOR C.J. PENTLAND
FOOTBALL»
UBC offensive line paves the way to success
Senior Lifestyle Writer j  I I ilm.il.lJ »*^—.      I I *-*» "a^u j I ■ | together."
Zafira Rajan
Senior Lifestyle Writer
They're the silent guys behind the
scenes: the guys doing the jobs
that no one wants to do. They're
only noticed when something goes
wrong, and they love it. That's the
Thunderbirds' football offensive
line for you.
"They are the heart and soul of
the team, in the sense that they
don't have notoriety about them,"
said head coach Shawn Olson.
"They're usually working pretty
hard, and are an anonymous
group that often has to do a lot of
the dirty work in situations."
Fourth-year offence player Kelly Kurisu agreed. "For us, there's
just the expectation that we'll
get our noses dirty, and it's part
of the position. We love it and we
embrace it."
That "dirty work" can only be
successful if the team has built
up a certain level of trust in and
respect for each other, as well as
confidence in the knowledge that
they'll each make the plays they're
supposed to out on the field.
Fourth-year Steve Zakrzewski
reinforces this idea: "We're just
such a tight-knit group, and it's
not about individual glory. The
majority of us have been working
together for a long time, so that
has built up some good chemistry.
"If the offensive line doesn't
all do the right jobs, the play's not
going anywhere, so we know how
much we have to rely on each and
every one of the five guys that's
in there.... I think we really draw
from a good dynamic."
The team has been working
alongside each other for four years
KAIJACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
UBC's offensive line is an intimidating bunch, and they have to be to play one of the most demanding positions in all of sports.
now, with the recent additions of
first-years Gord Randall and Alec
Pennell. "We're one big family,"
Pennell said.
"They were a really welcoming
group of guys," added Randall. "It
only took about two or three days
of training for us to fit in, and I
give full credit to these guys for
welcoming us in so well."
Kurisu agreed. "Gordy and
Pennell pick up what we're doing,
and it's like they've been here the
whole time. We're all really close,
on the road and off the road; we go
out to eat or for a beer together all
the time."
A tight team often equals a
good game, but even so, the guys
on the offensive line rarely get
any recognition. "Most people
don't really see or appreciate
them," Olson said. "They only see
the people that throw or catch
or score points,... but the offensive line are the guys who clear
the space to make sure that that
happens."
"It's pretty rough for us. We
don't really have a lot of backups,
so we're getting most of the reps
in practice," second-year Ethan
Schnell said.
"And none of the glory!" added
player Donovan Gratton, amidst
nods and laughter.
But it's not the glory that they
need to keep going; they rely on
each other for encouragement on
the field. "I don't think it's the
recognition from anyone else that
motivates us," Zakrzewski said.
"It's when we make a nice block
and we all know that we did it
together."
Pennell agreed: "We're not
really huge talkers,... but when we
make a nice block, we recognize
each other and that fires it up!"
The offensive line carries certain stereotypes, but Olson adamantly pushes them aside. "Often
they are quite big, so they have
the reputation of just being the
big fat guys, but they are actually
very good athletes, and quite often
have to block the best athletes on
the defence," he said.
"In fact, they are probably the
more intelligent members of the
team, because they have to think
very quickly, understand a lot of
different schemes and angles, and
know how to react on the run."
Each player said he enjoyed
different parts of the game. For
Kurisu, it's the competitive element, and Schnell relishes "the
physical challenges of the game:
it's either you or him, someone's
going to win and someone's going
to lose."
But the greatest feeling for
them all? "There's nothing better
than when it just comes down to
pure man-on-man battle."
They love what they do and
they're perfectly happy staying
out of the limelight by giving
each other the recognition they
deserve. Together, they truly
define teamwork and passion for
the sport. Xi
HANDBALL»
Handball-room blitz
Nic Roggeveen
Contributor
While the Summer Olympics
allow the masses to gawk at the
incredible athletic feats of the
Michael Phelps and Usain Bolts of
the world, the quadrennial event
also gives lesser-known sports a
chance to shine on a global stage.
One of the fastest, most physical,
exciting and spectator-friendly of
these sports is handball.
Paul Kim, co-founder and
operations manager of the UBC
Handball Club, hopes that his
club can take advantage of the
sport's recent Olympic exposure.
Kim feels that this international
recognition will help grow
the sport and raise interest on
campus. "I'm sure we'll see some
more people ... asking a few more
questions," said Kim.
Upon his arrival at UBC, Kim
discovered that there was no
club or organization on campus
that would allow him to continue
playing the sport he loved. "A
bunch of my friends from high
school and I came to UBC and we
were looking for a UBC handball
league," said Kim. "It was something we played in high school
and we loved it."
Unable to find a league, he and
his friends decided to make their
own. The UBC Handball Club,
now in its third year, was founded
by Kim, Peter Deng and a few
other friends in 2009.
In this team sport, six field
players and a goalkeeper from
each team are on the floor at once.
The objective of handball is to
dribble or pass the ball down the
floor and throw it into the opposition's net (similar to basketball).
t^H         m^m
■        m   fe
n •J'^^H
^^^■^^M^^
^n                                      k
KAIJACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
The UBC handball club features fast-paced games with no shortage of jump-throws.
GOLF LESSONS
@ University Golf Club
(right on campus!)
