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The Ubyssey Feb 10, 2011

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Array Pouring tabasco sauce down our pants SINCE 1918 2/UBYSSEY.CA/E VENTS/2011.02.10
FEBRUARY 10,2011
Justin McElroy: coordinating@ubysseyca
Arshy Mann: news@ubyssey.ca
Kalyeena Makortoff: kmakortoff@ubysseyca
Mich Cowan: mcowan@ubysseyca
Jonny Wakefield & Bryce Warnes:
culture@ubyssey ca
Ginny Monaco: gmonaco@ubyssey ca
Jndiana Joel: ijoel@ubysseyca
Marie Vondracek: sports@ubysseyca
Trevor Record :features@ubyssey ca
Geoff Lister: photos@ubysseyca
Virginie Menard: production@ubysseyca
Kai Green: copy@ubysseyca
Tara Martellaro: multimedia@ubysseyca
Stephanie Warren:
David Marino: video@ubysseyca
Jeff Blake: webmaster@ubysseyca
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: 604.822.2301
web: www.ubyssey.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubysseyca
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print advertising: 604.822.1654
business office: 604.822.6681
web advertising: 604.822.1658
e-mail: advertising@ubysseyca
FerniePereira: business@ubysseyca
Kathy Yan Li: advertising@ubysseyca
Paul Bucci: webads@ubysseyca
AlexHoopes: accounts@ubysseyca
Kait Bolongaro Catherine Guan
Gordon Katie Kathy Yan Li
Conrad Compagna Mike Dickson
Ashwini Manohar Oana Sandu
Melanie Van Soeren Brian Piatt
Parsl Bucci Caroline Vierke
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of
the University of British Columbia. It is published
every Monday and Thursday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous, democratically run student organization, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of the
staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views of
The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial content appear-
ng in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey
Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs
and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced
without the expressed, written permission of The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian
University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words
Please include your phone number, student number
and signature (not for publication) as well as your
year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the
editorial office of The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone. "Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and
are run according to space. "Freestyles" are opinion
pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority
will be given to letters and perspectives over free-
styles unless the latter is time sensitive. Opinion
pieces will not be run until the identity of the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey reserves the right
to edit submissions for length and clarity. All letters
must be received by 12 noon the day before intended publication. Letters received after this point wil
be published in the following issue unless there is
an urgent time restriction or other matter deemed
relevant by the Ubyssey staff.
Itisagreed byall persons placing display or classified advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications
Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an
error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS wil
not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The
UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes or
typographical errors that do not lessen the value or
the impact of the ad
^» %f^ Canadian
-r-p. qi *--■ University
roL        Press
jpe- Rainforest
Canada Post
Sales Agreement
us create this baby! Learn about
layout and editing. Expect to be
fed. • Every Sunday and Wednesday, 2pm.
working on a progressive project,
but need funding? Do you have
an idea, but can't get it off the
ground? Apply to the Resource
Groups for funding! Come in,
pitch your idea to us and we will
consider fully or partially funding
your project. • Every Monday,
11am in SUB 245 (second floor,
north-east corner). For more info
email resourcegroups.ams®
references to the tradition of
landscape painting that captures
the beauty of the land and
trees, Kyung's art pieces have
a surrounding landscape that
serves as a backdrop to her daily
life within her adopted homeland
of Canada. However, through
her works, she also illustrates
the darker side ofthe landscape,
confronting the troubling aspects
of environmental pollution that
threatens nature. • Runs until
Feb. 26, artwork featured in
Irving K Barber foyer and Ike's
Cafe gallery.
Liver Foundation presents their
fundraiser event, Date Search.
Guys and girls will be auctioning
themselves off as dates for the
night. All donations and money
raised will go to the Canadian
Liver Foundation of BC and
Yukon for liver research and for
helping liver disease patients.
• 9pm-1am, Pit Pub, email
ubc.clf@gmail.com for more
UBC School of Population &
Public Health (SPPH) presents
a free public lecture by Dr. Clyde
Hertzman, "Simple stats &
sad stories: early child survival
and development in Canada."
• 4:30pm, Michael Smith
Laboratories. A reception will
follow at 5:30pm.
Double Double Foil and Fumble
is a joint production between
UBC Theatre and Creative Writing faculties. It follows the story of five university-aged friends
as they get together to weave
some magic; only none of them
know what they're doing, half
of them don't believe in magic and some of them have ulterior motives. • Runs until Feb.
12, Dorothy Somerset Studios,
tickets by donation, proceeds
go to Pride UBC.
HMS PINAFORE • The Gilbert and
Sullivan Society of UBC returns
to the newly renovated UBC Old
Auditorium with HMS Pinafore,
a lively and anachronistic staging
of one of the best-known operettas in the English language. Join
the high-kicking sailor crew and
their gaggle of giggling schoolgirls. • Runs until Feb. 11, 8pm,
Feb. 12, 2pm, $15, $10 for students, email info@gsubc.com
for reservations.
know what to get your special
someone for Valentine's Day?
Come by the AMS Sweet Valentine's Fair and choose from
jewelry, clothing, gifts and so
much more! • Runs until Feb.
11, 10am-5:30pm, SUB Main
Film Society will be showing
A Clockwork Orange, the celebrated film from director Stanley Kubrick. In future Britain,
charismatic delinquent Alex
DeLarge is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the
government in an effort to solve
society's crime problem... but not
all goes according to plan. • Runs
until Feb. 14, 9:30-11:30pm,
Norm Theatre, $5 non-members, $2.50 members.
The AMS AGM is an opportunity to show your support for
your student union, find ways to
get involved and get a glimpse
of its direction for the year to
come. Meet your outgoing and
incoming AMS executives and
other students over free food
and refreshments. Get informed
about your student union and
recognize the dedication and
contribution that student leaders have made to the campus
community. • 12-2pm, Room
214/216, SUB.
• Cabaret Dinner and Dance to
celebrate the end of the 1920's
and the end of Pride UBC's
Outweek! This is a semi-formal dance—go with the jazz
theme. • 6:30-11:45pm, dinner
at 7pm, SUB Ballroom, $12.50,
go to prideubc.com for morei
the first part of Spring Break?
Get up to the top floor of the
SUB, where we will teach you
to make cheap, cheap brews.
All you need is $5 to be a member, and you can come to all
our brewing sessions for free!
You might even be able to bring
back a little "something something." No experience needed.
Be prepared to be hands-on.
• 1-4pm, AMS Servery $5,
$10 non-UBC students, free
for members.
[TITLE OF SHOW] • [title of show]
is Broadway's newest, hilarious
cult hit musical and is making its
Western Canadian premiere in
Vancouver musical. Best friends
Hunter and Jeff decide to write
a musical starring themselves
and their wacky and sassy la-
dyfriends Heidi and Susan. •
Feb. 15-26, Mon.-Fri. 8pm, Sat.
2pm and 8pm, Arts Club Revue
Stage, 1585 Johnston St, Granville Island. $25, call (604) 629-
8849 or go tovancouvertix.com
to reserve.
VENTURA • Every second Tuesday, Prof Talk on 101.9FM features interviews with professors
from a variety of disciplines. This
week, host Farha Khan will talk
with Dr Carlos Ventura from the
department of Civil Engineering about his role as Director
of the Earthquake Engineering
Research facility at UBC as well
as some of the recent seismic
trends in structural engineering. • 3pm, live programming
at citr.ca.
to learn how to find and use
Teach English
TESOL/TESL Teacher Training
Certification Courses
* Intensive 60-Hour Program
1 Classroom Management Techniques
1 Detailed Lesson Planning
* ESL Skills Development
* Comprehensive Teaching Materials
1 Interactive Teaching Practicum
* Internationally Recognized Certificate
1 Teacher Placement Service
* Honey-Back Guarantee Included
* Thousands of Satisfied Students
We offer:
• Compact and portable
Hydrogen Storage
• MH Tank Refilling Services
• Stackable PEM Fuel Cells
Your campus radio station
with online streaming
and podcasts
images? Then come to one of
UBC Library's ARTstor workshops. ARTstor is a digital library of more than one million
images licensed for educational use at UBC, covering the areas of art, architecture, the humanities and the social sciences. In this workshop, you will
learn how to effectively search
the ARTstor database as well as
interact with its many features—
such as saving and downloading images, and using the offline presentation software. •
10:30am-12pm, Room 318, Irving K Barber, register at elred.
library, ubc.ca/libs/dashboard/
annual medical school play will
be Laughter on the 23rd Floor by
Neil Simon. Inspired by Simon's
early career as a junior writer
for a variety comedy show, it
portrays the manic antics of
a group of comedy writers as
they struggle with their show's
inevitable cancellation. • Feb.
