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The Ubyssey Mar 28, 2006

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Downtown feathery flash mob. Page 2
Bringing a language back to life. Page 8
Investigating the seal hunt. Page 14
IkiePr ovine
starts here
Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
I'd rather be a seal than veal since 1918
He's a third leg up!
Storm the Wall contestants took the spread eagle approach to the
final leg of the competition yesterday.The naked ones were assisted
by their ancillary members, yinan max wang photo
Illegal logging triggers
GVRD investigation
Area mistaken as University property, say UBC officials
by Eric Szeto
The Greater Vancouver Regional
District (GVRD) is investigating
the unauthorised logging of its
park property after it discovered that almost an acre of
parkland trees was removed by
UBC landscapers.
"We were quite upset/ Tom
McComb, acting GVRD parks
area manager said. "As it has
come to light, it's seen as an accident that occurred."
According to McComb an estimated 60 to 80 trees were
removed from the area behind
the Museum of Anthropology
sometime last week.
Geotechnical experts are
looking into the potential environmental impact to the surrounding cliff area but nothing
conclusive will be put out until
the report is finalised, he added.
The GVRD has in past cases
issued up to $50,000 in fines for
illegal tree cuttings. McComb
refused to speculate on possi
ble fines facing the University
until a report is sent to the
regional board.
UBC officials claim that the
logging was completely accidental.   The   obscured   lines
UBC... They just
don't care."
—Dave Forsythe
PSPS chair
between UBC and the GVRD
make it hard to determine
where each property starts,
said David Woodson, UBC Plant
Operations associate director.
"There   was   no   conscious
effort to go out and willingly take
[the trees] out," he said.
"Obviously we thought we were
working on UBC land."
He explained that many of
the trees that were cut were contributing to soil looseness
because they were either rotten
or falling. Woodson argued that
in some cases their removal
would add to cliff stability.
He did, however, state that
UBC fully intends to help restore
the affected landscape.
Judy Williams, chair of the
Wreck Beach Preservation
Society (WBPS) was incensed by
UBCs actions.
"Nothing that UBC does
would ever surprise me,"
Williams explained.
"I'm extremely disappointed
in them. There was no way that
this was accidental."
"They know how delicate the
cliff base is, how much it can be
impacted by the disturbance of
the upper layers of the cliff."
See "Trees"page 2.
Arcanefs uays ^oiniiig to an tsiiu
Gamers will need
to get their fix
elsewhere starting
late summer
by Michael Kenacan
A motion passed during the
Alma Mater Society (AMS)
Council last week signaled the
end of the SUB Arcade.
In a letter obtained by the
Ubyssey, AMS Facilities Development Manager Jane Berry stated
that, "after long and careful consideration, the AMS Business
Operations Committee and
AMS Council have approved the
closing of the AMS Games
Arcade effective at a date to be
determined but no later than
July 24, 2006."
Berry explained in an interview that the arcade was closed
because revenues have been
declining over the past five
"The business operating committee has been looking at the
arcade for the past couple of
years," she said. "The arcade,
[and] coin-operated video business [have] been in decline over
the past four or five years."
Berry commented that the
increasing popularity of home
computer gaming has contributed to this decline.
"It's losing popularity and losing revenue," she said
END OF AN ERA: No more racing in the SUB come August.
This is an industry wide phenomenon and is not limited to
the SUB Arcade, she added.
"Many arcades have closed,
including the great big one,
Playdium [at Metrotown Metropolis],* said Berry.
Sophia Haque, AMS VP
Finance and Chair of the
Business Operations Committee
echoed Berry's remarks and
expressed concern about the
increasingly limited amount of
student social space in the SUB.
"With over 300 clubs and
growing, book-able student
space in the SUB is in high
demand and we hope to use
the Arcade space to create
more student social space in
the building."
It has been suggested that the
vacant space will be converted
into something that appeals to
the broader student population.
That is yet to be determined,
"We really had to think if the
Arcade was the best use of
space to benefit the most
amount of students and the
numbers were telling us that
this wasn't necessarily the
case." Berry proposed that the
Arcade space is to be made into
multi-purpose meeting rooms
similar to the ones on the second floor of the SUB. Arcade
frequenters were indifferent to
the news of its closing.
"We came here a lot during
the break, but I guess if they take
it away we'll just find something
else  to do,"  said second-year
See "Arcade"page 2. 2 News
Tuesday, 28 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
The first rule about Pillow Fight Club...
by Kristen Warkentin
"What time is it?" was the cry of a
lone voice that broke the relative
calm on Robson Street in front of the
Vancouver Art Gallery this Saturday.
A chorus of voices from a large number of people lounging in the surrounding area steps answered, "It's 3
o'clock!" Within moments, a cloud of
feathers was hovering over a full-
fledged pillow fight
The event dubbed "the first ever
Vancouver Flash Mob?" by its mysterious organisers mimicked a similar
event that had taken place in San
Francisco. Alerted about the event
through an anonymous e-mail, a
group of over 100 people arrived at
Robson Square at the designated
time—3pm—with pillows concealed,
waiting for a signal. The e-mail had
warned, "the first rule of Pillow Fight
Club is that you don't talk about
Pillow Fight Club," a homage to the
1999 film Fight Club starring
Edward Norton. This secrecy meant
that none of the participants were
aware of what that signal would be,
or who else was participating.
Once the signal was given,
though, it became very easy to distinguish who was "in"—the large
cluster of people in front of the
Vancouver Art Gallery laughing,
screaming and beating each other
with pillows.