"FALL SPECIAL"
OFF
all lesson rates to:
UBC students, UBC residents,
UBC employees
(offer expires Oct. 31,2012)
Played at a breakneck pace, the
game is all about offence; often,
both teams score at least 20 goals
each, and it is not unusual for
teams to score upwards of 30.
The club plays what Kim described as a "watered-down intramural version" of handball, as
opposed to the European version
played at the Olympics.
"It is simpler, smaller, easier to
pick up, easier to play, more of a
friendly atmosphere and not nearly as competitive," said Kim.
More importantly, the club's
version is designed to make
the sport more accessible and
attractive to novice handballers.
In European handball, a player
can take an unlimited number of
steps with the ball if they dribble,
whereas the intramural form limits the number of steps a player
may take with the ball.
"A limited number of steps
makes it so you have to pass, you
have to play and use your teammates," said Kim. "Kind of an
idea that being able to make new
friends here is also a big thing."
Despite not playing the European version of the sport, the club
still attracts a number of European exchange students. "Quite
often we get a lot of attention
from international sources," said
Kim. "We had someone from
Switzerland email, since they
were thinking of coming out to
UBC on an exchange and were
wondering about handball."
The club is constantly looking
for new members, and encourages
people of all skill levels to join. Xi
Drop-in sessions are on Tuesdays
from 4-6p.m. and Wednesdays
from 2:30-3:30 p.m in the SUB
Ballroom. Membership is $7 for one
semester or $10 for allyear.
unlversltygolf.com/golf/lessons
(golf 103)
Canadian PGA Teaching Pros
Scott Minni ~ (778) 883-0241
smashandcarvegolf.com
Holly Beal - (604) 785-9937
hbgolf.ca Culture
14Z0RIA
URSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13,2012 | 5
'Sill   lh
3'tJft
INDIANAJOEL ILLUSTRATION/THE UBYSSEY
Nardwuar the Human Serviette has been a DJ with CiTR since 1987.
CiTR»
Nardwuar instructs a new crop
on rockin in the free world
Rhys Edwards
Senior Culture Writer
Name a popular artist or band
who has recorded in the last
20 years, and there's a good
chance they've been interviewed
by radio DJ Nardwuar the
Human Serviette.
Nardwuar, who regularly
hosts CiTR Radio, plays in two
Vancouver bands and has worked
extensively with MuchMusic, is
infamous for his eccentric interviewing style and meticulous
knowledge of his interviewees.
On Monday night, Nardwuar
visited the Norm Theatre to
play clips from his video vault
of interviews. The clips span
his earliest days in high school
right up to the present, but they
comprise only a fraction of the
hundreds of filmed interviews
that Nardwuar has conducted
over his career.
Highlights included GWAR
frontdemon Oderus Urungus's
opinion of Viagra, Snoop Dogg
microwaving a blunt, and Blur
drummer Dave Rowntree tearing up Nardwuar's notes and
stealing his glasses. In the face of
oft-unpredictable music personalities, how does the Human
Serviette keep going?
"I've done the research and I
want to ask the questions. I've
spent a couple weeks researching
these people, so I don't just want
the interview to end.... Once the
questions are over, I get the hell
out of there," said Nardwuar,
who lives by the mantra "always
have an escape plan."
Nardwuar never studied in a
formal journalism program; he
got a history degree at UBC (his
thesis: the assassination of President Kennedy). Instead, he threw
himself headlong into CiTR, whom
he credits for both his training
and for providing the contacts that
"Once the questions are
over, I get the hell out
of there!"
Nardwuar
The Human Serviette
have led to many of his interviews.
"I love [CiTR].... The listeners
on CiTR are unrelenting, they will
phone up and say you suck. Even
after I've been on the air all these
years on the radio, they'll still
phone me up and go, 'Nardwuar,
you suck,' and I love that. I love being challenged constantly. Campus
radio is the best. You get to learn
right on the air."
But decades before the Serviette became a recognized face,
one of his most important mentors was his own mother, who
coincidentally wrote a regular
column for The Ubyssey in the
late sixties. Said Nardwuar: "My
mom totally inspired me, because
she was a writer, so she got me
into appreciating history and doing reviews and doing interviews
and stuff." She later worked for
the Toronto Star, and penned a
history of Gassy Jack, Gastown's
namesake.
As Nardwuar often presents objects of personal importance to his
interviewees, we decided to pull
a Nardwuar on Nardwuar, and
give him some excerpts from his
mother's writing. Just like most
of his interviewees, he was both
surprised and delighted.
The key to Nardwuar's ability
to find good stories is not in his
character or his taste in toques,
but in his total commitment to
learning, creating connections
and asking unusual questions.
Rather than treating interviews
as a routine, Nardwuar actively
provokes interesting discussion in whomever he speaks to,
whether it's Mikhail Gorbachev
or Skrillex. Perhaps most importantly, he never permits himself
to believe he knows everything
about his interviewees, or journalism in general.
"I think the day I learn how to
do interviews is the day I should
quit," he said, "because that means
I won't know what I'm doing." Xi
Nardwuar broadcasts every
Friday on CiTR, 101.9FM, from
3:30-5p.m. Also check out our
extended video interview with
Nardwuar online at ubyssey.ca FEATURE    I    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
LERRIHIIG
LEUEL UP!