17-19 and Feb. 23-25, 8-11 pm,
Medical Student and Alumni
Centre, 2750 Heather St. $12
students, $15 non-students,
e-mail medplaytickets@gmail.
com to purchase.
1983 French language film
depicts the last months of
Georges Danton, one of the
leaders ofthe French Revolution. The film draws parallels
between the Reign of Terror
after the French Revolution and
the situation in contemporary
Poland, in which the Solidarity movement struggled against
the oppression of the Soviet-
backed Polish government.
Directed by Andrzej Waj-
da, it won six major awards
in the year of its release. •
8-1 Opm, Piano House, Graham
Lounge, Green College, email
gc.events@ubc.ca or go to
greencollege.ubc.ca for more
MEHFIL 2011 • The UBC Indian
Students' Association presents
a night of entertainment that includes an all-time favorite photo-booth service, top notch performances on stage, a delicious three-course Indian dinner from Sarvana Bhavan and
featuring DJ XL spinning the
hottest Bollywood & Bhangra
tunes to end the night! All new
for this year, there will be a
Mumbai-inspired lounge next
door for you to relax in and take
a break from the dance floor!
Note: anyone who wishes to the
enter the lounge must display 2
pieces of ID. • 7pm, SUB Ballroom, $10 members, $15 non-
members, $18 at the door. Call
(778) 960-9362, (778) 668-3967
or (778) 320-1851 to buy tickets.
Club presents The Pillowman.
Katurian, a writer in an unidentified authoritarian state, becomes the prime suspect of a
series of child murders when
the police notice similarities between his violent stories and
the deaths they are investigating. The Pillowman takes a look
at violence, abuse and the influence of art in the modern world
without trepidation. • Feb. 23-
26, 7:30pm, Dorothy Somerset
Studios. $5 members, $8 students, $10 non-students, tickets can be reserved by emailing
com or at the door 30 mins before the show. 2011.02.10/UBYSSEY.CA/NEWS/3
EDITOR ARSHY MANN»news@ubyssey.ca
Egyptian students look on revolution from afar
On the ground at the protests in Cairo, Egypt. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAGGIE OSAMA/FLICKR
As revolution sweeps through
Egypt, many Canadians have
been transfixed by the coverage of protracted street battles
in Cairo. But none are watching
more intently than Egyptian-
Canadians, many of whom have
relatives back home.
Ibrahim Gadala, a graduate
student of Engineering at UBC,
is one of them. His family lives
in a suburb of Cairo close to
Tahrir square, which has seen
both the largest crowds and the
heaviest fighting since the unrest began.
He said that they took to the
streets to defend their neighbourhoods from looters after
the protestors drove all uniformed authority from the
streets, plunging the capital
into chaos.
"They would get anything—
sticks, kitchen knives, whatever
they could find—and they would
make a checkpoint at the beginning of the street," he said.
Gadala, whose parents moved
to Canada in the 1970s, said that
he did not believe the clashes
were the beginning of a downward spiral that could end in
sectarian bloodshed, a view often hinted at by Egyptian state
"Egyptians are civilized. The
nation is educated. They know
that certain actions will not be
beneficial in the future," he said.
"They want to live in a modern
In fact he, like many other
Egyptians, accused the government of hiring the looters and
pro-government thugs, who
descended in concerted waves
upon Tahrir square last week in
an attempt to disperse the protesters, using everything from
cobblestones to camel charges.
"For the government to get
down to the despicable level
of renting thugs and trying to
present to the people that this
is Egyptian society is very disappointing," he said.
"Egyptians are not the type of
people to go into civil war. This
kind of fear is the type of thing
the government wants to instill
in people so they don't continue to protest."
To Gadala, the way young people have banded together to defend their neighbourhoods is
not a warning sign but a testament to their newfound sense
of civil spirit.
"When the government hired
thugs and looters to try and
wreak havoc in the cities, the
people got together and they're
the ones who protected their
homes and their shops and the
street," he said.
Ahmed Bahgat, who recently
graduated with a political science degree from UBC, said he
first found out about the protests in Egypt from the media's
"I called my family in Egypt
and we told them to stock up
on food and water because we
knew there was a going to be a
revolution," he said.
Bahgat came to Canada to attend university and his parents
followed shortly after him. The
rest of his family still lives in
his hometown of Cairo.
"When it first happened, everyone was a bit scared, terrified. [That] shows you the fear
the regime puts in you.
"Now there's been a reverse
effect. Before, the people used
to fear the President; he used to
speak whatever is on his mind.
Now it's the opposite. The President has lost his power because
he fears the people, he has to
be careful with his words. So
there's no more fear."
Bahgat said that he has mixed
feelings about being in Canada while events in Egypt are
"Sometimes you're happy that
Canada's a peaceful, stable country. You feel like it's a blessing.
But at the same time you wish
you were among the protesters with your people in Tahrir
"[But] I think every Egyptian
can say nowadays that they're
proud to be Egyptian because
of what's happening," he said.
UBC student to journey to the Hermit Kingdom
Pyongyang Project sends students to Chinese, South and North Korean universities
What do Palestine, North Korea and UBC have in common?
Altay Otun.
The first year political science student is venturing to
North Korea in June as part
of a multinational initiative
called the Pyongyang Project.
Begun by two US graduate students with ties to North Korean officials in 2006, a team of
professors and students from
North America, Europe and
Australia are sent over to meet
with teams of their North Korean, South Korean and Chinese counterparts.
The purpose ofthe talks, held
in North Korea, South Korea and
China, is to facilitate dialogue
on how to achieve peace in the
Korean Peninsula. Having already witnessed close-quarter
tensions in an earlier trip to Palestine, Otun will draw on those
experiences as he enters a situation that has escalated since
North Korea shelled a South Korean island in December.
"When I was in the West
Bank and Gaza, I saw very
caring people trying to get by,
Altay Otun is North Korea-bound. GEOFF LISTER PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
whereas in the media it's Palestinians firing AK47s and wearing 'Free Palestine' scarves,"
Otun said. "I had a shock in Palestine and will probably have
the same shock when I go to
North Korea."
The project will release a 20-
50 page memo of recommendations for building peace based
on their experiences with students and professors from the
three countries. The report,
which will circulate through
various think-tanks, government offices and academia, has
more relevance in official circles than one might think.
"At this difficult time, I
think it's important we find
any possible form of dialogue
with North Korea," said Dr Paul
Evans, who ran 28 bilateral
and multilateral meetings with
North Korean leadership from
"Because ofthe nuclear problem, it's been very hard to construct official dialogues through
government channels. With students, while there's an element
of propaganda embedded in the
regime and its people, sometimes there are more honest discussions than when more senior
people are present, like officials
and businessmen."
With talks at the official level
at a virtual standstill, it is more
important than ever that we seek
to understand the uniqueness
and isolation of the highly communist North to have success at
the grassroots level.
"We can only do so much,"
Otun said. "We're there to be
diplomats, create solutions and
pass knowledge on to people
who can affect real change.
We're not there to press an ideology; we're there to listen and
to learn."
"Students can facilitate the
opening of North Korea to the
outside world," said Evans. "It's
not a direct way to solve diplomatic problems, but it's a necessary part of a long-term solution." t8
WINNIPEG (CUP) — The University of Manitoba has banned
party buses from entering campus as a response to safety
On Jan. 12, a memo was sent
to student groups across campus asking them to stop using
bus convoys to transport students to and from the bar, stating that the university is in the
midst of revising its alcohol policy "in light of recent incidents
that have been the direct result
of bus trips organized by local
As an interim step, the university will charge such buses
that come onto campus property with trespassing.
As students complain about rising tuition, many thousands of
dollars remain unclaimed.
According to Joel Kobylka,
supervisor at Enrolment Services, students who have cheques
to pick up have five months to
do so from the time they receive
an email notification. However,
many of these cheques, which
have a six-month expiry date,
go uncollected.