"When else does this kind of
thing happen?" said one teacher on
hand to film the fight He said he
decided to show up because of, "the
spontaneity, the goofiness of it*
The event was certainly spontaneous, and those who were unaware
that it would be taking place were
none too happy with the outbreak of
pillow-flailing mayhem. One man
who had been displaying his artwork
at the bottom of the gallery steps
became engaged in a fight of his own
to keep energetic pillow swingers
away from his artwork.
The overall atmosphere, though,
was one of fun and camaraderie as
strangers aged five to 40 ate feathers and walloped each other with
the soft stuff. Or not so soft stuff, as
not every pillow at Pillow Fight Club
was created equal.
"There were some with fluffy pillows and some with rock hard pillows," said Kim, one of the participants, adding with a laugh, "We
came with rock hard pillows."
The fight lasted for a well-timed
15 minutes, and ended with cheering and the throwing of pillows into
the air in the style of a graduation
ceremony. Once it was over, some
stayed behind to make "snow"
angels in the scattered pillow remnants, while the rest dispersed
calmly, trailing feathers in the air
behind them. IS
Embarassing thing
given situation,
admits UBC official
"Trees" from page 1.
Dave Forsythe, Pacific Spirit
Park Society (PSPS) chair, mirrored Williams' concerns, saying
these actions are sympotomatic
of the University's attitude
towards GVRD parklands and the
"It's hard to beheve that it was
a mistake," said Forsythe.
"I'm really disappointed with
UBCs cavalier attitude to the park
and the community that surrounds UBC," he said. "They just
don't care."
News of the logging has also
heightened existing tensions
between UBC, the PSPS and the
WBPS, both still upset over the
height of the Marine Drive
Towers located in the area.
"This is why this is such an
embarrassing thing," said
Woodson. "This is a high profile
end of the campus."
"The WBPS has their issues
and this is doing nothing to help
[that relationship]," he said. "It
only hurts it." II
"Arcade" from page 1.
engineering student Kevin Zhao.
Those devastated by the news,
can take solace in the fact that
the Arcade may be resurrected
at a later date in another area of
the SUB.
"We have discussed the possibility of having an outside arcade
company lease out a small portion
of the converted student space
during the school year," said
Haque. H.
Eugenia Choi
& Jane Coop
Recital Hall, Music Building
March 29, 12pm
Come hear live music from
your fellow UBC students.
Tickets will be $4 at the door.
Spring Beer Garden
SUB room 209
March 30, 7-11pm
There will be organic beer
served as well as BC wine.
Please bring your own mug
to this event.There will also
be local musicians playing
music throughout the event.
Cover charge is by donation.
Come support your friendly
UBC Natural Food Co-op.
Band Together: A
Concert for Central Africa
Pit Pub
March 30,8pm
Come to this fundraising
event put on by Oxfam UBC,
Doctors without Borders UBC
and WUSC.This event features 16mm and special
guests The Sessions and
Amnesty International
Film Festival
UBC Okanagan, S5C026
April 1, 9am; April 2,5pm
Amnesty International will be
showcasing the best fiction
films and documentaries pertaining to Human Rights.
CONFERENCE 2006. Follow Your
Dream. Want to meet leaders in the sports
industry? Sports Career Management
Conference 2006- a two-day conference
featuring the Presidents of the BC
Lions, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver
Canadians and more! March 31sr-ApriI
1st @ UBC Robson Square. Visit www.
mjlevents.ca for more information.
WE WELCOME YOU to a celebration
in honour of Social Work Week 2006!
March 30, 2006 from 6:30 p.m. to
8:30 p.m. First Nations House of
Learning, 1985 West Mall, UBC,
Vancouver, BC (across West Mall from
the UBC School of Social Work & Family
Studies). 6:30 p.m. - Research poster
presentation. 7:30 p.m! - Connecting
social work research and professional
practice. Presented by: BCASW's
Richmond Delta Burnaby & Vancouver
Sea to Sky Branches, the MSW Class
of 2006, and the LJBC School of Social
Work & Family Studies. F.veryone
welcome! For more information, contact
seatosky@vcn.bc.ca or see http://www.vcn.
Drink & Grow Rich S$S!!!
ADVENTURE! Teach English
Worldwide. F.arn Monev. GetTESOL
Certified in 5 days. Study In-Class,
Online, or by Correspondence. No
degree or experience needed. Job
guaranteed. To learn more, come ro a
FREE Info Session Mondav @ 6PM,
#203 1451 West Broadway' 1-888-270-
to help with essay research and writing.
www.customcssay.com, 1 -888-345-8295
PROOFREADING. Academic / business
/ personal. $25.00 per hr.,or by job.
Experienced. BA, PostBac.DipBus.Admin.
elsaf@telus.net (604) 255-5799
nnouncements, com.
MOVING SALE. L-shaped beige
melamine desk with two bottom drawers/
diree top drawers S60. Futon and frame
$45. Dragon boat paddle (used only one
season- like new) S35- Various new audio
tape series from Chuck Swindoll/Insight
for Living Ministry $25-$35- Female ice
skates-size 8- like new S25. Call Maggie
Renovated East Van Suite. Hear, internet,
washer/clrver, NS/NP. Parks, skytrain,
bus (BClf, SFU, UBC). Excellent quiet
neighbourhood. S275/room. Homestay
optional. Please call Peter: 778-882-3885
single room in four-bedroom apartment.
2 bathrooms. Spacious living room
and kitchen. All brand-new and fully-
furnished. Access to cable and high-speed
internet. On campus. Call 604-812-1365.
Females only. Apply alone or with friends.
Place available: June 1st till end of August,
or portion thereof.