THE UBVSSEV'S LEHRI1II1G
TECH 5UPPLEIT1EI1T
f you're a student currently attending university,
there's a high chance you grew up during the most
recent tech boom. Though technology has permeated into the classroom over the past few decades,
udents currently entering academic institutions offer
a unigue perspective. Unlike those before them, the
notion of using technology in education isn't novel, it's
expected. From lecture capture to online office hours,
tech tools are increasingly relied upon in higher learning. In this supplement, we look at how classroom
technology is catching up with its students.
-Notolyo Koutz, features editor
15 H TOTALLY UIRTUHL
CLRSSROOITI 50 FRR OFF?
Natalya Kautz
Features Editor
Open Firefox. Go to class.
With technological progress, the idea of
the virtual classroom has gained momentum. As the days of squeaky chairs become passe,
pressure mounts for online learningto offer a
viable alternative.
"Over the past 16 years this has evolved, there's
been waves of change that have come through.
First,... the Internet being something where you're
just delivering content. Then it became more lately
around engagement and social," explained Michelle
Lamberson, managing director of UBC's Centre for
Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLC).
The online classroom has gone through many
iterations. In 1996, UBC computer science faculty
member Murray Goldberg designed Web Course
Tools, or WebCT, which began a new way of thinking about online learning.
"It started as a place for people who are just looking to put up their PowerPoint notes, and now there's
a much higher expectation, particularly when it's
your classroom," said Lamberson.
With the phasing out of WebCT Vista, UBC hopes
to meet those expectations. The switch to Blackboard Connect, which is planned for January 2013,
is intended to create a more comprehensive online
environment that encompasses much of a student's
academic life.
Blackboard Connect aims to provide flexibility, though Lamberson feels there are
always limitations.
"Making a one-stop shop for everything is almost
impossible."
"'Virtual classroom' is a bit out of date, in a sense,"
said Novak Rogic, the manager of web strategy for
the CTLT
"It was something with the promise of digital, but
then digital never really delivered on that promise
and could never capitalize on its potential."
He feels that UBC's commitment to more
open-source technology is critical for successful
digital communities.
"With using open platforms, you can evolve your
presence in a very rapid way, in a way that can never
be possible in a closed system like Connect. It's not
really a replacement for Connect; Connect does wonderful things," said Rogic.
"We cannot judge, we cannot say it's good or bad.
It's happening, so we have to be innovative and bring
new concepts and fight for our audiences."
UBC's extensive network of blogs and projects
like the UBC Wiki are administered through
the CLTC.
In the case of distance learning, the online
environment is charged with providing the entire
instructive experience. For the students enrolled
in UBC's 120+ distance courses, that is their
learning space.
"I teach EOSC 311, which is a fully online distance
course, and I have to look at that as my classroom,"
said Lamberson.
UBC's distance program relies mainly on these
learning management systems to create a sense of
community, through tools like discussion boards,
real-time chat and video. Even the traditional office
hours are converted to an online format.
Jeff Miller is the senior manager of UBC's distance and blended learning program. He feels open
platforms offer the potential for student interaction
over great distances, but also over time.
"Whereas typically the learning space within the
learning management system is set so that it is just
open and available just during the life of the course,
we have Wiki structures that might go back five or
eight years, maybe 10 years," he said.
But the effectiveness of even the most advanced
system ultimately comes down to its users. Miller
felt at times the open structure made scheduled
interaction difficult.
"Students are often working late into the evening;
they're working on the weekend. They're in their
courses all through the week, but typically not during the day," he said.
"There is a lot of flexibility, but they still need
engagement. If students don't commit, they often
end up in some difficulty."
For some, this difficulty is attributed to a perceived lack of rigour in online learning.
"In distance courses, people have said, 'There's
more work here than you would expect for a distance course,' and I was like, 'What do you mean by
that?'" recalled Lamberson.
She felt this perception was
fundamentally misguided.
"The delivery process isn't what's controlling the
level of rigour. It's how the course is designed, how
the faculty member approaches it," she said.
"How the tools are used is very much a function
of what the particular faculty member is using [in]
that particular course environment."
For Rogic, the possibilities exist. It's what faculty
and students make of them that counts.
"We have this technology framework where you
can deliver any kind of experience you imagine. It's
really up to the imagination of faculty members." tJ  I THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012    |    FEATURE
UBC EHPLORE5 RDOPTIRG LEETUR
CAPTURE,EHRm DRTRRR5E
Maityree Dhaka
Contributor
In the competitive world of higher
education, students and schools
alike are always looking for
an edge.
Popular online resources
like Open Course Ware (OCW),
Coursera and the Khan Academy
are allowing students unprecedented access to lectures and course
material. At many institutions, the
question is no longer if online resources should be part of teaching
and learning practices, but rather
when, and why not already?
But at UBC, many such resources have not been released. The
promised exam database remains
elusive, and the idea of lecture
captures is still nascent.
Kiran Mahal is the VP Academic of the AMS; her job is to
advocate for students' academic
needs to university administration
and organizations.
One of her current priorities
includes the creation of an exam
database for students. Though the
idea of the database was presented to the Senate Teaching and
Learning Committee last year,
Mahal felt the issue has not been
properly handled.
"They didn't quite understand
what we were asking for. There was
some miscommunication between
what they thought we wanted and
what we were asking for."
Support among students seems
to be clear. In the recent AMS
Academic Survey, close to 90 per
cent of first-years indicated that the
exam database would be a positive
learningtool and would decrease
stress before exams.
