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The Ubyssey Jan 25, 2008

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 UBC Elections Results Inside
Intentions? theubysseymagazine
January 25th, 2008
Old Goriot
Time: 7:30pm
Where: Chan Centre
Cost: Students $15; Regular
J   What: Adaptation of Balzac
<£   tragedy about love and r"
j   with literature's best
Time: 12-1 pm
Where: UBC Botanical Ga
Reception Centre
Cost: Free
hat: Angiosperms! Seed
David Frum
Time: 12-1 pm
Where: SUB 207
Cost: Free
o   What: GeorgeW.Bush's
h   speechwriter gives a lecture oi
P   ConservatisimandtheUSA'sfi
Get Learn'd
Time: 10am
<d  Where: Buchanan A
a  Cost: Free
«-i  What: Hey,first-years! team
^   how to do fantastically well in
Q   school and be happy. Why not?
Jello Wrestling
Time: 12-1 pm
Where: SUB Ballroom
Cost: Free
What: See just how mature
c the fine young citizens of the
P   Science Undergrad Society are.
Jane Eyre
Time: 8pm
Where: Jericho Arts Centre,
1675 Discovery St.
J  Cost: Students $12;Regular $14
§j  What: United Players perform
£  Charlotte Brontes famous novel.
"Black Skin, VI
Time: 12-1:30pm
Where: Buchanan C403
£  Cost: Free
■y  What: Thought-provoking talk
°i  on race and stand-up comedy.
Ubyssey conservative, status-
quo driven, practices yellow
We'd like to express our disappointment with the Ubyssey's
recent coverage of Trek Park
and clarify a few issues.
Firstly, the Ubyssey has engaged in a largely superficial,
contextually bereft analysis of
Trek Park, uncritically quoting
sources of power and maintaining a fairly facetious and cynical
position towards student activism. It is disconcerting to see
fellow students at the Ubyssey
undermine our attempts to critically engage with the University.
For example, you recently ran a
huge front story with powerful
visuals and a titillating headline
("Activists Vandalize Ponderosa
Complex" News [January 8th]).
On the same cover you had another article about "Trek Park
Bulldozed." The main headline
is in active voice (i.e., it makes
clear that "activists" are responsible for the vandalism). The
second headline is in passive
voice (i.e., who bulldozed Trek
Park? The headline doesn't say).
The former article implicates
activists, whereas the latter
fails to implicate the University
administration. These types of
seemingly innocuous distinctions, upon closer examination,
starkly contradict the Ubyssey's
purported neutrality and journalistic objectivity.
Furthermore, when the
Ubyssey prints two articles
on the same page that refer to
activists and deal with a very
similar issue, an implicit connection is insinuated upon the
minds of readers. The reader is
tacitly encouraged to think that
those activists involved with the
"vandalism" are the same "sort"
of "activist" that were involved
with four months of meaningful, productive, democratic and
peaceful actions called "Trek
Park". The way your paper ran
these related stories, therefore,
served to delegitimize Trek
Park. Rather than exercise caution and prudence to prevent
such gross and false associations, the Ubyssey pretended to
be "neutral." Most importantly,
though the Ubyssey could have
used powerful visuals and a titillating headline in reference to
the administration's bulldozing
of Trek Park, it decided to deflect attention from the university administration by focusing
on an act of petty vandalism by
an unaffiliated group.
We want to emphatically
note that the Wreath Underground is a reaction to the actions of the University administration, which bulldozed the
park at least two weeks before
the Wreath Underground ever
made its appearance known!
Yet, somehow the University's
highly violent act of bulldozing
a peaceful  park  initiated  by
students doesn't warrant a big
headline, sensationalist outrage
and juicy details about the act
including an extensive description ofthe damage. Nope, that's
simply a footnote for the Ubyssey. You prefer to talk about
the symptom rather than the
problem, and through this type
of coverage in fact become part
of the problem. You are tacitly
protecting the power-structure
and may, disturbingly so, be
unaware of it.
To give you our perspective: Trek Park was an avenue
explored by students when they
became frustrated with the
official consultation process
regarding the University Boulevard development project.
The park was about letting the
university administration (BoG)
know that students at UBC care
about the campus and are opposed to the commercialization
and commodification of public
space. The University's bulldozing of our park was a political
statement as well: it signified,
symbolically, "Hey, we don't
care about students or your concerns, we have physical power
over you and we're not afraid
to use it." Of all the potential
approaches the Ubyssey could
have taken to the bulldozing of
Trek Park (outrage would have
been a good start) the Ubyssey
resorted to sensationalism, yellow journalism, and strange axioms about "if it bleeds, it leads"
(even though no one bled).
The coverage of Trek Park
exposes the Ubyssey for what
it really is: conservative and
status-quo driven. The Ubyssey,
in some ways, is emblematic
of the larger problem afflicting
the media today. Apparently destruction gets more media attention than productive, sustained
and peaceful political activism.
After the Ubyssey's publication
on the Wreath Underground,
the Vancouver Courier and
Canwest News Service printed
stories about it as well, briefly
mentioning Trek Park in highly
skewed and problematic ways.
These developments expose
the machinations of the media
quite clearly: the media ignores
peaceful and productive activism but is ready to vilify and
demonize activists when given
the chance. Moreover, by decon-
textualizing acts of violence, the
media misses the point that violence is generally in response to
something awful. The Ubyssey,
and the media more generally,
has sent the message loud and
clear: we have to, apparently,
become violent in order to be
We lament your regrettable actions and hope that
you will seriously consider our
—Jasmine Ramze Rezaee,
Stefanie Ratjen, Steven Klein,
Mike Richard, Nathan
Crompton, Brian Gehring
In the Jan. 15 issue, the article "Skiing, camping adventures at Mount Baker" was written by Jordan Chittley,
not Justin McElroy. The Ubyssey regrets the error.
On the cover of the Jan. 15 issue, the photo of UBC Chancellor Allan McEachern is incorrect. The photo shows A.W. McEachern, another student from 1949. The chancellor's initials were A.D. McEachern; the Ubyssey sincerely regrets the error.
help wanted
Classes in Kitsilano, Tues
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Free classifieds
for students: Foi
• more information, vis
it Boom 33 in tlie sub
or call: 604-833-1654
January 25th, 2008
Vol. LXXXIX N°34
Editorial Board
coordinating editor
Champagne Choquer
news editors brandon adams &
Boris Korby
sports euitor Jordan Chittley
features/national editor
Matthew Jewkes
production manager
Kellan Higgins
Levi Barnett
volunteer coordinator
Stephanie Findlay
cally run student organisation, and all students are encouraged to
Editorials are chosen and written bythe Ubyssey staff. They are
the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect
4.L..,: t-rfe Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
bia. All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is
the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions,
' herein cannot be reproduced
  r , , ission of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
~ " lember of Canadian University Press
,u,Jing principles.
lust be under 300 words. Please include
e(notfor publica-
uuii; di wen di yum ycen diiu idi_uuy wun dii luuii'llSSIOnS. ID Will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone/'Perspec-
.:..__» 300 words but under 750 words and
eestyles"areopinion pieces written by
ibers. Priority will be given to letters and perspectives overtreestyles unless the latter istimesensitive.Opinion pieces
will not be run until the identity ofthe writer has been verified. The
Ubyssey reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clar-
ust be received by 12 noon the day before intended
following issue unless then
matterdeemed relevant by
lilsto publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occursthe liability of the UPS will not be
 ' i the ad.The UPS shall not be respon-
 _, _, ^graphical errorsthat do not lessen the
value orthe impact ofthe ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T lZl
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubysseybc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
e-mail: advertising@ubysseybc.ca
business manager Fernie Pereira
ad traffic Jesse Marchand
ad design Michael Bround
nd. MatthewJewkessaidthatthey
had attacked in the early hours of the morninq.Those same early hours that Joe
Ravment had slit Stenhanie Findlav'sthrnat. r)avid7hangcriedtoLevi Barnett
'i Barnett exhaled loudly.