July-August. Excellent location, email
on-campus, student-owned, non-profit
bike shop! New & used bikes, parts,
storage accessories, bike repairs and bike
repair instruction, tool use, bike storage
and volunteer opportunities. On the
north side of the SUB. 604-827-7333.
per year (Sept through Sept). Fully
equipped professional photo studio. All
you need is your digital or film camera.
Phorosoc members also have access
ro our state of rhe art, traditional wet
lab (with free chemicals for processing
and enlarging) as well as mat cutting ""
facilities. Save hundreds of dollars, learn
how ro take professional quality portraits
and have full control over your prints.
For onlv S65-00 per year you can gain
rhe skills and learn the process of a
professional level photographer. Also, we
are located in the basement of the SUB
(between the food co-op and copyright)
so drop by! Phone 604.822.4405, email
photosocubc@gmail.com. www.ams.ubc.
ca/clubs/photosociety. SUB Room 26.
150,000 km. Manual 5sp. Great
condition, little ext. wear. Aircare. Hard/
soft top. Bike/ski/board rack, Mp3/CD
player. $5000. Call Laura 604.290.2400
ENGLISH? Want a high energy, exciting
environment ro work in? Lacking
experience and training? Submit resumes
for review to Greta Borick-Cunningham
at greca@ilac.com Opportunities available
at International Language Academy of
Canada for Summer 2006
-HAVE FUN" MAKE S$ AU ream &c
individual sports, all water sports, hiking/
ONLINE ASAP www.campcobbossee.
TREE PLANTING! Apex Reforestation
is looking for students interested in a
summer job pjanting trees. Call Rvan at
titokinirfor a roommate?
Got sometlilngto^ell?
Or just have an announcement to
If you are a student you can place
For more information, uislt Room 23 In
the SUB [basement] or call 822-1654
Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
Editorial Board
coordinating editor Jesse Marchand
coordinating@ubyssey.be ca
news editors Paul Evans <5d Eric Szeto
culture editor Simon Underwood
culttire@ubyssey.be ca
sports editor Megan Smyth
sports@ubyssey.be ca
Bryan Zandberg
photo editor Yinan Max Wang
production manager Michelle Mayne
volunteers Colleen Tang
research/letters Claudia Li
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University
of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday
by The Ubyssey Publications Sodety. We are an autonomous,
democratically run student organisation, 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 appearing 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 Sodety.
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
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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 freestyles 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.
It is agreed by all 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 will 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.
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Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: 604-822-2301
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business manager Fernie Pereira
ad sales Bemadette Delaquis
ad design Shalene Takara
Mary Leighton discovered a special warp zone which transported her and Kellan Higgins to the future.There, they
found Claudia Li, captain of the starship EricSzeto. Jesse
Marchand was her first officer and Colleen Tang was the barmaid. Jesse Ferreras, Ania Mafi and Paul Evans were the ship's
doctors. Right when they got there Megan Smyth and Matt
Hayles attached the EricSzeto and boarded it.The D.
WinterWhite destroyer quickly came to the rescue with
Carolynne Burkholder lazershots and Simon Underwood torpedoes. The captain of D.WinterWhite Alia Dharassi, and her
skipper Cheata Nao, along with bodyguards Bryan Zandberg,
Candice Vallantin and Yinan Max Wang boarded the EricSzeto
to defend its crew. All of a sudden, Andrew MacRae, Boris
Korby and Levi Barnett appeared from the future and tele-
ported Michael Kenacan, Kristin Warkentin and David Yuen to
Pluto. And then they all ate the pizza and left immediately.
editorial graphic Geoff Webb
Printed on
recycled paper
University      Canada Post Sales Agreement
Press Number 0040878022
* THEUBYSSEY  Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
News 3
France braces for more strikes and protests
by Candice Vallantin
LYON, FRANCE-A new labour law
called "le Contrat Premiere
Embauche" (CPE)-or First Hire
Agreement—adopted by French
Parliament aimed at decreasing
youth unemployment has created a
mass student and public outcry
unseen in France since 1995.
The law is an attempt by Prime
Minister Dominique de Villepin to
stimulate a stagnant domestic
economy marked by high unemployment. It proposes facilitating
entry into the workforce for those
under 2 6, but it aims to do this by
loosening workers' rights. Under
the law, an employee would be
hired for an undetermined
amount of time, but he or she
must survive a two-year 'trial
stage' where they can be fired with
no explanation given.
Students, unions and the public
have reacted to the legislation with
protests and blockades of universities and high schools. However, students and faculties on both sides of
the issue have criticised the blocking
of classes, criticising militant protesters of being anti-democratic and
damaging the public image of the
The Minister of Education
announced Thursday that 21 of
France's 84 universities were
blocked and another 46 were "perturbed," although a prominent left-
leaning student union announced
higher figures.
While there have been violent outbreaks at some protests, particularly
in Paris, these are not characteristic
of the general movement and represent a small minority. During the last
national protest on March 23—where
220,000 to 450,000 people gathered—only 141 people, a small hand
ful of demonstrators present, were
arrested for violence. There have
been injuries reported on both sides
of the picket lines however and as a
result police forces have not hesitated
to use tear gas to diffuse public gatherings.
Ironically, this national movement is in opposition of a law "for the
equality of opportunities," which
adopted motions to fight discrimination and encourage the employment
of youth, particularly youth from
"sensitive urban settings."
PM Villepin's "fight for work"
strategy is in part a response to the
violence that erupted in French
suburbs last fall. It's also a
response to record-high numbers
of unemployment among youth.
The national level of unemployment is at 9.6 per cent, compared
to 23 per cent for those between the
ages of 16 and 2 5 and an astonishing 40 per cent for youth without a
degree or qualifications. Canadian
unemployment hovers around 6.4
per cent, with about 11 per cent of
youth unemployed.