"It's not just about the exam,
it's about having that confidence
to know you're doing okay in your
courses," explained Simon Bates,
academic director of UBC's Centre
for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT).
"Notwithstanding issues over
copyright and IP, I think it's a good
idea and can understand the student's motivation."
Other Canadian institutions
have already set the precedent
for exam repositories. At McGill
University, students have come to
expect the resource.
"This was in response to student
requests to have a choice of printed
coursepacks or online resources that the library already had
acquired distribution rights for,"
explained Laura Winer, associate
director of Teaching and Learning
Services at McGill University.
"The professors choose whether
to make past exams available and
they currently are actively inviting
professors to contribute."
But at UBC, concerns over copyright still plague the proposal.
"Myself and my associate VP
are writing a revised proposal. It's
goingto go to the Senate Learning
and Teaching meeting in September or October. The proposal
addresses concerns brought up by
the committee and the deans," said
Mahal, adding that it includes a
letter of support from each of the
undergraduate societies.
Aside from copyright issues,
Mahal identified a lack of understanding that often exists within
faculties regarding student demands. She hopes the revisions will
work to bridge the gap.
Mahal noted that the administration's confusion over what
students want is behind their slow
movement to use other technologies that are already at universities like McGill, such as video
lecture capture.
At McGill, Winer explained,
faculty members are responsible for spearheading the online
resource initiative.
"There has always been a core
group of professors who are eager
to experiment with new teaching and learning environments.
Faculty members have always been
involved in the selection and implementation of major systems."
McGill's lecture capture system
currently makes recorded class
lectures available online to students
within 24 hours.
However, UBC faculty have
raised concerns over lecture attendance and classroom engagement — concerns Mahal doesn't
place much stock in.
"Across the board it has shown
that it doesn't affect student attendance and students don't think
it's a replacement for going to the
lecture," she said.
"Studies have shown that
students are more engaged in class
because they feel less pressure to
transcribe the entire lecture. They
are more inclined to ask questions."
Bates agreed strongly with
the research.
"Class time is a precious resource. We need to optimize it so
students can extract the maximum
amount of value," he said.
Bates believes lecture capture
could be especially useful at UBC,
where international students can
encounter language issues.
"You won't have students saying,
You speak faster than I can understand. If I can't follow the language,
there's no way I'm going to be able
to absorb the technical concepts.'"
However, Bates warned
about rushing into
technological progress.
"Lecture capture over the last
five years has become quite the
fashionable topic," Bates said.
"They've gone and put the technology in, and in some cases spent
an awful lot of money kitting out
lecture theatres without really
understanding what the education
question is. It's the cart before the
horse."
Despite the eventual success,
Winer felt difficulties were inherent with transitions.
"The biggest challenge is
time: time for training, time
for development.
"The rationale for developments
must always be framed in terms
of their impact on teaching and
learning.... Guidelines and policies
need to be developed to provide
guidance."
With this in mind, Bates defended UBC's caution.
"Faculty are conservative in the
sense that they don't want to rush
into things that may be detrimental
to students, and sometimes it's really hard to change them," he said.
"It's not that there isn't a will to
do it. Sometimes it just takes a longer time than from the perspective
of an individual student."
Even so, Bates felt online resources had an unprecedented opportunity to benefit students.
"There will be 18-year-olds
coming to this university who
have never known anything other
than technology. Then it's not
about technology as a separate
part of learning. Technology is
learning." Xi
^^djntoQrad
*
The world's best international Masters & PhD Fairs
Vancouver
Wednesday September 19th    3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel
Participating Universities:
McMaster University, University of St. Andrews, HEC School of Management Paris, ESSEC Business School, IE Business
School, Richard Ivey, Schulich School of Business and many more...
^
yjfW GradSchools.com
The
inct.
Review
(Princeton
Register now for free:
www.topgradschool.com
Find us on Facebook
/topgradschool 8    |    CULTURE    |    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13,2012
DECORATING »
Making that l-year lease feel like a home
Kayi Wong
Contributor
You might be living in your dorm
or apartment under a one-year
lease, but the effort you put into
personalizing that space will pay
off in the long run. Good decor can
turn your home into an inviting,
unique conversation starter. Use
the tips below to embark on a mini
home improvement project with a
student budget.
Treat your wall like a blank
canvas
Simply taping up pictures of friends
and family seems to be the standard in dorm room decor, but there
are more sophisticated alternatives
at your fingertips.
Start by browsing the magazine and photography sections
at local thrift stores and secondhand bookstores. A two-page
Doctor Who spread in a vintage
magazine will be more original
and way cheaper than a brand-
new poster at the Imaginus
poster sale in the SUB.
Next, get creative with how you
display your clippings. Rather than
using tape or tacks, consider hanging your fandom art from clothespins or wire clotheshangers.
For a slightly more ambitious
project, you can make your room
resemble an IKEA catalogue by
hanging up 10-15 mismatched
frames scrounged from a garage sale or Value Village. Just
remember that square, rect-
YARA DE JONG PHOTOS^HE UBYSSEY
Left: Hang pictures of your high school friends on clothes pins. Remove them when you realize they are actually terrible people.
Right: Class up your trophy liquor bottles with some bracelets.
angular or diamond shapes work
best together.
Alternatively, find old maps at
secondhand stores. They're beautiful on their own and look great on
bare walls.