,, Jirugged, he didn't mean
head, looking off to the left,
vveii mereb riuirimy trim we idii uunuw, juiuan Chittley continued, picking
up a shovel and starting to dig at the ground. He took the gravestone with
Paul Bucci and Champagne Choquer's name on it and slammed it down next
to Brandom Adam's monumental statue of an angel. Suddenly, the fog lifted
Da Franacoer later
coudn t keep his eyes oft the morning vision,so Justin Ivlctlroy stuck a peice
hay up his nose. The shadows grew snorter, and by the time it was noon Shi
Endo was the next victim. He ran and collapsed. Jacob McNeil explained: he's
seen it all. JamesJohnson shook his head in fervent agreement. Greg Ursic said
that it was a sad day for all, and Zoe rem arked"they will never be stopped." Marie Burgoyne clapped her hands gleefully. Humaiar Ham id's eyes turned as big
as frisbees and said"what's WROilG with you." But we'll never know, because
Michael Bround
Canadian   Canada post Sales Agreement
University  Number 0o40878022
Kress January 25th, 2008
While the hundreds of students who take
physics this term struggle to memorize the
standard model of fundamental particles and
interactions, scientists buried two stories underground at the TRIUMF particle accelerator
are putting that model to the test.
Originally operated by University of British
Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the
University of Victoria (the TRI-University Meson Facility), the University of Alberta, Carleton
University, and the University of Toronto have
since joined TRIUMF as member universities.
The accerator is powered by a 4000 ton,
18m in diameter cyclotron—the largest in the
world—which accelerates up to 1 quadrillion
protons to 3/4 ofthe speed of light in l/3000th
of a second.
Accelerating is only half of the fun though.
When particles travelling so close to the speed
of light smash into each other the high energy creates new and weird particles. These
serve a variety of purposes, from explorative
nuclear physics to life sciences, to material
One area of research involves exploring
how the universe's heavy atoms are formed,
hydrogen, helium, and lithium were formed in
the big bang, while all of the elements lighter
than iron are formed in solar furnaces. The
origins of the heavier elements, from gold to
uranium to zinc, are still unidentified, but the
energies provided by TRIUMF allow scientists
to explore what conditions could have led to
their creation. Other areas of research include
using proton beams as a cancer treatment, or
engineering new materials for industrial use.
At any given time there are around 80 UBC
students and faculty working on-site at TRIUMF,
composed mostly of co-op, post-doc, and grad
students. Anyone is free to submit a research
proposal to the Canadian Research Council
however, and, if approved, the only expenses
equipment to the site. The use of the accelerator and physical support are gra"
Questions about the AMS elections
It's hard for us at the Ubyssey not to be
overly critical of just about everything.
We realize that ranting at the student
populace is best done in moderation,
with well thought out critiques, and
practical solutions. It is thus with ambivalence that we present to you our
AMS elections Bitchfest.
Since when have secret ballots been
Turning back the clock on centuries of democratic theory, this year's
Elections Committee decided that the
traditional secret ballot was something
student democracy could do without.
The volunteers manning the 11
polling stations scattered across campus had voters write their names and
student numbers directly on the back
of their ballots. This was done, said
pollsters, to prevent students from
voting more than once in the election.
Students who questioned this decision
were told that they were free to leave
their identification off their ballots,
provided they understood that their
ballot would be discarded.
While we're pretty sure that candidates won't use the information
gleaned from these ballots to pursue
political dissidents, it's simply unacceptable to attempt to run an ostensibly
free and democratic election, and then
screw it up so royally by requiring voters to identify their ballots.
As presidential candidate Tyler
"Che" Allison pointed out, all poll officials needed to do to prevent repeat
voters was to have students write their
names and student numbers on envelopes in which they could put their
secret ballots. This would have allowed
the vote enumerators to have ensured
that no students voted twice, and at the
same time preserved the sanctity ofthe
secret ballot. The decision to directly
identify ballots may not have been
major, but it was stupid and reflected
a broader lack of respect for the democratic process.
What exactly is 'Voter Funded Media' without the votes?
We criticized last year's Voter
Funded Media contest as largely pointless, undemocratic, and poorly run.
We thought this year's VFM contest
couldn't get any worse. It did.
The contest, which was overseen
by VP External Matt Naylor, was terribly run. Promotions for the contest,
originally designed to distribute prize
money to campus media outlets based
upon number votes they received from
students, began a scant few days before
candidates announced that they were
This lapse in promotion meant that
few who didn't already know about the
contest entered. Once again, several of
these media outlets produced content
which could scarcely be considered
informative, let alone exemplars of citizen journalism. Once again, this year
saw entrants who were obviously in the
contest for little more than the money
being involved that VFM offered.
The VP Admin race: stinkier than a
fish monger
While the majority of this year's
electoral screw-ups can only be attributed to the collective deficiencies of our
student government, the cancellation
ofthe VP Administration race midway
through the electoral process reeks of
something more than incompetence.
The decision to cancel the VP
Admin race came down Wednesday.
Elections Administrator Brendan Pio-
vesan said that the decision was due
to campaign irregularities caused by
one, and only one, ofthe candidates in
the race. And while Piovesan was unwilling to say which of the candidates
caused the irregularities or even what
the irregularities were, several individuals say they centre around VP Admin candidate Yian Messoloras. They
claim that Messoloras spent some of
Friday, the first day of elections, encouraging students to use Webvote to
vote on a laptop he was using whilst
Messoloras may or may not have
been violating the AMS Code of Procedures regarding elections, but the
Piovesan had plenty of other options
than cancelling the entire VP Admin
election. He could have restricted
Messoloras's campaigning, prevented Messoloras from postering, or
Piovesan could have even disqualified
Instead, Piovesan waited until
Wednesday, beyond the 72 hours
required by code, before acting to rectify the alleged elections irregularities.
And instead of declaring the election
invalid after the polls closed, as is
standard practice, Piovesan chose to
stop the elections partway through.
Both Messoloras and VP Admin
candidate Mike Kushnir said they
were disappointed by the decision, but
strangely the incumbent VP Admin,
Sarah Naiman, was very positive^about
the decision to cancel the race.
Streeters is a twice-weekly column
in which students are asked a
question    pertinent    to    UBC.
See their full comments online at www.ubyssey.ca
What do you think of animal testing at UBC?
"The advantage is
that it could expand
your knowledge in
that area. The disadvantage is that it's
not so good for the
"If it's for a purpose
I feel like it's better
doing it on animals
than doing it on
"If you want to
do test on animals
it shouldn't harm
shouldn't disturb
their life."
specific situation. If
it's going to be used
for something good,
then why not?"
"If it was something
very invasive that
couldn't ethically
humans the
-Coordinated by Jacob McNeil, Joe Rayment, and David Zhang theubysseymagazine
January 25th, 2008
l/ouz Campus Wools. Stole,/
in the Village next to the Bank of Montreal
Come by room 23 of the SUB to pick up a free movie
rental from DVD Zone, your DVD store in the village.