If there's one political consensus in France, it's that these numbers are unacceptable. But the
solutions at hand are a matter of a
debate that seems to be getting hotter by the day.
Fatma, a student organiser of the
assemblies at the Institut d'etudes
politiques in Lyon is unabashedly
against the CPE.
"The government offers us precar-
ity as the only prospect for our
future!" he claimed.
The word on everyone's lips these
days is 'precarite/ Those who agree
with Fatma think that employers will
abuse the trial stage and fire students
when the two years are done; thus
creating perpetual precarite of the
French youth.
"You don't need two years to fig-
CITY OF LIGHTS Masked militants on the streets of Paris, hughes leglise-bataille/cup photo
ure out the capabilities of your worker," argued Fatma.
Jean Baptist, a member of Identite
etudiante europeenne (IDEE), a centrist student union, believes the CPE
will create a "generational war"
against young and older workers. He
thinks that the "cheaper" young workforce will supplant the jobs of older
But Elodie, a representative from
Union nationale des etudiants de
France (UNEF), argued that the problem isn't unemployment, it's the lack
of proper education and training that
leads to unemployment
"There should be more public
investment into the formation of
young generations," she said. She
believes more public funding for
research in technical progress will
create the innovation necessary to
lead to more jobs and a better social
Not everyone is against the CPE
,however. L'UNI, the right-leaning
student union, supports the CPE legislation. Their website highlights that
after one month under the CPE, the
worker is eligible for training and
$700 CAN compensation per month
for two months if fired.
Nguyen, a political science student, believes that the contract will
benefit workers who often suffer
from discrimination and who aren't
given many chances to compete in
the workforce. "Like suburban youth
for example," he said.
He also pointed out that many
people who are mobilising against
the CPE aren't the people who are
really affected by it
Recent Ipsos polls published in Le
Monde on Monday illustrated
Barbet's point 62 per cent of the
French population stands in solidarity with the anti-CPE movement and
44 per cent want the contract tossed
out in its entirely.
On Friday, Villepin invited five
major unions in an open dialogue to
address the major arguments against
the CPE—the two-year trial period
and the ability to fire employees without motive. On Saturday he also sat
down with three student union representatives, excluding the left wing
unions because they refuse to participate in dialogue until Villepin
removes the CPE entirely.
These meetings have not lead to
the repeal of the CPE and a massive
inter-professional strike is set to take
place on March 28.
In total there are 135 massive
protests planned and transit will be
affected in at least 71 cities outside of
Denis Barbet, a sociology professor, explained that social and economic reforms in France have often
lead to protests and strikes. In preceding cases, he said, the government has always backed down. II
Campus leadership: snakes and ladders in the student society
by Matt Hayles
This is the second installment in a
series about stewardship and student
leaders. Part one addressed the question of who becomes a student
leader. Part two explores environmental factors within the AMS that
help or hinder student leaders. Part
three will be printed on Friday April
7, and will explore campus media,
and the role they play in communications between student leaders and
the student body.
Kevin Keystone is the newest
President of the Alma Mater Society
(AMS). His move up the halls of the
AMS is a natural progression from
his position as the Vice-President
Finance on last year's Executive.
In many ways, Keystone's development as a student leader embodies an ideal string of positions and
growing responsibility. He ran for
VP Finance after working as Pride
Treasurer for a year and before that
he was involved in the student society through the AMS Minischool
and clubs.
However, not all students have
opportunities to advance within the
AMS. Keystone feels that the AMS
could do more to be accessible to
student leaders around campus.
"There's a lot of leaders out there,"
he said. "They need training, they
need support."
Others agree that barriers exist
For Spencer Keys and Jess Klug, both
of whom served with Keystone on last
year's AMS Executive, the problem
lies in the structures the AMS uses to
reach out to students initially outside
the halls of student government.
Keys, Keystone's predecessor as
President, agreed that the AMS
does not provide sufficient avenues
for student leaders on campus to
become involved in its operation. "I
think that under the status quo
there is a good structure of
advancement for those who are
already involved in the AMS," he
said via email. "However, those
who are not involved in the AMS
are hopelessly lost."
Keys explained that the problem
lies in the fact that the AMS provides
too much access at the grassroots
level, but not enough support, from
above for students to get beyond that
stage. Student leaders outside the
AMS are faced with a bureaucracy
that is too small to meet their needs
and provide adequate guidance; thus,
not all student leaders are given an
opportunity to gain the experience
and knowledge necessary to advance
within the AMS, he said.
"We need to identify structures
that could provide students with the
opportunity to have meaningful
involvement in decision-making
processes at the AMS," Keys said,
adding that the AMS is failing to tap
into a substantial reservoir of raw
skill sets on campus.
Klug, last year's VP External, had
her own take on the gap that separates the AMS from students. For
Klug, the problem is a student body
that doesn't have any information
about ways to engage the AMS. For
instance, she brought up that very-
few students know that they can participate directly in AMS Council.
"Anybody can bring a motion," she
said. "And that goes for every student,
I mean anybody can come in there
and say, 'you know, I think we should
be doing this instead.' But the problem is getting that inforrnation out to
students and knowing that you can
actually do that"
Mariana Payet, the recently
appointed Executive Coordinator of
Student Services, thinks it's up to the
AMS to do more to keep students
informed. "[The] AMS Council
Agenda is only available at the
[Executive] offices a few minutes
before the meeting," she said.
"Unless you are already involved with
the AMS there is no way of knowing
what is going on in Council before
it happens."
She suggested that putting the
agenda online beforehand would
encourage students to become
involved. She added that the language of the AMS Code is inaccessible, and that not enough students are
encouraged to sit on Council committees as students at large.