Spell it out
If you are a lover of words and quotations, display your favourite film
lines or Shakespearean quotes over
your bed or desk. Vinyl stickers are
the quick option, but they work better on windows or mirrors. Instead,
cut out large letters from loose
magazine pages or simply print
them out on a computer for a more
precise look. If you want to avoid
putting a bunch of unnecessary
holes in your walls, you can safely
attach your cut-out letters with
sticky tack. For a quick DIY project,
you can also pull a thread through
each letter and hang the quote as
a garland.
Get creative with curtains
Nothing can change your room as
significantly as your duvet cover
and curtain. Be on the lookout
for eye-catching top sheets, table
linens, flags or even scarves. Use
them as a top sheet or hang them
over your dorm curtains. You can
also use the same fabric as a curtain for an open closet or a spread
for your couch. Remember: when
the sun comes up, your room
might turn into the colour of your
new curtain, so don't buy fabric
with a dominant colour that you
hate waking up to.
Reuse and recycle in style
Save your old jam jars for
multi-purpose storage that doubles
as decoration. Fill the containers
with pens, brushes, flowers, colourful buttons or even loose tea. There
are also countless tutorials online
for reusing containers as creative
projects. Some of them include DIY
snow globes, glitter jars and glowing firefly jars.
Old beer and wine bottles are
ideal as vases, but they are also
useful for organizing your accessories. Stack your watches and
bangles around the neck, or hang
earrings around the mouth. If you
have Christmas lights, try sticking
them into old glass bottles for some
subtle decorative illumination.
Useful tools to have on hand
Sticky tack or painter's tape are
a renter's best friend. Similarly,
wooden clothespins are great for
displaying photographs and postcards; just attach the clothespins to
the wall using sticky tack.
As for storage, wine crates are
the most aesthetically pleasing
form of mobile shelving; stack them
in any configuration you want. Find
your neighbourhood wine dealer,
as they might be selling them for
cheap. tJ
studentcare.net/works is a proud
FarmAde 2012.
Connect With Your
AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan
Your Benefits for 2012/2013
Health
prescription drugs, psychologist, chiropractor,
physiotherapist, ambulance, vaccinations, and more..
Dental
cleanings, checkups, fillings, root canals, gum
treatments, extractions, and more...
Vision
eye exam, eyeglasses or contact lenses,
laser eye surgery
Travel
travel health coverage for 1 20 days per trip and up to
$5,000,000, plus trip cancellation and trip interruption
Networks Enhance Your Benefits and Save You Money
Get even more coverage by visiting members of the Dental, Vision, Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, and Massage Therapy Networks.
Find a health practitioner at www.ihaveaplan.ca.
Why a Health & Dental Plan?
The Plan is a critical service of the AMS and GSS designed to fill the gaps in provincial health care. As a student at UBC in
September or January and a member of the Alma Mater Society or Graduate Student Society paying AMS fees for the Plan,
you're covered by the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan. The cost of the Plan is part of your student fees.
Change-of-Coverage Dates
All enrolments and opt outs must be completed between Sept. 4 - 25, 2012. Only new Term 2 students can opt out or enrol
their spouse/dependants between Jan. 3 - 24, 2013 for coverage from Jan. 1 - Aug. 31, 201 3.
Health & Dental Plan Office
Room 61, SUB Lower Level
The Member Services Centre is there
to assist you from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays:
Toll-free: 1 877 795-4421
Have a smart phone with a QR code reader?
Scan the box to be directed to your Plan's website.
ams
GRADUATE
STUDENT SOCIETY
UBC•VANCOUVER
coon
ihaveaplan.ca THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012    |    CULTURE
SHOPPING »
DONALD WANG PHOTO^HE UBYSSEY
How to thrift like a pro
Kayi Wong
Contributor
If you want to decorate your
dorm on a dime but lack supplies or ideas, hitting up the
local secondhand scene may
be just what you need to get started.
But where to begin? Here are some
of our favourite haunts for picking
up pre-loved treasures.
ABC Book and Comic Emporium
1539 West Broadway
Along with comic books and literature of all genres, this secondhand bookstore (located conveniently along the 99 route) has a
great inventory of old magazines.
They stock both popular titles
and niche journals, covering
a wide range of interests and
decades. Old issues of photograph-heavy publications, such
as LIFE undNational Geographic,
are brimming with pages worthy
of hanging or framing. The store
will be going out of business at
the end of November, so hurry
over to score some discount lit
while you still can.
Filmgo Sales
2741 Skeena Street
As its name hints, Filmgo often
buys and sells secondhand film
props. This large space has the
hand-picked selection typical of
vintage stores, but also the hodgepodge clutter of an antique flea
market. Some notable sightings
include a framed New Yorker
print for 10 dollars, vintage board
games and a Vancouver map from
the seventies.
Vancouver Flea Market
703 Terminal Avenue
Their entrance fee of one dollar
is reasonable compared to most
antique markets in the city, which
makes this a great indoor spot for
some casual vintage shopping.
Though not all of the stalls are
true vintage vendors, there are
several veteran stallholders that
sell amazing vintage ephemera.
Common items you can find:
• aged black-and-white photos
• vintage postcards
• greeting cards
• brass skeleton keys
• working analogue cameras
• Ouija boards
It's a block from the Main Street
Skytrain station and runs every
weekend from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Value Village
6415 Victoria Drive
Smaller thrift stores and markets
are better for sourcing loose paper
items, since Value Village sells
them in bags that you can't rummage through.