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Buck 65
The Situation with Buck 65
is full circle, as he reunites
with his old collaborator Sk-
ratch Bastid. Stripped away
are the blues and folk influences that nearly launched
him into the stratosphere
as with "Wicked & Weird",
replaced with arrangements
of drums, bass and scratching that could likely score a
Shaft/Dick Tracy crossover.
In accordance with the
boost in tempo, Buck gives
up his Tom Waits aspira-
with a monotone. It may be
purer hip-hop, but the world
would've been better if had
continued to challenge those
-James Johnson
Pet Shop Boys
In theory, DISCO Four
should be outright terrible.
The album consists of dance
remixes of music by people
like David Bowie and Yoko
Ono, raising the question
"who covers a song that was
bad in the first place?" Surprisingly, though, the album
yields some decent material; "Read my Mind" and
"Integral" are both adequate
tracks, assuming electronic
music is your kind of thing.
Though a disappointment
overall, it's not the utter disaster it could have been.
-Jacob McNeil
Small Sins
Mood Swings
Small Sins, who made a
minor splash in the early
2000s as the Ladies & Gentleman, return with the aptly
named Mood Swings, which
demonstrates the difficulty
of categorizing the 'indie
sound' as anything but. The
album distributes its strong
material throughout, bouncing from electro disco to
melancholic ballads faster
than you can spell bipolar.
It won't be a chart topper,
but it's a decent listen to see
what's coming out of Canada
these days.
-James Johnson
Dave Gahan
The second solo effort of
Dave Gahan, more fondly
remembered as the lead
singer of 80s synth band
Depeche Mode, is distinctly
indistinct in a sea of modern
imitators. Gahan's voice is
as capable as ever, but he is
backed by uninventive bargain bin electro beats. The
album follows the template
75 per cent rockers, 25 per
cent ballads, the best loaded
up early. Unfortunately,
none of it memorable. Best
to enjoy the silence instead.
Six reasons why
choose to smoke
Pastime makes life more
ft * '
,        \
w             Ik
4 ■
Writer Trevor Melanso
s with his smokes,an aspect of his lifestyle.
Coordinated by James Johnson
by Trevor Melanson
Smoking is bad for you, and no
one knows this better than the
smoker. I know this; I'm a smoker. Am I addicted? Very much so.
But do I only smoke to feed my
addiction? No. Believe it or not, I
actively choose to smoke.
I know, I know: everyone has
an aunt or an uncle or a brother-
in-law or a friend's friend who
died, or almost died, from smoking. But, in the words of Hank
Moody (David Duchovny in Cali-
fornication), "Life will kill you."
So, without further ado, here
are six reasons why I choose to
1. It's very meditative. A cigarette can put life into perspective. When life lets you down, a
cigarette won't. I organize my
thoughts most efficiently while
smoking, and take emotional
shelter in its simple pleasure.
2. Walking is more enjoyable.
Whether you're walking for its
own sake, or heading to a lecture,
a cigarette always makes for a
more satisfying stroll. Going to
that next lecture is a little less
unappealing when you anticipate
a cigarette, it's a well-earned reward for your arduous hike.
3. As just illustrated, smoking
gives you something to look forward to—frequently. At the end
of a lecture, or after dinner, or
when it's just time for another.
It's akin to giving yourself a present five, ten, twenty times a day
(however often you smoke).
4. Smokers are, more often
than not, interesting people, and
when you smoke, you will meet
more of them. Why, you ask, are
smokers more interesting people? Perhaps it is because, in one
way or another, we're deviant.
5. Smoking helps you lose
weight. It burns calories, and
as a result, increases one's metabolism slightly. Furthermore,
nicotine curbs appetite. Abdominal definition is hard—have you
considered smoking? Brad Pitt
does it, and he looks great!
6. Coffee and cigarettes. You
haven't lived until you've experienced this combination.
In all seriousness, I'm not
advocating smoking. What I am
advocating is personal freedom.
Smoking bans are not bringing
society closer to Utopia; they are
only restricting autonomy. "No
one should smoke" is an idea
that cannot be properly defended because there are reasons
to smoke, and whether they are
good enough reasons is a quandary for the individual. Sure,
everyone makes mistakes, but at
the end of the day, the individual
knows what's best for him or her
self better than anyone else, vl January 25th, 2008
Life, sex, and masturbation
by Sean Terrillon
Two weeks ago, in Buchanan
D block, my world was rearranged. I saw someone famous—famous to me—whose
name I don't even know. This
isn't an unusual phenomenon.
We all know people from somewhere on the Internet, and although they are not household
names, their infamy persists
Everyone I know
loves to fuck!
in Internet sub-cultures.
The Star Wars Kid. Lone-
lygirl_ 13. Numa Numa. My
particular celebrity was an Internet maiden of some fame.
I whipped out my laptop,
logged onto the SSC, hop-
skipped around the corner
and, in an instant, my life
The world suddenly
slowed to a standstill. The last
■time I remember this feeling
was when I tried to bunny-
hop a two-foot high chain on
my BMX and caught my back
wheel. On that day, I fell slow-
motion right into pavement. I
survived with a new appreciation of physics. This round of
Hasslehofian [think Bay watch)
speed reduction opened my
eyes to real-life sociology.
Voices in the background
got eerily deep. My next step
was taking forever to hit the
ground. In mid-stride, I was
positioned as such face to face
with this girl who I knew that
I knew. It took me a couple of
seconds to register just where
from, exactly. My head swiv-
eled slowly.
I couldn't believe who
it was. I glided like a paper
plane from a 16 story building on a calm day, swiveled
on the ball of my right foot to
take the corner, and stretched
my arms out for balance. It
was the girl I had jerked off to
an hour before while dealing
with my morning wood.
After having seen the girl
of my dreams in front of my
very eyes—in the corridor of
the university I'm paying far
too much to attend—my sociologically defined boundaries
of normalcy were challenged.
The world won't stop for me
like it did unless something
critical happens—such as skinning your chin across asphalt,
or in this case, seeing a porn
star at school.
In one sense I was excited. 'Could I get with her!?'
I wondered. 'There must be
something I can do!' I told
my roommates all about my
exciting day, and then I had
an epiphany: the reason for
my shock at seeing the girl
in person whom I had just
seen on the web was because
of an archaic taboo. Emile
Durkheim believed people in
society manufacture crimes to
make themselves feel better
as a community. The same
reasoning goes for taboos.
The sex taboo has survived
to the 21st century despite
our love for all things sexual.
Culture is sex; culture is wet;
it writhes; it ejaculates and it
cleans itself up to do it again
as often as necessary. We
denounce porn stars and associate a milieu of negative
characteristics to them, rather
than see them for their personal achievements and their
potential to create a sex-positive society.
As I admitted in the beginning, she was a porn star and
the first thing that came to my
mind was sex. As members
of society we have decided
to agree that sex should be
private, kept in rooms behind
closed   doors   and   certainly
never spoken about at the
dinner table. Only in the subcultures of society does sex
get its fair share of attention.
These individuals who have
managed to pick the locks of
conservative restraint in the
field of sexual fantasies face
a far more manageable sex
drive, and seem to have a
better sex life. Isn't that the
point? Everyone I know loves
to fuck! Why do we treat sex
any differently than conversation or sport? The sexual acts
themselves don't have any inherent negative consequences
if performed safely save the
exhaustion from a good workout in both cases.