But Klug argued that the gap
between the AMS and students results
from the fact that the AMS does not
have an effective way of communicating with the student body. Under the
authority of the provincial University
Act, UBC refuses to share its master
list of students with the AMS. "We
don't have a membership list," she
said. "Which is bizarre because we
take money from the students, but we
can't tell [them] what we're doing with
the money." She pointed out that
while other student societies have
access to student email addresses, the
AMS has to rely on UBC to send out
the occasional notification on their
behalf. "Sometimes they'll send out
one for us, and it usually has to be a
line or two."
"So how else do you reach students? You put up posters but do people read the posters? It's so touch-
and-go." She added that word of
mouth is the most popular way to
alert students to important developments and events on campus. "I tell
Council and hope they tell their constituents. You hope for the trickle
down effect"
There are also problems within
the AMS that discourage people
already within its hierarchy from
taking on more responsibility.
Payet believes that many student
leaders do not feel that the AMS
provides a safe environment to
work in. "I have personally heard
members of AMS Council and [last
year's] AMS Executive say very
racist, homophobic and sexist
things," she commented.
Payet believes that the current
structure for dealing with complaints of harassment within the
AMS is inadequate, and does not do
enough to protect the job security
of complainants.
As an example, she cited a motion
brought to Council on October 26,
2005 by Paul Sutton. The motion
called for a committee to investigate
complaints of harassment by the pre
vious AMS Executive. In the minutes,
which can be downloaded from the
AMS website, council members said
that the motion involved an unrealistic timeline, and called it a "witch
hunt." The motion was neither
defeated nor passed by the end of the
meeting, and the subject was not
raised at the following session.
The AMS does maintain an
ombudsperson, but Sutton claimed
that many people were uncomfortable going through that office,
or following the procedures outlined in the Discrimination and
Harassment Policy.
Payet asked, "Why should people
be interested in participating in an
organisation that will do nothing to
protect them if they feel harassed and
Another source within the AMS
believes that it is not the structure of
offices within the AMS itself that is at
fault, but rather the attitude of councilors and executives. She asked to
remain anonymous for fear of losing
her job. She alleged that the two bodies protect each other from embarrassing accusations.
"The only thing that holds the
AMS Executive accountable is
Council," she said, adding that in
refusing to deal with the concerns
raised by Sutton, Council had refused
to do its job.
She said that tight bonds of friendship and other communal links
between the Executive and Council
function to connect closely a political
elite, a relationship she termed as
"incestuous." II
'X^^^,^,i?«i$u2*& .. 4 National
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'City Idol' competition
judges contestants'
political vision for TO
by Ben Hacking
TORONTO (CUP)—This is the casting call for...City Idol? It's not the
name of a new television series,
but a new competition coming to
Toronto. Like the American and
Canadian Idol series, it's looking
for young, talented contestants.
But unlike those pageants of bad
hair and awful Marvin Gave covers, City Idol hopes to judge contestants' political voices, not their
octave range.
The competition bills itself as
an opportunity for would-be politicians to voice their ideas on what
politics and politicians in Toronto
should be. The prize is a fully
staffed and funded campaign for
the upcoming municipal elections
in November 2006.
"Nobody cares as
much about your
past achievements as
much as they care
about how well you
can represent their
constituents] want is
your commitment in
representing their
needs at City Hall."
—David Meslin
founder of City Idol
The project's founder, David
Meslin, who is known for many city
projects, including the creation of
the Toronto Public Space
Committee, created City Idol as
part of a larger project called "Who
Runs This Town?" that was
designed to encourage broader participation in municipal politics.
A self-proclaimed "guerilla
activist," Meslin once paint-balled
billboard-size tobacco ads that
were aimed at the youth market.
With the Toronto Public Space
Committee Meslin has also helped
campaign against billboards, block
postering bylaws, and run a guerilla gardening program.
Eventually, however, Meslin
found that while he was garnering
support from a select activist community, participation was limited,
and ultimately, City Hall was not
"You can't change the world by
preaching to the converted," he said.
He hopes that City Idol will breathe
some new life into City Hall—a place
Meslin feels is dominated by "stupid" councilors who put corporate
interests ahead of their commitment to their constituents.
On April 28, 100 candidates-
who are mostly university-aged,
but come from all walks of life-
will face off in front of an audience
of around 1,000 at the Danforth
Music Hall. Candidates will be
given 30 seconds to express their
likes and dislikes about the city,
what a city councilor should
embody, and why they believe that
they have what it takes to be that
councilor. There is no need to
worry   about  being  heckled  by
Simon Cowell-type judges—Meslin
reassures that this is a safe forum
to test out one's political abilities
without fear of having your performance trashed in front of your
family and friends.
Following the first round of
competition, half of the candidates
will be voted out, leaving 50 candidates to compete in a series of
political exercises, such as public
speaking, policy formation, and
emergency scenario response.
Meslin has even set up workshops
to help hone the skills of budding
politicians. At the end of it all,
between four and eight candidates
will be awarded with their very
own election campaign, equipped
with all the resources needed to
run for office, from signage to volunteer staff that will act as
fundraisers, researchers, and
One of Meslin's goals is to get
people to vote for the candidate
who inspires them the most,
rather than for the candidate they
dislike the least. With only a 38
per cent voter turnout in the last
municipal election, there is a
temptation to dismiss the Toronto
public as apathetic. But Meslin
said it is simply a sign that candidates are not offering anything
that people want to get behind. For
him, getting idealistic college students to compete in "Who Runs
This Town?" and "City Idol" is part
of the solution.
About 45 candidates have
signed up so far—some of whom
seem more promising than most
of the current body of councilors.