Stephanie Oldford, manager of Financial Support Initiatives, assured that the University does not hold any stale-
dated cheques. "The amount
that would've been owing on
the cheque just goes back to
your tuition account," she said.
Tuition credit is only given for
scholarships and awards. "Bursaries are awarded on the assumption that the student has
financial need, so if they're not
coming to pick up the cheque
through the time that they have
a claim...we cancel the bursary," Oldford explained.
There are other options
available for students unable
to collect cheques. "They are
always welcome to phone us,"
Kobylka pointed out. There
is also a special cheque forwarding service for co-op or
exchange students outside
of the Lower Mainland. The
cheques are mailed to these
students' banks or home addresses after the necessary
forms are filled out.
When asked if students
were just too lazy to pick up
cheques, Kobylka disagreed.
"Oftentimes students just forget," he said. "Students are
having to deal with studying
and exams and everything else
in their life. So I don't think just
not coming to pick up a cheque
would make them lazy," Oldford added.
Ali Majzadeh, a first-year student, agreed. "I just keep forgetting," he said, before declaring he would go collect his
cheque this week. Benj Israel, whose father is a professor at UBC, gets tuition waivers and remembered picking up
his cheque the day after getting an email in his first year.
"Yeah, I wanted the money!"
he said, grinning. tl
—By Ashwini Manohar 4/UBYSSEY.CA/CULTURE/2011.02.10
SENIOR WRITER GINNY MONACO »gmonaco@ubyssey.ca
Pussy Posse spreads V-Day love
Annual Vagina Monologues a UBC institution
If you've been around the SUB at
all in the past week or two, odds
are that at some point you saw a
vagina walking around. You probably paused and looked again.
Make that a tall, gyrating, dancing vagina.
UBC V-Day has been getting
into full swing this week with
two performances of Eve En-
sler's renowned play The Vagina Monologues. Since 2000, the
piece has been one ofthe driving
forces ofthe V-Day Movement at
UBC, a global campaign to benefit female and transgendered
victims of sexual violence and
raise public awareness about
the issue.
The play features largely the
same monologues performed in
the past, with one 'spotlight' segment that changes most years
and highlights the plights
of women in various regions
around the world. This year the
spotlight piece, "Myriam," focuses on the situations women
have endured in hurricane-ravaged Haiti.
Myriam cast member Miriam
Thom feels The Vagina Monologues is experienced both individually and as an overarching theme to all women.
"It's about bringing the woman into her new power, her new
sexuality and finally having the
space to talk about it," Thom
said. "It also gets people out of
their comfort box."
Performers take the stage in "A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer." GEOFF LISTER PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
Thom is also in Moans, a monologue in which she reenacts no
less than 24 different orgasms
for the audience.
This year's performance also
features the piece "A Memory, a
Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer,"
a compilation of monologues from
Ensler, Mia Angelou, Alice Walker
and other notable women.
The wide variety of skits and
visuals of labias doing the limbo all have the same goal of facilitating discussion about sexual violence.
"We're trying to encourage dialogue about sexual violence in
everyday life," said V-Day co-coordinator Nour Kachouh. "Hopefully these performances will
open people's eyes to see that
it is real and happening in the
Co-coordinator Sophia Ben-
gall encourages people to come
out to other V-Day events as well.
"The Pussy Posse meets every
Tuesday, and we've got things like
workshops, dance parties, pot-
lucks and just a cool safe space
where people can come hang
out," Bengali said.
Ten per cent of V-Day profits
go toward the women of Haiti
mentioned in the spotlight monologue, and the other 90 per cent
will go to the UBC Sexual Assault
Support Centre and organizations
like Vancouver Status for Women, t)
The Vagina Monologues opened
February 8, and runs again on February 10 and 12. Tickets can be
purchased at the SUB or at brown-
AstroLogical dropping stellar beats
The mixing booth is local multi-instrumentalists weapon of choice
If the concept behind a piece of
music or a work of art is truly
great, then the means used to
communicate the concept are
only secondary to the ideas themselves. That is the philosophy of
young Kitsilano hip-hop artist and
producer Nate Drobner, aka Astro-
Logical, who has been producing
lush, moody beats with his minimalist basement setup since he
was 17 years old. Drawing inspiration from one of his icons, Drobner practices what he preaches.
"Moka Only... always talks
abouthowyou should forget about
equipment," he said over a cup of
coffee in early February. "Just put
yourself in it."
A dedicated student of musical
theory he admits that his knowledge can have a tendency to block
the creative process when playing guitar, bass or piano. Beat
making, on the other hand, allows him to escape from theory
and come up with the totally unexpected every time. "With hip-
hop stuff, I've been able to paint
with my feet," he said. "I can't
do everything I want to do [with
AstroLogical takes it to the bridge PHOTO COURTESY ASTROLOGICAL
samples], but it allows me to be
more free, in a way."
Drobner's experiences collaborating and releasing tracks over
the last three years has helped
him develop a rich signature
sound. His only full-length release to date, LivingFossils (2010),
is an album heavily rooted in
sexy old-school beats that har-
ken back to the glory days of A
Tribe Called Quest as much as
they pay homage to the psychedelic dreamscapes of Pink Floyd.
Far Far Away, Drobner's second
solo release, is scheduled to drop
February 6 viaBubblectro.com and
should offer up many moods reminiscent oi Living Fossils. If track titles like "Kudzu Vine," "Sundrips"
and "Lemon Tree Bath" are any
indication, Far Far Away will provide another step into the realm
of colourful vibes that define As-
troLogical's sound.
In addition to his solo material, you can find AstroLogical's
beats underpinning his project
Elekwent Folk, a group collaboration with friends A-Ro, Slippery
Elm and Free-D-ohm. Their upcoming release Northern Lights is
an album to watch for. Drobner
said that the near-finished product is the closest thing to perfection he has ever produced.
With two albums about to be released, one might expect to find
Drobner seeking refuge from his
years of hard work, but this is
not the case. Ever the prolific artist, Drobner truly enjoys what
he does.
"I just can't wait to start working on the next one." tl
\ As February 14 approaches, chocolate sales will increase due to intense marketing
■ campaigns by
* companies who
have convinced
Canadian consumers that Valentine's Day and
their chocolates are inseparable.
It's becoming clear, however, that
chocolate corporations aren't being truthful about how the cost of
cheap chocolates are being passed
on to third-world cocoa producers.
The cocoa bean industry is built
on forced child labour in developing nations such as Ivory Coast,
said Dr Michael Byers, a professor in the political science department. "As a result of that greed
and geographic location next to
poorer countries such as Mali,
people have exploited people who
are desperate for jobs and money" he said.
Children are sent to work at
large plantations and, while they
do make a small wage, they are
charged for accommodation and
food which exceeds their wages,
making them indentured to plantation owners. "In the current
system, multinational chocolate
companies can play the market
and use [their] economic power to drive down prices," said
Byers. "There is no fair price for
cocoa beans. Economic pressure
causes this nastiness and exploitation to creep into the industry."
While most low-cost chocolate
in Canada comes from these types
of plantations, there are smaller
companies that are ensuring producers are paid a fair premium
price, allowing them to adhere
to global labour practices and improve the lives of their families
and communities. One of these
companies, La Siembra Cooperative, markets the brand Camino,
certified fair trade by Transfair
Canada and organic in Canada.
"[Paying the premium price]
empowers our producers," said
Melanie Broguet, Marketing
Project Manager for La Siembra. "They do what they want with
the profit. The cooperative structure ensures that decisions are
made democratically. They can
put [income] to work for a community-based project, or can reinvest in building more production capacity."
While AMS food outlets proudly display fair trade coffee stickers, vending machines in the SUB
contain mostly low-cost non-fair
trade chocolate.
"I would like to see students
put pressure on the AMS to insist that only fair trade chocolate be sold on campus and to
raise awareness to students why
this is the case," said Byers. "Students are a major force when
they organize."
"As awareness grows," said
Larocque, "consumers are educated about the industry and will
demand fair trade chocolate like
[consumers] did with fair trade
Fair trade chocolates are available
on campus at Sprouts in the SUB
and the UBC Bookstore. 2011.02.10/UBYSSEY.CA/CULTURE/5
Indicates a price range
Prices vary depending on size of venue, travel costs and shrewd negotiation. Take with a lot of salt.
Since Block Party 2010, the talent budget for on-
campus concerts has gone from
to (Welcome Back BBQ)
to just
+    $25,500
to book bands.