I would like to say to that
beautiful, surprisingly shy,
nondescript average girl with
a past of porn, that I thank you
for challenging my beliefs,
and I hope that one day I'll
bump into you again and we
could go for coffee, vl
Go and get your lube, because murder turns us on
by Brianna Hersey
The McGill Daily (McGill University)
MONTREAL (CUP)-TV premiere season has begun, and
the dead bodies are already
piling up. The murder victims of primetime are interchangeable with disturbing
soft-core centrefolds: sexy
dead girls wearing lacy bras
and bullet holes. Some have
their dainty throats slashed,
and others develop purple
petekia dots. Corpses never
looked so good. Murder tunes
us in and turns us on.
The dead bodies we see
on television dramas are not
real. They are actors playing
parts. Many ofthe killings we
see in the media, however,
are real. With peer-to-peer
networking web sites, murder
has become entertainment:
the deaths of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi civilians, suicide
bombers, and people in the
Chechen wars have all been
available on YouTube and attracted many viewers. As the
bodies fell from the World
Trade Centre, we watched
from our living rooms; we
heard them hit the pavement,
and couldn't look away.
Our encounters with deadly explicit television shows
are quite recent. The history of real murder taped for
pleasure goes back much further. This history is plagued
with salacious rumour, false
advertising, and titillating
promises of real "snuff."
There is significant debate
over what constitutes a snuff
film. CSI or Law and Order:
SVU wouldn't make the cut.
News broadcasts of wars
are closer but don't quite fit
the bill. Generally, the term
"snuff" refers to a film produced for commercial gain
and distribution that shows
the real murder of a human
being, often with a sexual payoff. Regardless of definition,
we love seeing people killed.
Whether the victims are real,
whether the killing is deemed
to be "murder" or "defense,"
whether we download it or
watch on the set, our culture
is fascinated with watching
people die.
When the promise of a
real snuff film arises, we
are invigorated. According
to Wikipedia, there has only
been one real snuff film that
has surfaced. However, even
this is hard to corroborate.
There have been many attempts to create snuff films
that appear to be the real deal
and they invigorate us all the
same, regardless of their
The 19 76 filmSnuj(jrgener-
ated protests by second-wave
feminists against pornography. The Italian director of
19 79's Cannibal Holocaust,
RuggeroDeodato, had to prove
in court that the murders in
his film were not real. Paul
Schrader's Hardcore, Arnold
Schwarzenegger's     Running
Man, Anthony Waller's Mute
Witness, and most recently
Nimrod Antal's Vacancy have
all profited from the theme of
murder on tape.
Our encounters
vvith deadly explicit
television shows
are quite recent.
The history of real
murder taped for
pleasure goes back
Once in a while, a tale
of real-life snuff hits the
airwaves. Back in 2004, the
story of 23-year-old Canadian Natel King shocked us.
She was a university student
who worked in porn to pay
for school. She disappeared
on February 25, 2004 in
Pennsylvania and her body
was found a month later
still dressed in the bondage
gear from the shoot. The
note "Snuff Vid" was found
on a blank contract in the
photographer's camera bag.
The photographer was later
charged with third-degree
murder, admitting that he
stabbed her multiple times
after he told King he did not
have enough money to pay
her for modelling.
The Internet was aglow after the King story circulated.
Though no snuff film was
ever found, bloggers were
hot on the trail, hoping to
find the violence to fuel their
There is supposed to be
a difference between seeing
real murder and fake murder, but it is hard to find this
distinction at times. Whether
real rape or fake rape, an
actual murder or just for TV
fun, we watch news programs
and crime shows because
they interest us. This interest
entertains us. As sordid as it
is, murder turns us on. vl theubysseymagazine
The Ubyssey
January 25th, 2008
Text by Marc Serpa Francoeur
Illustrations by Stephanie Findlay
No mr. hamster, I expect you to die!
Tucked away somewhere
on south campus is the
Animal Care Center
(ACC), the current locus of
animal experimentation at
UBC. Unbeknownst to most
students, UBC is one of the
largest bio-medical campuses
in the country. The ACC annually distributes some 100,000
creatures, both large and
small, to dozens of UBC affiliated research projects.
Alternate Realities 10:57am,
UBC Animal Care Center 6199
South Campus Road
A fat, black sky weighs
heavy as I roll through the
barbed-wire perimeter of the
ACC complex. A spate of "Restricted Access: Authorized
Persons Only" signs welcome
me, as a familiar odour, dark
and caustic, creeps through
the vent and welds to the
back of my throat. I know that
smell...but why?
I park near the rodent-
breeding center, a drab,
single-level concrete bunker.
That foul smell grows stronger
as I move toward the administrative wing ofthe complex.
Inside reception, flies
buzz in the fetid air. The floor
beneath my feet is sticky and
streaked red. From somewhere in the labyrinthine
halls before me, the drone of a
large drill ricochets down the
hall, nearly cloaking the muffled squeals of some wretched
In the corner, the niece
of Frau Bliicher sits at her
desk and gnaws on a chunk of
strange, dark meat. Ah, yes...
that would explain the smell.
With a feral twitch, she
glances up at my entrance then
screams over her shoulder in
some brutish Teutonic vernacular. With the good Frau still
a-bellow, a whistling attendant
comes round a corner and
breezes past with a dolly full of
carcasses. Mangled, furry legs
of a lesser ungulate protrude
through a twisted mat of rigor-
mortic albino mice.
The thick, blue arm of an
ape hangs limply over the side,
sticky crimson dripping from
the thumb of its upturned
paw. The director emerges
from his office. He wears a
bloodied butcher's apron and
pair of rigger boots well-worn
in the toes.
"So, you're the reporter,
eh? Good, good..." He smiles
and clamps a meaty hand
down on my shoulder.
"Let's show you around."
His fingernails are dirty...very
dirty. I cough, then mention
that I didn't know there was a
BBQ today.
"What? Oh, yes. Well, you
must be hungry. Frau, let's get
this boy some meat." And she
scuttles off down the hall.
I ask if it's a special
"Well," he winks at me, "we
do run on a lunar calendar." I
waggle my head knowingly
and we join in a chuckle.
Good, I think. This is exactly what I expected.
Back to reality
Well, not so much.
Perhaps in the halcyon
days of unfettered progress
and unanaesthetized vivisection, such blithe environs
could indeed be found in the
noble corridors of academia.
Surely in this great era of The
Body Shop and vigilant watch
groups, the macabre spectre
of animal experimentation has
withered like so many other
embarrassing little pastimes.
Hasn't it?
According to the Canadian
Council on Animal Care (CCAC),
the numbers of animals used
in 'science' in Canada have
increased significantly in the
past decade, with over 2.5
million animals in 2006, up
from less than 1.5 million in
1997. In fact, 2006 saw the
highest number of animals
used in research since 1975.
As the home of a sizable and
rapidly expanding industry of
animal experimentation, UBC
appears to be at the forefront
of these trends.
"Depending on who you
believe," says Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark, UBC is "the second
largest biomedical campus in
Canada." Harvey-Clark is the
director of the university's
Animal Care Center, an institution currently responsible
for the distribution annually
of some 100,000 animals for
use in dozens of UBC affiliated
research projects.
Many students may be
entirely unaware, but UBC
maintains over thirty animal
care facilities across its campus and throughout the rest
of the city. With over thirty
full-time staff at the centre,
not including UBC Plant Ops
staff, a sizable portion of the
animals used are the product
of the ACC's extensive rodent
breeding program.