Among the candidates are a few
students from TJ of T—predictably,
many are political science students, but others hail from more
surprising disciplines.
Shaun Alphonso, a first-year
political science student at TJ of T, is
an 18-year-old with a five-point platform that includes ideas from how
to stop the increased marginalisa-
tion of downtown Toronto's lower-
income residents, to projects for
urban renewal in Toronto's isolated, car-dependent suburbs.
Edona Caku is about as far
from political science as you can
get—she's a third-year medical
radiation science student. She's
passionate about local health
delivery initiatives and environmental protection. Another candidate is Helen Dimaras, a PhD student at TJ of T who is studying
molecular and medical genetics.
She said that she'll be concentrating her presentation on issues of
garbage and waste management,
the city's homeless population,
and gun violence.
Skeptics might wonder how
these candidates expect to compete against municipal heavyweights like Howard Moscoe, Case
Ootes, and Frances Nunziata, but
Meslin is dismissive of anyone
who would doubt young candidates' ability to bring fresh ideas
to the city.
"Nobody cares as much about
your past achievements as much
as they care about how well you
can represent their interests," he
said. "All [the constituents] want is
your commitment in representing
their needs at City Hall."
For more information, check
out www.cityidol.to II
i THEUBYSSEY   Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
National 5
Human rights commission rules engineering
school must accommodate Muslim students
by Liam Churchill
MONTREAL (CUP)-As members of
the McGill community await a ruling
on a human rights complaint against
the University for failing to provide
designated prayer space, Quebec's
human rights commission released a
ruling yesterday on a similar case at
Montreal's Ecole de Technologie
Superieure (ETS).
The Commission found that the
ETS administration's refusal to assign
rooms for religious purposes was
"rigid...[and] incompatible with the
duty of reasonable accommodation."
In April 2003, the Centre de
recherche-action sur les relations
raciales (CRARR) filed a complaint
with the Commission des droits de
la personne et des droits de la
jeunesse—Quebec's human rights
commission—on behalf of 113 ETS
students. CRARR contested the ETS
administration's refusal to provide
Muslim students with a private
place to pray.
The CRARR complaint alleged that
the actions of ETS violated sections
three, four, ten, 12, and 43 of
Quebec's Charter of Human Rights
and Freedoms by oUscrinainating on
the grounds of religion and ethnic or
national origin, according to the
Commission's report.
ETS's policy states that, as a "lay
institution," it does not assign rooms
for religious practices; however, the
Commission ruled that this policy is
incompatible with the school's duty
to "allow students of the Muslim faith
to pray, on a regular basis, in conditions that respect their right to the
safeguard of their dignity."
The ruling also includes a provision recognising that allocating a
room for the practice of a single religion would be an "undue hardship"
and is not the ideal resolution of the
dispute. Another alternative is a
multi-faith prayer space.
In addition, the Comniission
ruled that, "the students concerned
are entitled not to have to choose
between their religious obligations
and their attendance at a university
such as the ETS."
THE MAGHREB PRAYER: UBCs Muslim Student Association offers, prayer^time five times daily in the
Brock Hall Annex.The Khutba is also offered every Friday at International House, yinan max wang photo
ETS's insistence that it had no
duty to provide religious students
with space to pray is similar to
McGill's position that, as a secular
institution, it has no legal obligation to provide students with
prayer space.
Last December, the Canadian
Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-CAN) filed a complaint with the human rights commission on behalf of Muslim
Students' Association (MSA) at
McGill, protesting the university's
refusal to allocate prayer space for
Muslim students after it evicted the
MSA from a temporary prayer space
in the basement of Peterson Hall last
May. Since then, the University has
maintained that devout Muslim students, who are required to pray five
times daily, can use empty classrooms as prayer space. The arrangement is similar to what had been
offered to Muslim students at ETS,
where Muslim students complained
to the Commission that they were
forced to change rooms regularly,
because rooms not used for classes
were often used by other students
to study.
Representatives of both CAIR-CAN
and the MSA were confident that yesterday's ruling would spur McGill to
reopen discussions about accommodating Muslim students, possibly
with a multi-faith prayer space.
"We want to resolve this [dispute
with McGill] before our own case
comes before the Commission,"
said MSA President Nafay
Choudhury. "Hopefully, this will be
a jumpstart...and a multi-faith
prayer space can come back on
the table."
Sarah Elgazzar, a former member of the MSA and spokesperson
for CAIR-CAN, said that the ruling
echoes what the MSA and CAIR-
CAN have been telling McGill all
along. She added that it will probably reopen the possibility of a
multi-faith prayer space.
"McGill will have to read it. Their
lawyers will have read it. One thing
they could do is reconsider multifaith prayer or meditation rooms,"
said Elgazzar.
However, in a statement, McGill
Provost Anthony Masi said that
although the University was studying
the decision and how it could apply to
McGill, McGill continues to beheve
that it has "no legal obligation to provide permanently dedicated prayer
space to religious groups."
University spokesperson Jennifer
Robinson said that the Commission's
decision highlighted ETS's duty to
accommode its religious students.
"The ruling talks about a duty to
accommodate...which leaves open
the issue of what constitutes a duty to
accommodate," she said.
In an interview with student journalists last week, Principal Heather
Munroe-Blum said that the
University had not developed a plan
in case the Commission ruled that
schools have a duty to accommodate
the religious needs of students.
"Our contingency plan is no different than it was two years ago, which
is one that would hope to see Muslim
prayer space developed adjacent to
our campuses, but not on our campuses...with the support of communities," she said.
Robinson said that she had no
idea about how long the University's
review of the ruling would take.