However, this well-known
thrift chain carries a broad range
of furniture, and most of them do
delivery.
You can also find cheap picture
frames or pre-framed wall art of
all kinds, from cross-stitching to
Monet prints to paint-by-numbers. Xi
DONALDWANG PHOTG/THE UBYSSEY
VISIT SHAW O
LOCATION AT
UBC FROM
SEPTEMBER
4TH - 14TH!
Come see us outside of the
Student Union Building for
the BEST deals on Internet
and TV!
AN\W
* ve&*K&&
I?  c
/
sVvjyN.oa/c«v^S Opinions
rEMBERl3,2012| \Q
THE LAST WORD
FARTING SHOTS AND SNAP JUDGMENTS ON TODAY'S ISSUES
Z£N&TW OF QM AT POPE T&WN HMLS
Don't buy the university
rankings snake oil
^dsOly Tbvurv
Lhall lasts
one mi'nu+e.
Toope st&fvds
a.oir. Toope levies
before Ke arrives.
Come on, Toope. Make the
"town hall" a real town hall
Last Monday's annual town hall
meeting with UBC President Stephen Toope was a tightly produced
one-hour event that went smoothly in general. But for people who
think that town halls should be
open, somewhat raucous affairs —
a chance to really put a leader on
the spot — this town hall did not
live up to its name.
Actual questions from the floor
were cut off after two speakers,
and while there wasn't exactly a
rush to pick Toope's brain, this
might be because the past few
meetings have taught people that
this isn't an open forum. Toope
promised to answer all further
questions via email, but that's not
the public exchange of ideas prom-
sied by the name "town hall."
Almost all the time was taken
up by a "thought-provoking interview," where the director of the
UBC School of Journalism, Peter
Klein, synthesized email questions
into a bullet-point list of issues like
"How do you feel about transit?
child care? housing?"
It was a good way to get all of
the simple issues taken care of,
and Klein did well, but it allowed
Toope to rely on researched
answers and minimized the access
people had to him. And when most
of your presentation is choosing
the email questions you feel like
answering, what's the point of a
town hall? If you have to cut other
areas or make the whole show
longer to fit in more Q&A, do it.
There is no election campaign
where Toope has to be open to
convince people to re-elect him, so
this is one of the rare opportunities
that an average person has to stand
up, ask UBC's president a question
and be guaranteed a response.
It's a shame that the presentation
seemed hellbent on limiting that
opportunity as much as possible.
Toope's response to Acadia
Park question cold comfort
Almost 500 Acadia Park residents
had to relocate because their
student family homes are being
demolished for market housing.
One of those residents asked for
some answers from Toope at his
town hall.
This student talked about the
sense of community in Acadia
Park. Neighbours look after each
other's children and there are
parks close by. She asked Toope
what UBC would do to replace
the loss of student family housing
at UBC.
Toope's response was that she
needed to "put the whole thing
in context" and not miss the big
picture at UBC. He said the housing on Acadia was substandard
and that the land in Acadia wasn't
beingused effectively, since it has
the lowest density on campus.
He also said there would be new
graduate housing on Gage South,
the area by the bus loop that was
zoned for student housing last
year. Previously, there was strong
resistance from the university on
that last point.
Toope's response came as
cold comfort, seeming harsh and
oblivious to the individual lives of
students. Toope made it clear that
when it comes to housing at UBC,
it's about quantity, not quality. It's
not only cruel to tell a student with
a family who has just been forced
to leave her home to think about
the future density of Gage South.
It's taking credit for something
the university originally fought
against tooth and nail.
Hopes for UBC line crumbling
around us
Bad news for the UBC line.
The Globe and Mail recently
ran an article in which Gordon
Price, a former six-term Vancouver city councillor, states quite
bluntly that he doesn't expect to
see a Broadway rapid transit line
within his lifetime. The guy is a
relatively spry 62 years old.
He cites Surrey as next in line
to get transit developments. Before anything is built, Broadway-
UBC will probably have to wait
for consensus between all parties
involved: students, business
owners, TransLink, et cetera.
A new transit report is supposed to showcase the different
options for the corridor, ranging
from an underground line to
more frequent buses. But it's
doubtful that anything is going to
come to fruition soon, regardless of any sort of campaign or
documentary the AMS or UBC
hopes to run. Population growth
is goingto dictate the future of
transit in the Lower Mainland
over the next decades, and south
of the Fraser is next in line. What's
a student to do?
ANDREW BATES ILLUSTRATIONfTHE UBYSSEY
No one-size-fits-all solution for
learning technology
Depending on what faculty, or
even department, you spend
most of your time in, you'll have
very different interactions with
learning technology. In some Arts
classes, professors give old-fashioned lectures without the aid of
PowerPoint or anything beyond
a few barely legible scratches on
a chalkboard. On the other hand,
some Sauder classes require that
all reading material be uploaded
online, iclicker exams are ubiquitous in the Faculty of Science,
while most Arts classes have no
use for them.
UBC operates a few top-down
tech initiatives, like the Centre for Teaching and Learning
Technology, which provides
instructors with information
on how new technology can be
incorporated into their teaching. The much-lauded Weiman
Teaching Initiative has been
credited with making professors more responsive to student
needs. These initiatives have
been mostly hands-off though,
since professors in some faculties
can't be asked to drastically alter
their teaching style.