How far will our Block Parly dollar go?
Our student union celebrated the
end of the 2009-10 school year
with a concert by the Barenaked
Ladies. The total talent budget for
all the acts hired was $115,000
and, at the end of the day the
AMS lost $ 103,000 putting on the
event. Don't expect your dad's favourite rock band to show up this
year, though. The 2011 Block Party budget is just $92,767, with a
total talent budget of $18,500.
That's about a sixth of lastyear's.
AMS Events will have to be
shrewd when it comes time to
pick a headliner. What artist will
draw the most students? Which
opening acts will get them there
early so the beer garden will
be well-attended and make a
profit? And once the Block Party line-up is confirmed, how do
we know whether they've made
the right choice?
Most touring artists don't
have a fixed booking fee. Booking agents use esoteric criteria to determine the price for a
band's performance, factoring
in variables like travelling distance, time of year and the size
of the venue. We've contacted
agents who work for contemporary artists in Canada and
the USA, as well as some here
in Vancouver. Few of them were
able—or willing—to give exact
numbers for their clients. But we
were able to find out how much
it might cost to have an artist
come play at Maclnnes field in
March and whether the artist in
question is Black Mountain or
Explosions in the Sky.
This is not a comprehensive
list of potential performers, but
it should show you how much it
really costs to bring in a band
for Block Party. And it should
make clear just how little the
people planning the event have
to work with, vl
—Compiled by Bryce Warnes,
Jonny Wakefield and Ginny
sHaMSlbss (WBJltfjpf
COHtlMS   MmC.RtlUY   /UWCNECHf  — aaXMEItlUns
The Business School
jj?oe ficfate
We get free stuff. Ifyou want
some, write for us.
Financial Planning
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Choosing your contraception
Contraceptives reduce the risk of pregnancy from sexual activity. There is
a wide array of contraceptives, from
condoms and birth control pills to
the sponge, which provide many options to practice safe sex. Choosing
which contraception is right for your
body and personal relationship can be
First, what makes an ideal contraceptive? "You want it to be 100 per cent effective and forgettable. This is important," said Dr Judith Soon, an assistant
professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. "You want [birth control]
to be convenient, reversible and inexpensive." Contraceptives can also have
beneficial side effects such as improving acne, causing predictable or lighter periods and lessening premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
The most popular method for women is the use of an oral contraceptive.
"Oral contraceptives generally have a
low dose of 20-30 micrograms of estrogen, which causes fewer side effects
than the higher doses in the past," said
Soon. Despite these lower doses, smoking when taking birth control pills can
increase the risk of serious adverse effects on the heart and blood vessels,
particularly in women over 35 years of
age. Birth control pills are usually taken for 21 days, with 7 days off for menstruation, but some products, such as
Seasonale, can be taken for 84 consecutive days, limiting the menstrual period to about once every three months.
Currently only available with a prescription, 'the pill' is an inexpensive
option if covered by a medical plan. "It
is also almost 99 per cent effective if
taken at the same time every day," explained Soon, "But if forgotten, this can
lead to ovulation and pregnancy." As
birth control pills don't protect against
sexually transmitted infections (STIs),
it is best to combine oral contraceptive
use with a condom.
For men, the most commonly used form
of birth control is a condom. Condoms
are a barrier method to prevent pregnancy as well as STIs. "We have eight
different condoms available for sale,"
said Anita Chung, a student volunteer
at the Wellness Centre in the SUB. "Six
are latex condoms, which are 25 cents
each, but we also have Avanti condoms,
which contain no latex, as well as female condoms for two dollars." Condoms are inexpensive, convenient and
are 85 to 98 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy; however, they can
tear or even burst if used incorrectly.
The NuvaRing, which uses low-dose hormones like the pill but does not need
to be remembered every day, is a convenient method rising in popularity.
"The ring is a two-inch circle inserted
into the vagina and stays in for three
weeks, emitting a low dose of estrogen
and progestin," explained Soon. "It has
the same side effects as oral contraceptives." It is also up to 99 per cent effective if used properly and costs about 20
dollars per month.
A similar method of birth control is
the Depo-Provera birth control injection, which contains only progestin
and is administered by a doctor every
12 weeks, causing menstruation every
three months. It can be 99 per cent effective if used properly. However, not
everyone is an ideal candidate for the
shot. According to Options for Sexual
Health BC, there can be harmful side
effects: some women experience irregular bleeding throughout the first year
of use or loss of bone density. Depo-
Provera carries about the same cost as
oral contraceptives on a monthly basis.
For more long-term birth control, women have the option of an intrauterine
device (IUD). Small, horseshoe-shaped
devices, "IUDs are inserted into the
uterus by a physician and prevent pregnancy for up to five years," said Soon.
"It is also forgettable because once it's
inserted, contraception is ongoing."
IUDs are the most effective form of
contraception and can also be helpful
to decrease heavy menstrual bleeding.
They come in two forms: copper IUDs
or the hormonal Mirena. "While IUDs
can be considered expensive initially,
as it lasts for five years, it works out to
around five to six dollars per month,"
explained Soon.
What if a person has had unprotected
sex and is at risk of becoming pregnant? Enter emergency contraceptives
such as Plan B, which have the potential to prevent pregnancy if taken up
to five days after unprotected sex. But
act fast—the sooner taken, the better.
"Emergency contraception acts by
inhibiting ovulation and increasing
the mucus in the vaginal area," said
However, ifyou are already pregnant,
this pill won't terminate the pregnancy.
It's been made relatively accessible in
Canada and is available over the counter in most pharmacies. For AMS-GSS
Health Plan members, it costs less than
ten dollars. The most common side effect is nausea, which can be reduced
by taking it with products such as Gra-
vol. If a woman's next period is absent
or surprisingly light, she should visit
a medical clinic.
Welcome to the Sex Issue
In case the graphics on this page didn't
tip you off, this is our sex issue. In past
years, we've focused on more titillating material. But this year's theme is
a little less rah-rah and a little more
Yes, we're taking you back to sex ed.
In this issue, we have articles on
how STI testing works and what tests
you need to get; a run-down of what
I like to call the "New Age Feminist
Hand Mirror Exercise"; some truly
fascinating and need-to-know info
about things that can (and probably will) go wrong with your vagina; and a brief guide to emergency
There's a lot to take in over the next
few pages, and at first it may seem
daunting. Some of this stuff is pretty long, and it may be hard to get
through it all. I feel, though, that with
perseverance and a willing attitude,
you'll get a lot of satisfaction out of it—
and maybe even learn something, va
Both Soon and Nurse on Campus Zoe
Menge agree: one form of contraception
is often not enough. "To have nearly 100
per cent effectiveness against pregnancy and STIs, partners need to be using
a combination of hormonal and barrier methods, such as the pill and a male
condom," said Menge.
Soon also recommends getting to
know your pharmacist. "Pharmacists
are very well trained in all aspects of
drug therapy and can provide helpful advice about the best way to take
your medications and minimize side
effects," said Soon. "You don't need an
appointment. Pharmacists are more
accessible than doctors, and you can
ask pharmacists questions about which
contraceptive options could be right
for you." vl
For more information about contraception, visit the Nurses on Campus, the Wellness Centre or your
local pharmacy.
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EDITOR TREVOR RECORD»features@ubyssey.ca
GUEST EDITOR KAI GREEN »copy@ubyssey.ca
irns! It itches! Am I going to die?
tnd bladder infections painful but curable
a vagina, chances are
me of these. They make
urns when we pee and
'e's that lovely cottage
discharge to look for-
vell. Yeast and bladder
although totally unre-
he common causes of
; most painful and ir-
isations down there,
a bit more about these
f infections, I went to
alth Services, located
Hospital, to have a chat
'ector, Dr Patricia Mir-
first topic of conversa-
ing, burning, swell-
o-sit-and-move, and of
icky discharge all hap-
sult of an overgrowth
that's normally found
mated that
1 four women
^e at least one
• lifetimes.
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i yeast infection? "Hav-
a!" quipped Mirwaldt.
lally partners can give
forth to each other, but
sually what we see. We
many people who have
i who haven't had sex
t infection."
ng to panic about. The
■ualityandu.ca (run by
of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists of Canada and highly recommended for any nagging
sexual quandaries) tells us that
yeast infections are a normal part
of women's lives. It's estimated that
three in four women will have at
least one in their lifetimes. Often,
these infections don't even need to
be treated. Mirwaldt recommended waiting at least three days before you do anything about an infection because frequently your
body will take care of it.