The Commission ruling gives
ETS 60 days to propose an accommodation to CRARR; it also notes
that, although the duty of accommodation is incumbent on ETS, "the
other party must collaborate and
has a duty to facilitate the implementation of the proposal." II
—with files from Josh Ginsberg
Hey B-Zay
Don't be so Slea-zay
I can't rhyme
Arggg this sucks
—Boris Kirby
will be
March 31
Bachelors get to Botswana?
Masters get to Myanmar?
Doctors get to Dublin?
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E-mail kicks up debate about
teacher evaluations at U of A
by Natalie Climenhaga
EDMONTON (CUP)-When Dr Pawel
Gburzynski wrote to the associate
chair of the department of computing
science, Dr Jim Hoover, to express
his frustration over the use of teaching evaluations, he never intended
the comments to be read by students.
"I have never cared much about
teaching evaluations, and stopped
opening those envelopes many years
ago/ Gbur2ynski wrote.
He added that students whom
he felt had failed to show either
interest or respect in his class
should not be entitled to evaluate
him as an instructor.
"The thought that those few
sociopaths will write something
about me that a decent person may
take seriously makes me sick," he
However, the internal e-mail was
subsequently forwarded to the entire
math department listserv, by one of
the department's sessional instructors, prompting some students to
become offended and frustrated by
Gburzvnski's expressed sentiments
towards instructor evaluations and
certain students.
One math student, who asked to
remain anonymous, explained his
reaction to the e-mail—a reaction that
was shared by many of his peers—but
that most students are afraid to comment on the record.
'There's some fear of being
labeled as trouble/ the student said,
adding that it was discouraging to
know that teacher evaluations are not
taken seriously.
"Hundreds of students have read
that [e-mail]/ the student explained,
adding that "a lot of people were
quite offended by it/
But Gburzynski, whose experiences with certain students in his
current Computer Science 379 class
fuelled frustration and motivated
him to write the unintentionally
inflammatory e-mail, stressed he has
no doubts some of his students have
a vested interest in learning.
"I don't want to offend anybody;
I'm sure I have quite a few good students/ Gburzynski clarified.
"[But] once you get upset by a
small number of baboons, and then
you realise at some point those
baboons will actually anonymously
comment on your performance in
this course, and that somebody may
look at it and take it as something
that matters, then it's not a very
comfortable feeling/
And despite having suggested in
his e-mail that he no longer reads
his own teaching evaluations,
Gburzynski explained that his evaluations are quite satisfactory.
"I'm not one of those people who
have an axe to grind; no, my teaching
evaluations are quite good. But I still
don't like them/ he said.
But one of Gburzynski's current
Computer Science 379 students, who
also asked for anonymity, said that
the contents of e-mail didn't come as
a shock.
"It's a really good class, but he's
kind of a dick to the students. He's
always going on and on about how
"The thought that those few
sociopaths will write something
about me that a decent person
may take seriously makes me sick."
-Dr Pawel Gburzynski
on student evaluations
Hoover also pointed out that it's
not uncommon for university
instructors to become upset when
faced with obstacles in their teaching environment.
"Academics in general are very
interested with passing on knowledge, so we get very frustrated when
something interferes with that/
Hoover said.
According to Gburzynski, students
who come to his class with no prior
knowledge of the subject matter are
not capable of appraising the content
of his course.
"Teaching evaluations would
make sense if they were doing these
evaluations ten, 20 vears later, when
they go to work and they see how it
affects their careers and lives/
Gburzynski said.
he's teaching because he wants to
and [how] if we piss him off he's just
going to walk out/ the student said.
Still, Gburzynski said his e-mail
was only meant to spark further
debate about the most effective
method of collecting student
"I'm not into revolutionising the
system. The intention [of the e-mail]
was to start a discussion/ Gburzynski
Furthermore, Hoover said the
debate surrounding the validity of
teaching evaluations is nothing new
and shouldn't be seen as a result of a
serious flaw in the academic system.
"[This debate] has been around
since I was an undergrad. I don't think
that we're going to get any institutional change on them/ Hoover said. II
Ambassador praises nation's role in Afghanistan
by Chloe Fedio
EDMONTON (CUP)-As a result
of Prime Minister Stephen
Harper's increased commitment to
Afghanistan, Canada's role has
been changing in the war-torn
country. On March 22 Canadian
Ambassador to Afghanistan David
Sproule was on the University of
Alberta (U of A) campus to discuss
how efforts will proceed.
Sproule, who joined Foreign
Affairs Canada in 1981 and was
appointed ambassador in 2005, said
that, despite the recent rise in conflict, the situation in Afghanistan isn't
necessarily getting worse.
"I think the reason we're having
an upsurge in the attacks is that our
forces are going to areas that they've
never gone in before, some of which
have the Taliban/ he said, adding
that insurgent forces are testing the
strength and determination of
defending forces.
Sproule, a native of Edmonton
who studied both political science
and law at U of A, was involved in the
Afghanistan Compact, an international conference held in January 2006,
affirming a shared commitment to
peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Compact identified three main
goals that would contribute to the betterment of Afghan fife: security, gov
ernment and economic and social
"The obligations that Afghanistan
has taken on, insofar as international
human rights instruments are concerned, reflect what should be considered universal values now: freedom
of religion, the right to association,
freedom of speech—those aren't culturally specific anymore, if they ever
were/ he said.
And while Afghanistan has
signed many international human
rights agreements, including ratifying a commitment to the
International Criminal Court,
without economic development,
Sproule is skeptical that the country can achieve its goals.