Harvey-Clark describes
a recent shift in Canadian
research from the use of companion to farm animals, and
from larger to smaller animals
in general; a process he characterizes as the "refinement"
of research practices. "Pigs
are probably the main large
animal that's used," says Harvey-Clark. "We haven't seen
dogs used in research at UBC
since 1992."
While the wide majority
of the animals used each year
are rats, mice, and fish, there
are over 5000 subjects from
other species, including larger
mammals like sheep, pigs,
rabbits, cats, and non-human
primates. Harvey-Clark views
the use of these animals in research as a "consumptive use,"
and equates it to the use of
animals in food production.
With a veterinary background, Harvey-Clark feels it
his responsibility to maximize
the welfare of the animals under his care. He purports with
pride that'housing' conditions
for animals used in research
have improved significantly
at UBC over time and compare well with other facilities
across the country.
That's all good and well,
one might think, but how have
these developments affected
the once sensational ethical
concerns about animal experimentation? What of the great
outcry of bygone years, as in
1981, when the very office
occupied today by Director
Harvey-Clark was firebombed
by activists? While the housing
for research animals might
well have improved, has their
welfare in terms of actual usage as experimental subjects
changed drastically?
The Stats	
According to the CCAC,
experiments in Canada are divided into four different "Categories of Invasiveness," In
2006, while about one third,
or over 800,000 experiments
caused "little or no discomfort
or stress," another third caused
"moderate to severe distress
or discomfort." Additionally,
over 7per cent, some 180,000
animals, were subjected to the
highest level of invasiveness,
"severe pain near, at, or above
the pain tolerance threshold of
unanaesthetized conscious animals." This quantity is more
than double proportionately,
and well over three times in
number than the mere 55,000
or 3per cent of animals used
in this way in 1998, less than
ten years earlier.
As far as the nature ofthe experiments, while some 30per
cent were related to medical
purposes in 2006, roughly
lOper cent, some 238,000
animals were involved in the
"regulatory testing" of non-
medicinal products. While the
number of animals consumed
for this purpose has been
relatively consistent over the
past decade, the proportion
subjected to the highest level
of invasiveness has risen from
less than 20per cent in 1998,
for instance, to nearly 50per
cent in 2006. All told, non-
medicinal product testing represented well over 60per cent
ofthe total number of animals
subjected to the highest level
of invasiveness in 2006.
While animal experimentation may receive less media
attention today than in the
past, not only is the consumption of animals in research
at a thirty-year high, but both
the quantity and proportion
of highly invasive procedures
show no sign of abating. These
trends come at a time when
the basic tenants of animal
experimentation are, if anything, under greater scrutiny
than ever before.
In light of modern technological developments, the
basic justification of animal
testing is increasingly dubious. According to Clive
Perraton Mountford, a UBC
professor of philosophy who
specializes in environmental
ethics, there is little continued
rationalization for the use of
animals in research in light of
advances in "computer modeling and tissue culture work."
Surprisingly perhaps, these
alternatives are typically far
cheaper and faster than animal experimentation.
Not simply collateral damage
The use of animals in
research is "hugely costly,"
Harvey-Clark readily concedes. "It's costly from a
financial viewpoint, and it's
costly ethically; so, you have
to be assured that their use
is necessary." Nonetheless,
when asked about some ofthe
successes achieved by animal
research at UBC, Harvey-
Clark, director of the ACC for
three years now, had difficulty
providing concrete examples.
"It's probably an example of
how we don't sell ourselves
particularly well that I can't
give you a list of websites to go
to." When asked, UBC Public
Relations failed to provide a
listing of current UBC affiliated projects involving animal
Motivated perhaps to
considerable extent by corporate interests, a degree of
redundancy is also present
within the field of animal research. Dr. Alka Chandna, a
senior Researcher at People
for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA) headquarters
in Virginia, summarized some
of the more controversial
practices employed by UBC
in the last few years. Among
others, she described smoking experiments using guinea
pigs despite, as she says, the
ready availability of "plenty of
information on the impact of
cigarette smoke on humans
through clinical studies."
Most notable, perhaps, has
been the continued use at UBC
of non-human primates in
neurological experiments. Recently, the rhesus macaque, an
Asian species, has been used
extensively in Parkinson's disease research. The monkeys
are typically subjected to brain
damage which models the degenerative disease, and then
treated with various metham-
phetamine and electroconvulsive shock therapies. Such
usage of non-human primates
in neurological experiments is
an area that has received particular criticism from many in
the scientific community.
Because of considerable
anatomical and physiological
differences, alternatives to animal testing can often provide
more relevant findings in relation to human applications. In
the words of Professor Mount-
ford, there is "clear evidence
that research findings in other
creatures frequently do not
translate into reliable knowledge about human responses
to drugs and situations."
Remarkably, the conservative and authoritative US
National Research Council
concluded in a 2007 report
that due to the cost, time requirements and fundamental
flaws in the translation of
results, "over time, the need
for traditional animal testing
could be greatly reduced and
possibly even eliminated." It
would appear then that perhaps the mainstream scientific community is coming to
accept the desirability, at the
very least, of a diminution of
animal experimentation.
Back here at home	
So where does this leave
us? Have we reached the
twilight hour of the age of
animal experimentation? Apparently the UBC administration doesn't think so. "We're
expanding quite rapidly now,"
says Harvey-Clark.
"We're about to open a very
large 100,000 square foot centralized facility, north campus." The director is referring
to the Centre for Comparative
Medicine which, according
to UBC's 2007-2008 Budget
Summary Book, "will relocate
and consolidate animal care
facilities from south campus,
as well as other locations
around campus." According to
the BSB a $20 million budget
has been approved thus far
for the Centre. The number of
staff at the ACC is already increasing in anticipation of the
scope ofthe new facility.
If, considering the alternatives, the entire field of animal
experimentation is increasingly redundant, ineffectual and
costly, not to mention ethically
ambiguous, why is UBC rapidly expanding its program?
Professor Mountford wonders
if it might be "an exercise in
revenue generation" for the
university. He may be correct,
as an increasing proportion
of the rats and mice bred at
UBC are transgenic—animals
which can easily carry a $ 1000
price tag. The priorities of the
university, however, may be
part of a larger trend that goes
beyond the profitability of specialty rodents.
"We're certainly in a period of wild success in research
on this campus," says Harvey-
Clark. Whereas research is
traditionally an area which
loses money for universities,
nowadays, the Director says,
it's turning a profit. In fact,
UBC is at the forefront of
this financial success. With a
"research grant fund capture
approaching half a billion dollars," says Harvey-Clark "UBC
is kind of leading the pack."
As to the fate of the existing animal care facilities?
"Well these buildings here, are
sitting squarely in the middle
of whatyou drove past on your
way here, which is development," says Harvey-Clark. Just
past UBC Farm, the existing
ACC is one of several facilities
on south campus that will or
have already been shut down
and demolished to make way
for the creation of infinitely
more profitable enterprises
like condo developments.
When asked about the
future use of animals in research, Harvey-Clark spoke
on behalf of his colleagues
and stated that "all of us involved, would certainly like
to see the replacement [of
animals] where we can." As
far as specifically which areas
of research such replacement
might be likely to occur, the
director responded that "it's
hard to pick an area where it's
more or less justifiable, really
hard to put more value on one
project than another."
As a member ofthe Animal
Care Committee, the very body
responsible for the approval
and monitoring of the use of
animals in any UBC affiliated
research, Harvey-Clark's in-
decisiveness hardly provides
assurances of discretion. Nor
does the director instil the
sense that UBC has any intention of curtailing its future use
of animals in research.
And what does the UBC
student body think of all this?