If it lasts any longer, there are
two options: an over-the-counter
treatment such as a tablet or suppository that is inserted into the vagina or prescription medication in
the form of a pill that is swallowed.
Both take about a week to kick in.
These treatments are anti-fungals
and serve to reduce the amount of
yeast. Creams and ointments can
also be purchased to help soothe
the infected area.
How do you avoid getting yeast
infections? For those ladies out
there who are sexually active, Mirwaldt suggests avoiding the use of
oil-based lubricants.
"Once it's on, it's coated on and
hard to get off, so you can get bacteria or fungus underneath it."
Also, as a general rule, never put
anything in your vagina that has
not been washed well with soap
and rinsed. And avoid douching—
rinsing the vagina changes the flora and in most cases it is not very
There are similarly painful infections ofthe urethral variety. Infections of the urinary tract and
bladder make you feel like you have
a never-ending source of urine,
yet when you try to leak, very little comes out. Urination, when it
happens, hurts like hell, smells
funky and looks cloudy. You
might also have some pain in
your abdomen, fever, chills and
nausea—oh joy! In some cases it
can lead to hospitalization, so
treatment is important.
This type of infection is
caused by bacteria from your
skin getting into your urinary
tract and possibly working
its way into your bladder.
The two main reasons for
this type of infection, according to  Mirwaldt—
holding in your pee and
not peeing right away after sex.
"Anytime you have any
sexual contact, whether it
be fingers, penis, other parts
of the body; go pee as soon
as it's over, and I mean as
soon as it's over. This drops
the likelihood of a bladder infection down by 90 per cent."
So, ladies, before settling into
an oxytocin-induced cuddle session with your partner, take a whiz!
Antibiotics are used to treat
these infections. Mirwaldt also
suggested drinking cranberry juice
when you feel an infection coming
on, as pure cranberry juice alkalizes the urine and can stop the bacteria from multiplying, in some
cases even killing the bacterial
Like yeast infections, UTIs and
bladder infections are common
and minor—so minor, they're not
reported and few statistics exist
about their (likely very high) frequency. Yet although these pesky
microbes may make you want to rip
out your reproductive or excretory organs temporarily, ifyou take
the proper measures to treat them,
they won't be around for long. tl
>lf-guided tour of my vagina
dies, Ourselves suggests a hand mirror-guided exploration
;at things came from
'ar Wars, "Bohemian
platform-soled shoes—
ndless. Another great
:ame from the 70s was
s health bible, Our Bodes (OBO). Covering ev-
rom periods to mas-
OBO became the go-to
cise made famous by
^inal self-examination
nderstand your body,
;he parts you can't see
lirror. I took on a mis-
his out. Going into the
e only vaginas that I'd
;hose in pornography:
irless and kinda pretty,
ig hanging out. I never
what my vagina looked
is why I never under-
edures like labiaplas-
hed myself before, so I
v what my vagina feels
never looked at it face
;ht say.
You will need a mirror and a
flashlight for this exercise (and
some privacy would be good). Drop
your knickers and shine the flashlight onto your vagina. Ifyou can't
find your vagina, or don't know
where it is, it's the space between
your legs, ladies. Lean back or sit
somewhere comfortable and put
the mirror between your legs. Look
at your vagina winking at you in
the mirror! The exercise guides
you through identifying different
parts ofyour vagina, vulva, inner
and outer labia, the clitoris and
the three holes. It explains how
things work and their purpose.
Unfortunately, most explanations
don't come accompanied with a diagram, which is way more helpful
than elaborate descriptions as to
where all these parts are.
Having looked at my vagina, I
wasn't too impressed. It's a vagina. I have all my girly parts intact and everything looked fine.
Most people our age have already
seen vaginas, thanks to the internet. So it's not anything I haven't
seen. Also, my vagina looks like
vaginas in porn, so it wasn't anything new. I was hoping to have a
different vagina, maybe have larger labia or something. I guess I'd
have a different experience if my
vagina didn't look like those in the
magazines and porn videos. I did
wish that I had done this before
having sex because I would like
to see what my hymen had looked
like. Oh wait, never mind, I've got
the Internet.
I think in our age of technology,
resources are out there for us to realize that the vaginas in pornography aren't the only vaginas. Vaginas, like faces, come in all shapes
and sizes. This whole mirror to the
vagina thing is kind of obsolete.
Although, now I know that if I
ever want to go into pornography,
I have the photo-perfect vagina
for it. t8
For more information about vaginas,
hand mirrors and combinations thereof the Our Bodies, Ourselves website
offers a self-guided tour at ourbodie-
asp?id=13&compID=37.nt. 8/UBYSSEY.CA/SEX/2011.02.10
STI testing for sexual health
Let's talk about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
A large number of infections
can be sexually transmitted.
Some can cause discomfort but
are curable with medication,
some can have no symptoms in
some carriers but cause great
damage and some are life-long
What should someone expect when going to get tested
for STIs?
The doctor will ask some
questions about a person's
symptoms and sexual practices
as a risk assessment. The usefulness of testing for different
STIs depends on how sexually active a person is and their
medical status. A full screen
includes a physical exam to
check for lumps on the testes
or breasts; a blood test for syphilis, HIV and hepatitis; genital
swabs; and taking a sample
from any lesions. Women get a
gynecological exam, possibly a
Pap smear of their cervix and
a swab to test for gonorrhea,
chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis,
trichomoniasis and yeast. Men
would get a urine test for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
We asked registered nurse
James Tigchelaar, outreach educator for the BC Centre for
Disease Control HIV/STI division, about the recommended
frequency for STI tests. We list
here some common misconceptions on STIs in the population
that he identified.
Q: I have one partner and I've
practiced safe sex in the past, and
don't have any symptoms... do I
need to get tested?
A: Well, yes. Tigchelaar recommends testing in between partners. In any new relationship,
once you've been exclusive and
practicing safe sex for two to
three months, you should both
get a check-up. Safe sex is advisable if you've had previous partners because the incubation period for some STIs can be up to
three months.
Q I'm sexually active and my
sex partners vary, but I've never
had any symptoms. When do I
need to get tested?
A: Regular testing is recommended, every three to six
months according to Tigchelaar. For several STIs, you can
get an infection and not notice
any symptoms.
Q: As a woman, I get an annual Pap test. That's all I need the
testing I need, right?
A: While many clinics in BC
test for the most common STIs
during a regular pap smear,
sometimes all that's tested for
is abnormal cells caused by HPV
and no other STIs. So women
need to ask their doctor what
they're tested for and may need
to ask to get a comprehensive
screen, one that includes a blood
Q: Can I get STIs if I use condoms every time?
A: Yes, condoms can break,
and even when they don't, they
don't offer 100 per cent protection. When Tigchelaar asks people if they're practicing safe sex,
people usually sayyes thinking
all it takes is using condoms
for intercourse. But to the follow up question of whether they
use barriers for oral, many answer no—oral sex is not risky,
right? Alas, most STIs can be
transmitted through oral sex
as well, according to the CDC.
Syphilis, herpes and HPV transmission only require skin-to-
skin contact, so condoms won't
keep these nasties at bay. And
by the way, herpes and HPV
are hard to diagnose and are
not a part of the standard spectrum of regular STI checking.
You should watch for lesions or
genital warts and see a doctor
if and when you notice them.
According to the BC Centre for
Disease Control (BCCDC) 2009
annual surveillance report,
easily-diagnosed STIs include
chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis
and HIV—some of which, like
HIV, are often diagnosed years
after infection. Other STIs are
harder to diagnose. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is
the most common STI according to the UBC Health Centre-
more than half of adults get
infected with it at some point
in their lives. Confusingly,
the HPV family encompasses
many different strains, from
the benign, to those that cause
warts, to some that cause cervical cancer.
In the past, men were
thought to be asymptomatic
for HPV, but the latest research
associates HPV with other types
of cancer, some of which can
affect men. Testing for different strains of HPV is difficult
and because of the high incidence it's not routine. The Pap
smear in women, a common
screening test used to detect
abnormal cells on the cervix,
can test for HPV in two different ways. According to the UBC
Health Centre, the test done in
BC clinics, though it diagnoses the presence of precancerous cells which are sometimes
caused by HPV, usually does so
years after the infection. The
second test looks for the presence ofthe virus in the cells.