Some might argue that since
UBC hasn't aggressively moved
to adopt new technologies like
lecture capture, exam databases
and massive open online courses,
it's failed in some way. In some
cases, this is true. But the path
is littered with technologies that
were once chic but have largely
been discredited. PowerPoint,
once touted as a revolution in
teaching, has since become a
punchline. A recent article in
Bloomberg Businessweek argued
that "no field of human endeavour can defy [PowerPoint's]
facility for reducing complexity
and nuance to bullet points and
big ideas to tacky clip art."
While some of the technologies
discussed can aid student learning
and make knowledge collaborative, they can never be millenial.
At the end of the day, the best
learning happens when ideas are
communicated clearly by someone
who believes what they're saying.
On that level, the technology itself
becomes immaterial. 'tJ
L
EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK
by Jonny Wakefield
Oh no! UBC is no longer one of
the top universities in the world!
We've slipped to number 45 in
The World University Rankings,
a long way from last year's 22.
Something has gone terribly
wrong.
Well, not exactly. Those who
saw the recent Quacquarelli
Symonds (QS) university rankings might have been surprised
to see UBC "drop" to number 45.
Haven't we always been told UBC
is in the top 30?
That top 30 figure that UBC always flaunts actually comes from
a different ranking: the Times
Higher Education survey. There
are about six "reputable" world
university rankings out there, and
they're big business. When things
go well, UBC plasters those numbers on their website and promo
materials. When they are a little
less impressive, well, things get
swept under the rug.
The truth is, it's almost impossible to determine what makes
a university "good." Hell, in
Canada, we have no idea what we
actually want universities to do.
We want them to be producers of
idiosyncratic research, but also
drivers of economic innovation,
and if they have any time left
over, they're supposed to teach
students how to be productive
members of society. Oftentimes
these goals are at odds. So with a
mandate that's so confusing within a single country, how can you
begin to look at how universities
— especially public universities —
stack up on the world stage?
Things get even fishier when
you look at how these university
rankings are actually calculated. Let's start with the recently
released QS survey, which has
received a bit of flak, including
a recent paper out of Oxford
essentially debunking their
entire method. QS breaks their
overall ranking into four separate chunks. Sixty per cent of
the overall ranking is based on
something called "research quality," determined by an academic
peer review and the number of
citations per faculty member.
This should raise a red flag for
anyone who thinks universities
ought to be about, you know,
teaching people stuff. And to be
fair, teaching quality is addressed
in this survey, but it's only weighted at 20 per cent. (The rest of the
equation is determined by "international outlook," or the number
of students and faculty who claim
overseas citizenship.)
In fact, none of the six major university rankings seems
to evaluate the undergraduate
experience beyond the almost
meaningless ratio of faculty to
students. The Academic Ranking
of World Universities looks at
things like the number of Nobel
Prizes won by university employees. Another supposedly venerable survey looks at a university's
web presence.
The point is, each ranking
system picks different, subjective criteria on which to judge
complex institutions that already
have weird, conflicting mandates. But let's go beyond criteria and actually look at some of
the methods.
The QS survey has been
bungled so badly in the past,
it's a wonder anyone still pays
attention to it. That 60 per cent
research quality rating? That was
determined, at least in the 2006
system studied by the Oxford
paper, by emailing a few researcher listservs and asking people to
rank the top 30 institutions in the
world for their disciplines. The
response rate? Less than one per
cent. Even if you discount selection bias, that kind of stat should
be enough to scuttle any serious
consideration of this survey.
But the sad part is the amount
of play these surveys receive.
University administrators fret
over a bad score, and I imagine
they pop a few bottles when the
numbers go their way. Media
report on them with much fanfare
and little substance, and chances
are your future employers will
look at them, despite the fact that
they probably give two shits about
whether a bunch of academics
liked your prof's paper.
In short, it's snake oil. Don't
buy it. tJ
Roundabouts unsafe for
campus cyclists
LETTERS
I wanted to thank you for your
article on UBC's roundabouts.
It is alarming to think that UBC
Campus + Community Planning
is considering more roundabouts
on UBC campus. As a cyclist, the
mega roundabout at 16th Avenue
and Wesbrook is challenging to
enter and safely use. I often find
myself squeezed between cars
trying to desperately find my way
out of the traffic circle. Using the
suggested "bike route" which puts
you up on the sidewalk and forces
you to cross every entrance to the
roundabout is not only dangerous, but it's simply impractical.
We need motorists to understand
that cyclists belong on the road,
and forcing cyclists back onto the
sidewalk as if they are pedestrians is not helpful. UBC has
opted for a type of traffic device
which appears more appropriate
for suburban areas which see few
pedestrians and cyclists, which
perhaps is indicative of the type
of development they are pursuing
on campus. Even more alarming is
that UBC Campus + Community
Planning is ignoring the expert
knowledge of their own faculty
members who study population
health, including Kay Teschke,
who notes that roundabouts increase the risk for cyclist crashes
and potentially pedestrians as
well. It seems that UBC is using a
one-size-fits-all approach to transportation infrastructure which
is neither appropriate in the UBC
context nor safe for pedestrians
and cyclists.
Andrew Longhurst
Geography, Arts
Want to rant or rave about something you've read in the paper? Send
your letters to feedback@ubyssey.
ca. Scene
iMBER 13, 2012 | U
CJ
The UBC T-Birds offensive line after practice on Tuesday. From left to right: Gord Randall, Kelly Kurisu, Ethan Schnell, Donovan Gratton, Alec Pennell, Steve Zakrzewski.