Hard to say, as it seems unlikely that they've really been
asked. It is worth noting that
of all the student clubs and organizations at the University,
not a single one is devoted
to the issue of animal rights
and welfare. A quick internet
search shows UBC to be perhaps the only major university in Canada without one.
Are UBC students unusually
apathetic towards animal welfare? Is it possible rather, that
under the clever subterfuge of
an under-publicized 'Animal
Care Program,' its activities
have simply been well hidden
enough to escape notice.
With the basic theoretical
foundation for the use of animals in research crumbling,
perhaps it's time for the
students of UBC to express
their opinion of the annual
'consumption' of more than
100,000 animals by their university. For which purposes
and to what 'degree of invasiveness' are we as a community comfortable subjecting
animals to? And which species
of animals, if any? Certainly
the issue has never been more
pertinent than at this juncture,
as the investment of at least
$20 million in a new facility
will not only maintain UBC's
legacy of animal experimentation, but expand and extend it
far into the future. vl theubysseymagazine
January 25th, 2008
T-Birds inch closer to home playoff berth
t A I
Wan #i [< 1 f3J
•t st              2nd
UBC      |          | |          |
3-     U
Lethbridge □ |         | Q   Mjg
January 18,2007                          «■
Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre              1
2nd 3rd \tp.
January 19,2007
Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre
Weekend sweep of Lethbridge keeps dreams of starting playoffs at home alive for Thunderbirds
by Shun Endo
After a four game losing
streak, the T-Birds sharpened
up their play last weekend to
claim both games of their dou-
bleheader against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns
at the Father Bauer Arena.
The 2-1 and 7-5 victories
on Friday and Saturday night
inched UBC closer to a home
playoff berth and positioned
the Birds in fourth place in the
Canada West, just two points
behind the Calgary Dinos.
With only four games left in
the regular season, including
two against Canada West leader Saskatchewan, the T-Birds
have to remain in the top four
ofthe seven team Canada West
to host a first round series.
In Friday's game, both
teams started at a slow pace
with a scoreless first period.
But things turned around in
the second when Marc Deslog-
es and Jeff Lynch each earned
valuable goals. Despite UBC
getting outshot, goaltender
Gerry Festa saved 33 shots
to secure a crucial win. Steve
Zmudczynski scored the lone
goal for the Pronghorns in the
third period.
"A win is a win and we
will take it," said T-Birds head
coach Milan Dragicevic after
the game.
On Saturday, both offences
emerged to treat fans in attendance to a high-scoring affair.
The T-Birds executed well,
especially on the power play,
as Jeff Lynch and Kevin Seibel
netted goals at the beginning
and end of the first period
The intensity of the game
rose in the second when Jo-
van Matic put two past the
Pronghorns' net-minder to
stake UBC to a commanding
4-0 lead. But the Pronghorns
broke the T-Birds momentum
with two quick goals including one on a power play to cut
the lead in half just minutes
Then the frustrated T-Birds
started to get physical, with
Brad Zanon getting ejected after two consecutive penalties.
The Pronghorns were able to
close the gap to a single goal
when Steve Zmudczynski got
one past Festa at the beginning of the third, but that is
as close as the Pronghorns
would come. The Birds recovered their rhythm in the third
period with back-to-back goals
from Curtis Billsten to finish
up by two.
Despite sweeping the dou-
bleheader and boosting their
confidence for the stretch run
towards the playoffs, UBC is
still looking to improve the
quality of their game.
"We definitely need to
work on our defence since we
let them score five goals," said
Dragicevic. "We need to focus
on our continuity and line systems, but these four points are
The four points put the
T-Birds in fourth place in
Canada West and keep their
hopes of securing a home
playoff berth alive. But things
only get tougher from here for
UBC, who go on the road to
play the fifth-placed University
of Manitoba Bisons next weekend in Winnipeg. The T-Birds
then return home February
8 and 9 to host Canada West
leader Saskatchewan in their
final games ofthe season. The
Canada West playoffs will begin February 22. Va
Athletic Director, AMS President-elect disagree on future of UBC Athletics
by Justin McElroy
When UBC Athletics Director
Bob Philip finds out about the
AMS election results today, he
will receive some good news,
and some bad news. The good
news is that for the next 12
months, he will be dealing
with an AMS president who
is passionate about athletics
and recreation, and committed to expanding the role and
importance of those activities
on campus.
The bad news? They disagree on how to get there.
Indeed, the election of
Michael Duncan as AMS President signals that, for the first
time in many years, Philip's
vision of how to grow athletics
at UBC is about to be seriously
challenged by a student body
that, when it comes to the
hefty athletic fee that students
pay, just might start putting
it's foot down.
"I think it's absurd, Vancouver being one of the most
active cities in the world, that
we don't have a free gym for
the university," he says to me
as we discuss his concerns
about the direction of athletics at UBC. "You pay about two
hundred dollars to Athletics
and Rec, and you get almost
none of that money back."
And it's that complaint,
shared by the silent majority
of students on campus, that
just happens to be at the top
of his platform when you go to
his campaign website. To him,
athletics at UBC is about recreation and access first, and
varsity sports second.
Reduced fees, free gyms,
and expanded access; these
aren't phrases you'll find if you
search through the athletic section ofthe UBC budget summary for this year. Instead, you'll
find pledges to "finalize access
understanding for University
Town residents," "present plan
to build two artificial fields,"
and of course, Philip's Holy
Grail, "prepare and present a
plan to have varsity teams play
in the NCAA leagues if invitation is extended." In layman's
terms, UBC Athletics wants to
keep building facilities, switch
to NCAA play, and only then
focus on reducing fees and
increasing access.
This division shouldn't really surprise anyone. It's part
of a healthy argument, and the
truth is, the debate between
expansion and profit vs. access
and affordability is one that
goes on between administrators and students in universities worldwide.
But what may push this
debate to the forefront in the
coming months is the looming
specter of the NCAA coming
to UBC. For those of you keeping track of the never-ending dance, last week it was
announced that Canadian
schools could apply for Division II membership in the
NCAA starting immediately.
Meaning that, as soon as the
2009-2010 school year, UBC
could be waving goodbye to CIS
play, and saying hello to fellow
Division 2 schools Northwest
Nazarene University and Western Oregon University, among
However, that would only
happen if UBC applies for
membership by the June 1st
deadline—and that isn't a
given. As Philip has said, the
announcement "is just the
start of a process that needs
to be thoroughly discussed on
our campus." One can assume
that process will involve proposing an increased budget for
varsity sports. And while the
department has claimed that
there are eager donors waiting
to fund UBC Athletics should
it make the leap to NCAA, any
shortfall would have to be covered by students. And that's
where things come to a head.
"It would be irresponsible
of us to put more money into
varsity when we have so little
money going to the vast majority of students," Duncan says,
adding that, while he likes the
idea of the NCAA in theory,
"you can't just jump into the
NCAA, and expect students to
come...we need to get students
more engaged, and then we're
in the position where we can
make the jump." In other
words, a compromise.
In order for that to happen
however, Duncan believes that
UBC Athletics is going to have
to see student interest in athletics rise above the apathetic
level it normally resides at.
"We need to show Athletics how
much students care," Duncan
states, alluding to the decision
to keep open the Aquatic Centre gym after student protests
as an example of the department listening to students.
"Bob Philip understands this.
He just doesn't often see it
from the students."