Herpes is another STI that is
common and difficult to diagnose. The most common strains
ofthe herpes virus are HSV1 and
HSV2. They can cause cold sores
on the mouth or genitals, though
many people that are infected
don't notice any symptoms. Herpes can be transmitted very easily, through something as simple
as sharing drinks. Fluid from
cold sores can be tested for the
virus. While there are also herpes blood tests, they are not routine. Tigchelaar estimates that
75 per cent ofthe population has
had some exposure to HSV1, so
the test is not useful in controlling the spread ofthe virus, and
in addition the test for HSV2 is
rather expensive.
Hepatitis refers to inflammation ofthe liver and is caused
by viruses. The strain that
can be reliably transmitted
through sex is Hepatitis B, and
hepatitis is usually only tested in people who haven't been
immunized, tl
The Penis FAQs: Tips and phalluses
Penis owners: do you think that
your sex drive isn't up to snuff?
Are you watching internet pornography and getting worried
about how your abilities compare? According to Dr Patricia
Mirwaldt, Director of Health Services at the UBC hospital, the "big
two" issues for males are STIs
and anxiety over sexual drive and
"I would say the most common
health concern [for young men]
is Am I normal?'" said Mirwaldt.
Usually, it isn't anything to
worry about, she said. Even for
college age men, there is a wide
range of normal sexual function.
"There's a lot of myths about sexual function," said Mirwaldt.
"For men, it's that they should
be able to perform at any time,
anywhere and several times in
a 24 hour period. That isn't true,
and every man will have some
difficulty with sexual function
in their life. And that difficulty
can range from getting an erection but losing it before orgasm,
or just not feeling like having
sex and not getting an erection."
Communication about the issue can go far in allaying fears.
Mirwaldt said that most men
at some point will experience a
time where they are unable to
orgasm or have an erection. The
range of how often this happens
can vary wildly between indivi-
uals. Some people won't experience these for years and only
have it happen once or twice, she
Drinking and smoking affects sexual health. PAULBUCCI GRAPHIC/THE UBYSSEY
explained, while others will experience these problems once a
week or month since they first
start sexual contact.
The recovery phase for when
a male can achieve an erection
between orgasms can vary between individuals as well, according to Mirwaldt.
"It could be an hour or so for
some people, and for other people it can be a couple of minutes.
And it can vary for the individual over time. You could have
one time where you had a couple of minutes between erections, and another time where
it takes a couple of days."
On the other side ofthe coin,
premature ejaculation also worries many men. Sexualityandu.
ca, a sexual health resource web
site run by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of
Canada, classifies ejaculation
which occurs before intercourse
or immediately after stimulation as "premature." It lists the
average length of intercourse
as four to seven minutes. For
individuals who are hoping to
delay ejaculation, the site suggests undergoing a "stop-start"
masturbation technique, to help
"recognize the stage of ejacula-
tory inevitability and reduce
the amount of stimulation to
remain below this threshold."
Sex drive can be affected by
mental health and illness. Sexualityandu.ca lists diabetes,
stress, depression and heart
problems amongst male sexual health dysfunction. However, Mirwaldt said that for most
younger men, these issues are
usually not linked to disease.
She listed fatigue, lack of sleep,
alcohol and drugs as some ofthe
largest factors affecting sexual
functioning foryoung men. Just
an adjustment to habits and a
conversation about their issues
can often be enough, she said.
For students staying up late
studying, not getting enough
sleep can decrease sex drive.
Mirwaldt said that seven to nine
hours of sleep a night will ensure
better sexual performance than
three or four. Drinking less, or at
leastkeeping the number of beers
you're downing to a reasonable
number, can also help improve
sexual performance.
"Alcohol is an interesting
case," said Mirwaldt. "When you
initially take alcohol it reduces
your inhibitions so you start
feeling more sexual, but as you
drink more alcohol you reduce
your penis's ability to become
erect. While it can increase
your interest, it will reduce
your abilities, so keeping alcohol at a low to moderate rate
should be very reasonable."
Monitoring the other substances you are taking can improve your sexual performance
as well. Drugs from marijuana
to speed can "play havoc with
your erection," according to Mirwaldt. Prescription medications
can also reduce your sex drive.
For instance, antidepressants
have been found to reduce sexual function in one in five men
who take them. Smoking can
also eventually make it difficult
to achieve an erection, because
it decreases the number of small
blood vessels in your penis.
From blindness to hairy palms,
there is an array of rumours
about the physical dangers of
frequent masturbation. Are they
true? Mirwaldt said it's unlikely.
"Physically, there's no difficulty in orgasming several times.
So it is a bit of a myth that there
is a problem with masturbation."
There are also myths that
masturbation will reduce sexual desire. Quite the contrary,
Sexualityandu.ca claims: some
studies show masturbation can
help increase desire in both
males and females. However,
Mirwaldt said masturbation
can become an issue if it is being overindulged to the exclusion of other activities.
"If your masturbation gets in
the way ofyour regular life, so
thatyou're concentrating on it
so much thatyou forget to go to
class or things like that, that
is a problem."
Blue balls is an affliction that
some men will claim occurs
when their partner doesn't
want to have sex with them. It's
a decreasingly common complaint, but it still is brought up
by some men who feel as though
they aren't getting enough action. Do men have difficulty
with their penis or their testicles because of a lack of sex?
Perhaps, but it shouldn't be a
particularly hard problem to
deal with.
"You will get some discomfort
if you've had an erection for a
long period of time," said Mirwaldt. "But there is a simple way
to manage that, and it's to masturbate. So there's no reason you
need to have sex with someone
if they don't want to." tl 2011.02.10/UBYSSEY.CA/SEX/9
Sex on the brain: UBC sex research
Sex research combines psychology, biology and palmistry
It is no secret that university
students have sex on the brain.
Usually, this serves as a distraction from a droning lecture or a
looming deadline. For a group of
lucky students, thinking about
sex is their highest priority.
One of those fortunate few is
UBC student and sex researcher Morag Yule.
"Nearly everyone finds sex interesting, whether they want to
do it or they don't want to do it, or
everything is working properly,
or things aren't working properly," said Yule. "It's a topic that people find relevant to their lives."
Currently pursuing her Master's degree in clinical psychology,
Yule has worked with Dr Lori Brot-
to at the UBC Sexual Health Lab.
"I usually tell people
I'm a research
So how does someone become a sex researcher? According to the lab's studies coordinator Yvonne Erskine, "They
come out from all different directions, but we get our volunteers mainly through the department of psychology at the
As for Yule, she became interested in the field after taking a course on human sexuality during her undergraduate studies (PSYC 360).
Science may be decades away from rodent-sized test people. INDIANA JOEL ILLUSTRATION/THE UBYSSEY
"I always had an interest in
biology as well as psychology,
and not only is sex research
the perfect combination ofthe
two, it's fascinating!"
Fascinating is just the right
word for a study she recently
completed: "Sexual Orientation, Handedness, Asexuality
and Digit Ratio in Women." Yule
looked into the correlation between hands and sexual orientation. Could it be that palmistry has some merits after all?
"Handedness has been linked
to sexual orientation, and is
thought to be an indicator of prenatal development," said Yule.
"We found that asexuals are more
likely to be non-right-handed [left-
handed or ambidextrous] than
heterosexual individuals."
Results for digit ratios, on
the other hand—pardon the
pun—were inconclusive. Added Yule, "Studies have provided evidence that there is some
relationship between digit ratios and sexual orientation for
men, but not for women."
Nevertheless, Yule is glad
to shed some light on asexuality. "It's amazing that asexuality has been overlooked
for so long... and is very often
Sex researchers, too, are a
misunderstood bunch. Even
decades after the Kinsey report,
some stigma remains. Yvonne Erskine, who also works for the UBC
Sexual Health Lab, admitted she
is reluctant to tell new acquaintances about her occupation.
"I usually tell people I'm a
research coordinator."
The lab has ongoing studies
about the benefit of pyschoed-
ucation as a treatment for sexual difficulties, which involves
educating participants about
their condition. The theory is
the better they understand it,
the better they can deal with
their dysfunction.
"[Some participants] think
they are the only ones in the
universe who feel that way," lamented Erskine. "We only talk
about it if it's good."