<AIJACOBSONfTHE UBYSSEY
HACKEDEX
YOUR UBC WORD OF THE WEEK
unecom
Cyo onekorn,abrev.)
A semi-abbreviation for the Alma Mater
Society's University and External Relations
Committee (don'tyou get it now?!).
They meet to determine the student
government's stance on provincial and
federal lobbying, and liaise with external
bodies like TransLink and the University
Neighbourhoods Association.
What I'm Eating Now
Mooch away!
SLIDERS
Source: AMS
Council, every
second Wednesday. AMS cater-
ing. White bun
ft. meat product/
sauce.
Toope Talk
UBC President Stephen Toope has, shall we say, some verbal quirks. He's so well-versed in university-speak that some of his remarks
can sound like they're from another planet. A selection from last week's town hall:
Look at
the bigger
picture.
i response to a
uestion from a
I don't think
universities
should have a
fetish for
measurement-
said they
did it on
the couch.
Do it your way.
Enrol anytime, complete your course
where and when you want and transfer
credits backto your on-campus program.
www.truopen.ca/yourway
?
Den
earning
Thompson Rivers mJ University
Flexible • Credible • Online and distance
REMOTELY HUMAN
OUTRAGEOUSLY ACADEMIC 12    I    GAMES    I    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10,2012
1
2
3
4
'
1
•
7
8
9
.
|
"
12
13
14
"
"
17
IS
"
20
■ 21
22
■ 23
II
25
26
27
■IB
■ M
30
■
31
■ 32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
■
■ 41
■
43
■ 44
45
46
47
■  i
49
■ so
51
52
53
54
55
l
.
57
58
"
1
BESTCR
60
:..
CR
osswo
iDPUZZ
/IDED BY
DSSWOF
USED1A
THPER
MISSION.
Across
1-Seraglio
6-Pundit
11- Believer's suffix
14-Valuable violin
15- Dovetail part
16- Cigarette ingredient
17- Indigent
19-Canonized Mile.
20- Kitchen sideboards
21-Sailor
23-Surgery sites, briefly
24- Crown of ancient Egypt
25-Goober
29-Deli offerings
30-Surmise
31-Worm fibre
32- Narrow inlet
35-In spite of
39-Draft org.
40-Weed whackers
41-Tidal bore
42- Less covered
44-Small nautical flag
45-Vacuum bottle
48-Lush
49- Highly seasoned stew
50-Capital of Liberia
55-Anger
56-Fibrous quality
58-NFL scores
59-1985 Kate Nelligan film
60- -foot oil
61-Cornerstone abbr.
62- 4th letter of the Greek alphabet
63-Synthetic fibre
Down
1-Clock pointer
2-From the U.S.
3-Speed contest
4- French summers
5-State of USA
6-Agitates
7- Dampens
8-Year abroad
9-Greek dish
10- Invertebrate creature
11-"Who's there?" reply
12-The devil
13- Lott of Mississippi
18-Spanish muralist
22-Sighs of relief
24- Rawhides
25-Fasteners
26- Slaughter of basebal
27-P.M. times
28-Fresh
29- Skinflint
31-Clogs, e.g.
32- Diana of The Avengers
33-About, in memos
34- A Death in the Family author
36-Strangle
37-Massless particle
38- es Salaam
42- Sis's sib
43-Entertained
44- Dull resonant sound
45- Hackneyed
46- Flax refuse
47- Excrete
48-Actress Braga
50-Aromatic herb
51- Doozy
52-Meat dish
53-Ratio words
54-Org.
57-Fam. member
'r
A
G
•s
1
■s
E
G
A
•L
1
"E
D
D
A
E
L
E
A
'fe
L
O
P
E
'R
E
E
L
M
A
S
T
E
R
M
1
N
■>
'4
P
A
L
A
T
T
1
R
e In
E
G
A
T
O
R
Y
P
E
E
R
1
N
c Ia
E
G
1
s 1
H 1
N
A
N
e Ir
A
C
1
A
L
M
A
r. 1 c Id
A
D
's I'M
A
T
T
E
A
L
a Ir 1 e
R
G
O
1 1 A 1 E
O
S
T
U
D
O
R It
E
N
1  l"E 1 D
1
E
A
M
1
N
O
R Is
E
T
U
P 1
Ia
S
S
A
D 1 S
E
R
1
A
^
E
A
S
T
H
E
N
I
a Ir
A
S
C
A
L
B
A
1
o
1
..
A
N
T
A
L
O
u
P
E
1
C
0
»
0
N
E
A
T
1
"D
R
E
G
T
O
N
B
■k
E
T
1
B
'E
A
S
Y
8
3
7
1
6
3
4
5
2
1
2
4
9
8
1
7
3
5
1
3
7
5
6
9
1
8
9
4
5
6
5
4
1
7
4
1
5
9
SODOKU BYKRAZYDAD. PRINTED WITH PERMISSION.
SAVE UP
TO 90%
ON USED
TEXTBOOKS
AND 35%
ON NEW
TEXTBOOKS
BEING OF ADVENTUROUS SOUL but of meek wallet, I will hereby spend less
for my textbooks in order to save money for what can't be learned from a book.
amazon.ca/textbooks

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

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"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.ubysseynews.1-0126863/manifest

Comment

Related Items