In the meantime however,
you can be sure that the new
AMS president will be pushing
for cheaper access to facilities for students. And you can
be sure that UBC Athletics is
preparing to tell the campus
community what a switch to
the NCAA would entail. All
of which means that the next
time Bob Philip goes to an
AMS Council meeting, it will
be assuredly be a most interesting visit. vl January 25th, 2008
By the time you read this, buffets
will have been re-appropriated
by Veronica Islasm
The Link (Concordia University)
where in Montreal, a posh
restaurant will provide free
food to those in need—and they
don't even know it yet.
Le Comite de sans-emploi
organized the free food grab,
dubbed the "commando-
bouffe," but to ensure the success of the operation, they will
not give out or even hint at the
"We are going to a restaurant or hotel where the richest
of the rich go," said spokesperson Frangois Giguiere.
These modern-day Robin
Hoods will repossess food,
which they consider a right
and not a commodity, and redistribute it to poor and hungry
But it is not only about
a good culinary experience.
Giguiere said the "commando-
bouffe" is meant to make a
"The idea is that the rich
are getting richer and the poor
are getting poorer, and that has
to stop," said Giguiere. He said
while social programs are being cut all the time, the government uses surpluses to reduce
"Twenty years ago people
received $470 per month. Now
they get roughly $570." But he
said the average income has
not kept pace with the cost of
living and that essentials like
rent and food have become proportionally more expensive.
This will not be the first
time Montreal restaurants and
groceries have been hit with a
food grab: in 1997, hundreds
of activists flooded the Queen
Elizabeth Hotel and re-appropriated a buffet and in 1999
Hotel Le Meridien was forced
to share its lunch.
Giguiere said the Queen
Elizabeth food grab 10 years
ago resulted in 110 arrests.
"Less than eight were
charged and only three received
a slap in the wrist. We have to
deal with this, but it won't deter
us at all," he said.
"The best would be not to
have any altercation with the
police," he said.
His committee is experienced at dodging the cops.
Last May, they raided Lucien
Bouchard's office, located on
the 24th floor of an office tower
on McGill Street.
"We emptied his office and
no   one   was   arrested,"   said
Giguiere. Last December, they
raided an army recruitment
centre    with    the    same
The spoils of today's
operation will be go
ing to the needy.
Giguiere      said
they are expecting
a good crowd of
supporters —at
least   200.   "We
are getting
more      support
from      community groups and
student    movements," he said,
and hopes the
will help them
avoid arrest.
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News I Sports I Culture I Features theubysseymagazine
January 25th, 2008
Apply now for BCIT'S Insurance
and Risk Management program
Developed with BC's leading general
insurance companies, this program
provides core business skills with
insurance-specific knowledge.
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Write for the
High Ropes • Counselor • Nurses • Lifeguards • Kitchen
www.camptrillium.com   1-888-999-CAMP [22671
Campus  &  Community  Planning
Development Permit Applications
Green Buffer
0DP 07034: MBA House
UBC Properties Trust
proposes to build a mixed used
rental building, 4-storey, dormitory
style units for MBA students with a
lobby, coffee shop, and amenity
space on the ground floor on Lot
47 of Wesbrook Place (South
Campus Neighbourhood). This
proposal would remain consistent
with the approved Neighbourhood
DP 08002: SC Lot 11,
Faculty & Staff Rental
Housing UBC Properties Trust
proposes to build a 4-storey, 45-
unit Faculty & Staff Rental building
on Lot 11 of Wesbrook Place
(South Campus Neighbourhood).
This proposal would remain
consistent with approved
Neighbourhood Plan.
These applications are scheduled for consideration by the Development Permit Board on
February 16, 2008, Maple Room, Ponderosa Centre, 2071 West Mall, 5 - 7 p.m.; for
directions visit www.maps.ubc.ca
More information on this project is available on the C & CP website:
Ej   Questions: Daniel Sirois, Manager Development Services, C&CP
e-mail: daniel.sirois@ubc.ca
/K   This event is wheelchair accessible. For more information about assistance for persons
with disabilities, e-mail rachel.wiersma@ubc.ca
What Matters, Darkness?
by Celestian Rince
Imagine, if you will, that the
mass of the entire universe was
represented by a proportionally
accurate 100-pound weight. The
collective mass of every single
planet, star, asteroid, and every
other object in space that we can
interact with, would only weigh
three pounds. In other words,
baryonic matter (the "normal"
matter that we are familiar with),
comprises roughly three percent
ofthe total mass in the universe.
So-called "dark matter" makes
up another 24 percent of total
mass. The remaining 73 percent
is thought to be composed of
"dark energy", of which almost
nothing is known.
Dark matter is called such because it does not emit or reflect
light, nor can it be observed with
conventional methods, such as
being touched. If you were to fly
through a clump of dark matter
in a rocket, you wouldn't even be
aware of it. It does not interact
with any of the matter we are
familiar with. The evidence for
its existence then, is its gravitic
effects on conventional matter.
Scientists have observed that
galaxies rotate too fast to account
for merely the gravitational force
of the mass that we can see.
Therefore, dark matter accounts
for this discrepancy. It is the
invisible glue that holds the universe together, dictating when
and where galaxies form.
Additional evidence to support the dark matter theory is the
viewing of distant galaxies with
tools such as the Hubble Space
Telescope. Much like a raindrop
distorting the view through a
window, the image of distant
galaxies is distorted from what
it should be, presumably by dark
While dark matter is still a
theory, it is generally, though not
completely, accepted within the
scientific community. Without
the existence of dark matter, all
the laws and principles of physics as we know it would be undermined, including both Newtonian physics   and  Einstein's
Despite the fact that dark
matter can neither be seen nor
touched, scientists have still
been able to map out regions
of dark matter. Catherine Hey-
mans of UBC's deptartment of
Astronomy and Physics recently
co-led a team of researchers in
an effort to map out the dark
matter present in a particular
supercluster (a collection of a
collection of galaxies). Using the
Hubble Space Telescope, they
were successful in producing the
clearest, highest-resolution map
to date of dark matter. They have
been able to detect where and
how dense dark matter is in and
around the supercluster.
Their findings suggest that
dark matter forms first, collecting in regions of space. It then
attracts the normal matter we
are familiar with, which forms
galaxies. By studying collections
of dark matter, we can observe
the evolution of galaxies.
Heymans admits that studying dark matter is unlikely to
have practical or directly relevant applications in the foreseeable future. However, she
adds that this research is funded
by the government and other
investors for a reason—this kind
of astrophysics is the exciting
physics that attracts bright un-
dergrads into the field, many of
whom eventually end up in the
technology sector or other, more
commercially viable areas.
PhD students Martha Mil-
keraitis and Sanaz Vafaei, both
in the department of Astronomy
and Physics, seem to confirm
this theory. Both of them currently research and study dark
matter. "Astronomy is a lot of
fun. We do it because we genuinely find it interesting and love
what we do. I don't think that
people can speak about their
subjects with the same passion,"
says Milkeraitis.
As for the future of dark matter, who can say? Perhaps future
generations will look back and
say, while zipping around the
galaxy in dark matter fueled
ships, "How did they ever live
without dark matter?" vl January 25th, 2008
AMS Election Results
Michael Duncan
486 votes
426 votes
354 votes '
Matthew Naylor
Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes
rin Rennie
er"Che" Allison
1475 votes
^ VPAcademic
Alex Lougheed 723 votes
Nate Crompton 695 votes"
Rob McLean 619 votes
Fire Hydrant    559 votes
^ VPExterna
1429 votes
1049 votes
Chris Diplock
864 votes
Andrew Forsher      608 votes
"Irish Courage"        feUlaUMfeU
4 ■&
Ahmadian Blair
Bijan Ahmadian
Timothy Blair
512 votes
435 votes'
309 votes
1398 votes
Andrew Carne
rigo Ferrari-Nunes
Fiddler Crab" Finlay
Genevieve "Malt Likkah" Swiegard
Lougheed        McLean
Wazeer Frederick
I Alex Lougheed
1028 votes I
Rob McLean
Alfie Lee
832 votes!