She emphasized the importance of being in a group setting
for people experiencing conditions like Provoked Vestibulo-
dynia (PVD, pain in the vaginal
vestibule), sexual arousal difficulties for women and sexual
difficulties for cancer survivors.
The lab is currently looking for
volunteers to participate in an
online survey of sexual desire.
The study examines the motivation of men and women in established relationships (minimum
five years of cohabitation) to either initiate or be receptive to
advances for sexual activity with
their partner. tl
No, you cannot use that as lube
An investigation into a decidedly slippery subject
It's 1:30 in the morning. Things
are about to get hot and horizontal in your room, so you rifle throughyour medicine cabinet for protection and a little
lubrication. The condoms are
there. The lube is not.
After your partner makes it
abundantly clear you're not getting any tonight without greasing the wheels, you storm into
the kitchen and return to your
chamber with a jug of Crisco,
a travel bottle of hair conditioner and ajar of Tiger Balm
you haven't used since bantam hockey.
All right. Let's do this.
When push comes to shove,
the most important thing is
finding a lube that works for
you. As sexpert Stephanie Ser-
sli elaborated, body chemistry and personal preference
are the biggest factors.
"Everyone's body reacts
differently to different lubricants," said Sersli, co-director of the downtown Options
for Sexual Health clinic. "The
two most common ones are either water or silicone-based;
we recommend trying out a
pillow case (small tester pack
which has a wide variety) of
lubes and seeing which is the
best fit."
Water-based lubes are preferred by many, but some experience irritation with these,
which does not occur with the
chemically inert silicone-based
products. However, silicone
lubes can react with silicone
toys, causing them to break
down—so ifyou're doubling
up on silicone, protect the toy
with a condom.
"People will
typically use
anything they can
for lube.'
Practices to be avoided include using oil-based lubricants, like olive oil, Crisco or
margarine with latex condoms
as these can cause the condom to
break down in literally seconds.
Although lubrication is important to keep vaginal sex from
becoming uncomfortable or
painful, it is particularly necessary for anal sex, as a lube-
less encounter can cause microscopic tears in delicate rectal tissue.
On the lighter side, there's no
shortage of alternatives to traditional lubricating substances.
"People will typically use anything they can for lube," Sersli
said. She cited non-flavouredyo-
gurt as a conventional substitute, preferred by many women
as lube since the natural pH of
yogurt is very similar to that of
female bodily fluids. Substances with sugar, however, should
be avoided, as they can cause
yeast infections.
She also cited Tiger Balm as
a somewhat less conventional
substitute for the adventurous bordering on masochistic.
If you don't know what Tiger
Balm feels like in a bedroom
setting, dunking your junk in
Tabasco sauce should give a
pretty good indication of how
that's gonna play out. tl
Again, we do not advocate the use of Tabasco as lube. We also do not
suggest the use of dish soap oryogurt. GEOFFLISTERPHOTO/THE UBYSSEY 10/U BYSSEY. CA/G AMES/2011.0 2.10
Marefat: A school defining Afghanistan's struggle
This is a story about two buildings run by two men who could
not be more different. One is a
hero, the other is a villain. The
villain is wealthy; the hero has
to constantly scramble to get by.
There is a climactic clash between the two sides. We do not
know how this battle will end
yet—but more about that later.
On the side of the just and the
good is Marefat School and its
principal, Aziz Royesh. Marefat
is located in one of the sprawling slums on the outskirts of Kabul, Daste Bachi. It took me an
hour in a local taxi to get there.
The lanes are narrow, full of
ruts and rubble. When I stood
on the roof of the school, there
were small one-level huts for as
far as the eye could see.
Marefat is also a Hazara
school and if you've read The Kite
Runner, you've heard ofthe Haz-
aras. The protagonist's friend
is a Hazara child, and because
of that he is persecuted by all
other groups of Afghans. Haz-
aras have Mongolian heritage
and are quite possibly direct de-
scendents of the army of Genghis Khan, although this has yet
to be proven. They are also Shia
Muslims, as opposed to the vast
majority of Afghan people, who
are Sunni.
As with so many schools in
Afghanistan today, Marefat was
originally founded in a refugee community in Pakistan during the tumultuous 1990s. After the fall of the Taliban, the
school moved back to Kabul. It
is funded today through contributions from the local community and international donations. Elementary school students pay $120 for a year's tuition; high school students pay
$170. If a family is too poor to
afford tuition, they can apply to
an assistance fund. A board of
trustees oversees all of the operations ofthe school.
Students at the Marefat school. BRIAN PLATT PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
Meanwhile, across town, a
brand new complex is being constructed to house the side of
darkness and repression. This
is the mosque and university
for Sheikh Asif Mohseni, a Shi-
ite ayatollah from a Pashtun
background. This uncommon
blend of ethnicity and religion
gives him a unique level of cross-
cultural influence in Afghanistan. During the 1980s, he was
bankrolled by the Iranian government to run an anti-Soviet
mujahedin organization. Since
then he has had a rocky relationship with the ayatollahs in Tehran, but today has re-established
himself in Kabul in a big way. He
is building a private media empire and his Khatam-al-Nabyeen
mosque preaches a harsh, ancient, and violent form of Islam.
Two years ago, the Shia Personal Status Law was signed
in by Afghan President Hamid
Karzai. This horribly regressive law, which became known
as the "rape law" for denying
Shia women the ability to refuse
sex to their husbands, was written by Mohseni, who enjoys status as one of Karzai's "religious
advisors." It was this action
that led to the direct standoff
between the forces of Mohseni and the students at Marefat.
When I visited Marefat, I was
shown around the school by its
proud students and staff. On
the whole, Hazara culture in
Afghanistan is known as being
moderate and even progressive.
In the school's boardroom, there
are student-painted portraits of
Einstein, Descartes, Voltaire,
Spinoza and many other intellectuals from all over the world.
When Marefat was operating
completely independently as a
private school, boys and girls
attended classes together and
courses in anthropology, human
rights, economics, and political
science were offered.
However, in order to take a
university entrance exam in Afghanistan, you are required to
graduate from a school officially recognized by the Ministry of
Education. In order for Marefat
to qualify, certain restrictions
were placed on them. Classes
had to be gender-segregated.
Only courses in the hard math
and sciences were allowed in
the official curriculum. This is
just one of the many examples
of how Afghanistan's government actively hinders the progress towards a modern, democratic society.
I visited one class of male students who were preparing to take
the university entrance exam,
which takes five hours to write.
They were studying physics when
I walked in, and at first I was unsure of what to say. I didn't even
know if they spoke English. So I
just waved hello. Then one guy
shouted out from the back, "Well,
aren'tyou going to introduce yourself ?" I laughed; as it turned out,
everyone in this room was perfectly fluent in English, and after a while we were chatting in
same way you would in any classroom in Canada.
Later I visited a group of
younger girls, about 14, who
were studying English. As I
watched them writing out sentences on the board and helping each other with pronunciation and grammar, I suddenly realized that I didn't want to
leave. I could have spent all day
in this school, hanging out in
the classrooms, helping these
students learn.
Shortly after the Shia Personal Status Law was made public,
street protests were organized
by the Shia community—particularly by outraged women.
Marefat also set about responding to the law, outlining all the
ways in which it violated their
community values. On April 15,
2009, the school was attacked
by a mob sent from Mohseni's
mosque, furious at the school's
opposition to his words.
Royesh went outside to try
and calm the men, but they refused to listen. Interviewed by
a French newspaper afterwards,
Haraza's principal said he went
back inside the school and eventually escaped through a window. "Luckily they didn't know
who I was, because later they
were screaming that they had
come to kill me."
Since 2001, major battles have
been waged in every ethnic and
religious group in Afghanistan
for control. In the Shia community, it is largely between the
moderate Hazara leaders and
the angry, reactionary forces
of Sheikh Mohseni's faction.
Thanks to the protests organized
against the law and pressure
from the international community, the Shia Personal Status
Law was eventually amended to
be more palatable. But the fight
between these groups is really
just beginning.
If this story was fiction,
we could feel fairly sure that
the plucky underdog students
at Marefat would eventually
emerge victorious. The prospect of Mohseni's men gaining
control over Afghanistan is too
depressing to contemplate. But
this is real life, and there are no
guarantees how this will turn
out. That's why it's so important
for the people at Marefat to feel
our support, to hear that we're
on their side, and to know that
we aren't going to abandon them
in this struggle, tl
YOU -Vfeb ^ EMSfcffHIN6|
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©2008 PageFiller Ltd and Associates www.pagefiller.com
Submit your comics
to our website at
ubyssey. cal volunteer I
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DO YOU CARE? WRITE US A LETTER»feedback@ubyssey.ca
People who live on islands are the equal of anyone else in British Columbia. Except when they
want to move around, and they have to take the
ferries, which cost lots of money. And now, they're
about to pay a lot more.
Last week, BC Ferries said it would be forced to
raise fees on all routes by 25 to 100 per cent over
the next five years. Given that a) this proportionally affects one group more than the other, and
b) fees for vehicles are already eleventy billion
dollars, many people are angry.
Lost in this cavalcade of controversy is the fact
that, according to the Ferry Advisory Committee
Chairs, an impartial body, the provincial government annual subsidy has stayed constant at $92
million since 2003. Meaning inflation has raised
the price of fuel, goods and salary, but money has
remained static.
This would be a lot easier to swallow if BC Ferry
executives hadn't given themselves massive raises over the last five years (CEO David Hahn makes
nearly a million dollars, for example), and that for
thousands of people, the ferries operate as a highway, not part of a vacation. Regardless of need,
the optics certainly aren't good for BC Ferries.
The good that comes out of this brewing storm
is that it underlies the absurdity of the current
governance model of BC Ferries. It has a degree
of public control so it serves the people first—but
we have little say over how it's run. It's private
to ensure a lack of waste—but it means an integral part of our transportation system is outside
of the government's purview.
Admittedly, there was a practical reason for
the change last decade—mismanagement and
overspending in the 90's had turned a basic public service into a political nightmare. Those days
have passed though, which means that whoever
is elected as the next Premier later this month
should revisit how BC Ferries operates. People
who depend on a transportation system's basic
functioning shouldn't be held hostage by one that
is fundamentally confusing.
Justlike you, we'll be taking nextweek off for "reading" break, returning on February 21. It's a blessed
break we at The Ubyssey didn't get lastyear, for
reasons we can't immediately recall. Something
was happening—something big—except the media isn't talking about it at all right now.
We kid, of course. You'd have to be living under a rock the size ofthe billion-dollar Vancouver
Convention Centre to ignore the anniversary of
the Olympics. According to a new Ipsos Reid poll,
81 per cent thought they were a success, while 60
per cent thought they were worth it. And while
we too enjoyed the games, headlines like "Olympics still a hit one year later" are definitely an exercise in rosy retrospection.
But that's what time does—it glosses over details,
puts a nice sheen on the most treasured memories and reduces events to amazing crowds
down Granville and Sidney Crosby scoring a
goal that will live forever. It seemed like a historic event when it was happening, there was
the happiest ending imaginable, so it's easy
to naturally conclude, based on memory, that
Still, for real, tangible examples of what the
Olympic Legacy is, you can take our fancy new
Canada Line down to the Olympic Village, which
will be costing Vancouver taxpayers millions for
decades. Then, cross the Cambie bridge and notice how there's still thousands of homeless whose
lives haven't been changed because of the games,
contrary to promises made when we made our
bid. Then head back to campus, to the $47.8 million Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre,
which can't hold concerts, hosts hockey games
with attendance in the low hundreds and is fast
becoming a white elephant.
Despite all of that, the Olympics were more
than just an awesome party. It was an event
worth celebrating in retrospect. But celebrations can have mixed feelings. These Olympics
should be remembered with an objective, critical eye if only so the next time we as a nation
decide to embark on a_great project, the risks
are fully understood. ""
Concerning the resource groups...
I have a confession to make. It's 5:12am
and I'm still not done my column. I was
writing our new president a letter advising him which direction to take the
AMS (hint: left), but I realized you probably don't care. Instead, I' d like to share
with you my existential crisis.
I had hoped the UBC campus would
be a bastion of critical thought, filled
with vibrant minds of passion and
conviction. However, I quickly realized that the students are largely indifferent. A stifling cynicism pervades,
as the docile and obedient from this
school seek nothing more than a degree. The hope of student activism and
the promise of an engaged community are tossed aside, relegating UBC to
merely another step on the ladder of
meaningless career advancement. I'm
not entirely sure what I'd like to see
from my university, but I'm almost
certain this isn't it.
Yet I resist condescendingly charging all my classmates with apathy.
Everyday, I see flashes of life. I'm inspired by the work of the many who
thanklessly pursue causes of social
justice when it seems most futile. For
no reason but the force of conscience,
students stand up for the causes that
are important to them. Nonetheless, I
ask myself if such pursuits are worth
the effort. In my experiences, taking
a stand on these contentious issues
brings one tremendous amounts of
stress with little tangible benefit.
The 'Gaza-gate' fiasco is a perfect example. In this case, the Socialjustice
Centre (SJC) and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) were attacked for sponsoring a talk by controversial war-critic George Galloway,
and a subsequent $700 donation to a
Gaza-bound flotilla. Without rehashing too many ofthe details, it's enough
to say that anti-Palestinian groups on
campus resorted to the most sordid
of personal attacks and legal intimidations to block that $700 donation.
At the end of this mess (it was only
resolved last Council meeting, after months of debate), the donation
passed and the SJC and SPHR were
vindicated by AMS Council and the
court of public opinion. There was a
tremendous mobilization of campus
and community support around the
donation, including an endorsement
from Noam Chomsky. After seeing the
passion on this issue—even from the
side ofthe opposition—I could no longer discount students for being apathetic and indifferent.
I think the evidence suggests that
the average student is no less concerned than I am, only they've learned
to feel powerless with respect to creating social change. They fail to appreciate the tremendous resources around
them: other students. The six AMS
Resource Groups (located in the top
floor ofthe SUB, these activist groups
deal with issues of gender, sexuality, racism, the environment and economic inequality) are radically under-utilized. I'd like to conclude that
these progressive causes resonate
with most students, but these groups
simply aren't well known.
I'm not exactly sure how we achieve
the vibrant campus community I' d like
to see, or what that would even look
like. But I think the first step is to realize that there are plenty of others
who want something better, and you
need not venture far to find them. tl
The Socialjustice Centre (SJC) and
Solidarity for Palestinian Human
Rights (SPHR) are holding a travelling road show this weekend alleging attempts to "silence" them when
they tried to "speak up for Palestinian rights."
First, in my four years at UBC, I have
never observed either of these groups
standing up for the rights of Palestinian women, gays, trade unionists or
what remains of religious and ethnic minorities in Palestine. I would
maintain that they have never stood
up to the real repressors of the people of Gaza (Hamas) or of the West
Bank (Fatah). Socialjustice? Human
rights? All either group has demonstrated in this case is a hatred for Israel and an insouciance to the security of its civilians.
But that, ultimately, is an aside.
Their allegation that attempts were
made to silence them is part of a
deceitful rhetorical trick that plays
on old stereotypes of Jewish power
and actually illuminates the SJC's and
SPHR's detachment from the idea of
actual free expression.
In fact, because the Israel Awareness Club contested their efforts to
use student fees to support an illegal
attempt to break the legal blockade
of Gaza, the entire university population had the opportunity to consider the issue.
At no point in the entire process did
we even imply that we sought to "silence" their right of expression. The
very concept of "silencing" is an invented construction used by anti-Israel groups to turn the bullies into
the victims.
When they say they want free expression, SPHR, the SJC and their
kind really mean they want the right
to make outrageous assertions and
libels against Israel without being
challenged. We stood up with two reasonable positions—Israel has the right
to prevent weapons intended to kill
Israeli civilians from entering the
Hamas-run terrorist state of Gaza;
and UBC student fees should not be
funding illegal attempts to contest
that right—and the perpetrators come
back with the hysterical libel that we
are trying to "silence" them.
Free expression sometimes means
having to hear opinions that differ
from yours. That doesn't mean you
are being silenced. It means you are
living in a pluralist, democratic society. If members of the SJC and SPHR
heard voices trying to silence them,
perhaps they were the tiny, meek remnants of their own consciences telling
them there is something deeply troubled in their worldview.
—Rael Katz
President, UBC Israel Awareness 12/UBYSSEYCA/ADVERTISEMENT/2011.02.10
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