Azim Wazeer
votes 1
Blake Frederick
votes |
Aidha Shaikh
votes 1
Eileen Harder
votes J
Colin Simkus
votes 1
Philip Edgcumbe
580 J
VP Admin race cancelled
Elections Administrator claims 'serious concerns' about unnamed campaign
by Brandon Adams
The Alma Mater Society has
called off the VP Administration election race due to what
election administrator Brendan Piovesnan claims were
serious concerns regarding
the campaign of an unnamed
Piovesan, however, refused
to point out which of the three
candidates caused the election
irregularities and what the alleged irregularities were.
"I'm not going to say," said
Piovesan. "No."
Maayan Kreitzman, writing
for the UBC Insiders blog, points
to Yian Messoloras's campaign
as the source ofthe issues.
"Apparently, Messoloras
broke the rules when he asked
people to vote on his laptop
computer on the spot," wrote
Kreitzman. "The elections code
specifies that candidates cannot pressure people into voting
and they have to be at least
10 metres away from voting
Piovesan admitted he
wasn't even certain if the irregularities, which he claims to
have "partially observed," were
in violation of the AMS code
regarding elections.
"The witnesses at the incident who were members of the
elections committee—myself
included—can't say for 100
per cent certain exactly what
was occurring and exactly that
the balloting process was interfered with and we can't say
[we're] 100 per cent certain
that the behaviour engaged in
warrants disqualification," said
Section IX, Article 3 of the
AMS Code of Procedures allows
the AMS Elections Committee
to reprimand candidates by
restricting their campaigns or
even disqualifying them from
the elections. Article 3:7 also
gives the Elections Committee
the ability to declare the results
of an election invalid "if serious
offenses have been committed
by more than one candidate in
an election."
Piovesan did admit that Section IX, Article 3:7 presented a
challenge, saying "I am familiar
with the problems potentially
presented by [that section], but
I also looked to Article 7, Section 1."
Article    7:1    states,    "The
Elections Committee shall take
whatever measures necessary
to ensure the security ofthe ballots and the balloting process."
While Piovesan defended
the decision to cancel the election, he also defended the decision not to reprimand or disqualify any ofthe candidates.
"I think we have recourse; I
have recourse," said Piovesan.
"So for that reason I felt that
to ensure the integrity of the
whole vote, that would be better served by re-holding the
vote while at the same time
because ofthe somewhat nebulous nature, I wasn't justified
in disqualifying any candidate
from a subsequent race."
Current VP Admin executive and incumbent candidate
Sarah Naiman was positive
about the cancellation.
"I think this is the best thing
for the position," said Naiman,
who said that she ran because
others encouraged her to run
and she lacked confidence in
the original crop of candidates.
"I felt that it would best
that I did run because, to be
perfectly honest, I didn't have a
lot of confidence of the people
who were running and I felt
like I worked too hard in this
position to leave it in the hands
of someone I wasn't confident
When asked about what she
thought caused the election,
Naiman repeated Kreitzman's
"One of the candidates...
they were walking around with
a computer," said Naiman.
"And I think the issue is that
the elections committee wasn't
sure if they were actually saying
'vote right now' or just endorsing themselves."
"I'm pretty surprised," said
VP Admin candidate Yian Messoloras. "It's going to be hard to
get any kind of participation in
the new race."
"I spent an hour in
Brendan's office yesterday...
basically he just told me there
were election irregularities and
that's all he was going to say,"
said Messoloras.
Messoloras also said that if
the election was cancelled because of his campaigning, that
that would be "preposterous,"
claiming, "I set up a couple
laptops and some speakers
and I was doing the standard
campaigning thing and telling people, 'Come vote.' There
was a minimum ten metre rule
away from the laptops, which I
"If that is the problem, it
seems very strange that it would
happen so much later and after
he had basically spoken to me
and said, 'You know, what was
going on there?' And I just said
I was trying to get people to
vote and I'd been campaigning the same way that Matthew
Naylor or Michael Duncan had
been campaigning," said Messoloras. "I don't see any difference aside from the fact that I
set up some laptops for people
to actually vote."
Messoloras claimed that
if his actions were the reason
for the cancellation, "Normally
a decision on an incident is
required within 72 hours according to electoral code. So if
he's made a legitimate decision
it could not possibly be based
on that, unless of course he's
operating contrary to code,
which he has already done on
this election."
VP Admin candidate "Scary"
Mike "The Rabbi" Kushnir also
expressed his concern with the
decision to cancel the election
and said that he is planning
to take the decision to Student
Court. theubysseymagazine
January 25th, 2008
The votes are in; Duncan wins!
by Boris Korby
Mike Duncan is the next Alma
Mater Society (AMS) president.
The fourth-year science
student won in a landslide victory over current VP External
Matthew Naylor, graduate
anthropology student Rodrigo
Ferrrari-Nunes, fifth-year political science student Erin Rennie,
and joke candidate Tyler "Che"
Duncan finished with 1475
votes, over 991 clear of second
place finisher Naylor, who garnered 484 votes.
"It feels very empowering,"
said an elated Duncan moments
after results were announced
in the Gallery pub. "It feels like
students want me in this position, and they want the ideas I've
brought forward. It motivates
me so much more to push these
ideas on my platform because
the students overwhelmingly
voted for me."
Outgoing President Jeff
Friedrich said he had high hopes
for the new president.
"I'm happy. Yeah. It's tough
to watch from my perspective
because you care a lot about it
and you put a lot of time into
it. But I think a good team was
elected. It's going to be solid for
the organization.
"Their   biggest   opportunity
is what is going to happen with
the [SUB]. Convincing students
that there is a need to reinvest in
what we've got in this space in
a way that addresses student engagement and sustainability of
the building. That issue is pretty
key for the next year. Mike is the
right guy to lead that process
The other big winner on the
night was third-year Science
student Alex Lougheed, who won
the hotly contested VP Academic
Lougheed also earned one of
five seats on the UBC-Vancouver
Senate. Joining him will be his
competitor in the VP Academic
race Rob McLean, second-year
Science student Alfie Lee, second-
year Commerce student Azim
Wazeer, and third year philosophy student Blake Frederick.
"To be honest I'm just glad
it's over. Missing class, all that
stress...especially over this election period when there have
been tons of doubts, I'm happy
it's over," said a relieved and visibly exhausted Lougheed.
"The first order of business
for me, once I'm actually in
office, is getting the academic
grievance database through. Any
student [will be able to] log in
and file a grievance to deal with
class sizes, program requirements, anything to do with the
In the VP External race, Stefanie Ratjen defeated Freeman
Poritz after a contentious duel
marked by acrimony on the part
of both campaigns.
Second-year arts student
Chris Diplock makes up the final
member of the incoming AMS
executive, taking the VP Finance
position. The VP Administration
position for 2008-2009 remains
unfilled after the election was
cancelled due to campaigning
irregularities. \a
All tied up?
[ get wireless [
[221 Information
Cj Technology
For more election coverage,
check out www.ubyssey.ca
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■ the teaching and acquisition of additional languages; or
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