"If we don't provide security,
Afghanistan cannot go forward economically/ Sproule said, adding that
the two are "mutually enforcing/
Further challenges exist in relation to narcotics, which account for
60 per cent of the Afghan economy,
according to Sproule. He went on to
say that Canada can play a role in
helping Afghans develop alternative
livelihoods, instead of relying on
poppy growers.
Other reform initiatives include
an effort to train police forces, and
reform a justice system that is
fraught with problems.
Canadian troops and other
members of the international com
munity have made long-term commitments to the area, but Sproule
emphasised that Afghans are quite
involved in the rebuilding process
too, and that both factions are
working together so Afghanistan
can reach independence.
"It's important that the Afghans
that observe this say, It's our soldiers
that are involved in providing security for us. It's not only foreign soldiers
who are there and helping provide
our security,' Sproule said.
And while one audience member
alluded to an "underlying colonial
flavour" to the involvement of
Western governments in Afghanistan, saying they have a notorious
history for cultural oppression to
serve their own interests, Sproule
said that the Afghans are playing an
important role in the democratisa-
tion of their nation.
"The constitution that was adopted in Afghanistan wasn't a Western
document this was what Afghans
decided to adopt as their constitution,
and it was a made-in-Afghanistan
document/ he said.
He added that democracy is of
growing importance in Afghanistan,
which is especially evident in the
recent presidential elections.
"The way to succeed in
Afehanistan isn't the way they were
able to in the past—by might is right-
but by democratic means," he said. M :/#'■
'4 *&*..*.s*4
£■*%■ &*§
The Ubyssey feel that we should be doing our most to recognize and encourage
activities and events that develop and strengthen a sense of community on campus.
On our 80th anniversary in 1998, we established a $50,000 endowment tiia^v^
fund the Ubyssey Community Contribution Award. This annual awar^
returning UBC students who have made a significant contribution to developing and
strengthening the sense of community on the UBC campus by:
1. Organizing or administrating an event or project, or
2. Promoting activism and awareness in an academic, cultural, political, recreational, or
social sphere.
The award is open to all returning, full-time UBC students, graduate, undergraduate
and unclassified in good standing with the Ubyssey Publications Society For the 2006-
2007 academic year, we will award a $3000 award for a project. Deadline will be April
7 2006 and the award will be disbursed to the successful candidate in early September
Nominees for the award will be judged on:
X f
t   4...
W   *
The impact of the contribution made - the number of people involved or affected.
The extent of the contribution - the degree to which it strengthens the sense of
community on campus.
The innovation of the contribution - preference will be given to recognizing a new
contribution over the administration of an existing one.
The commitment of the individual to UBC as a community.
Nominations should include a cover letter by the nominator, either an individual or
a group, briefly stating the nature of the contribution made, the individual being
nominated, contact information of the nominator and the nominee and
a letter (approximately 500 words in length) describing the contribution
made and how the above four criteria have been met.
Students are welcome to nominate themselves, but those doing so must attach a letter
of support from another member of the campus community. The award will be judged
by a committee chaired by a representative of UBC Student Financial Assistance and
Awards office and members from various parts of the campus community.
Deadline for submission of completed nominations should reach the Ubyssey, Room 23,
SUB, no later than Friday, April 7, 2006.
For further information, please contact Fernie Pereira, Business Manager, The Ubyssey, at
(604) 822-6681 or email: fpereira@interchange.ubc.ca 8 Feature
Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
Feature Q
Persistent renaissance
How the Musqueam and a UBC program are
struggling to breath life into an extinct language
Adeline Point died in 2002 at the
remarkable age of 92 years old. She
was the last native speaker of a
dialect of Halkomelem known as
Musqueam—a Salish dialect once the dominant tongue of the entire Lower Mainland.
During the last years of her life, when she got
too weak to get around, a small team of linguists hurriedly made recordings of her voice
at her bedside. When she passed on, her
dialect winked out of existence.
Technically, the Musqueam language was
dead. But reality is more complicated, and
those who've learned Musqueam as a second
language refuse to accept the pronouncement.
Patricia Shaw, UBC linguist and director of
the First Nations Language Program, was one of
those people who greedily recorded everything
Adeline had to say in the form of personal narrative, cultural history and general wisdom.
Her efforts were added to the limited corpus on Musqueam—a corpus that includes a
single book of grammar, a dictionary, various
recordings and documentation and what
remains in living memory among community
members and elders.
Now, four years down the road, Shaw's
life's work—to revitalise the language to the
point where it once again becomes the common parlance of the Musqueam community-
is plagued by questions. Did women speak it
differently than men? How did a mother
scold her child? Was a specific term used in
another context a sexual innuendo? How do
you tell a real zinger of a joke?
The only thing that's certain is that anyone
who comes into contact with Musqueam is very
quickly enchanted by it.
"Verb structure, in Musqueam, is fascinating,* raves Shaw.
2£ 2£ 9£ 2£ S£
CrO   CTO   CrO   CTO   CrO
Her students think so, too. I went down to the
Musqueam Indian Reserve on the banks of the
Fraser one evening to take in a 100-level class
that Shaw and Musqueam Elder-in-Residence
Larry Grant are putting on there.
After an hour and a half of mortal mouth-
combat with sounds that can only be described
with adjectives like 'swirly/ 'whooshing,' 'guttural,' and 'plunky,' the dozen or so students
(half Native and half non-Native) were, to my
surprise, still smiling.
Ericka Forssman, a UBC Fine Arts student,
was one of them. She isn't First Nations herself,
but her boyfriend is, and she wants to be able
to speak to him in Musqueam.
"Watching him go through it and learn was
really interesting because it's a language that's
so connected to the area," she explains.
Like Shaw, Forssman loves the little things
tucked inside the language. Things like the fact
that in Musqueam seasons hinge on the life-
cycle of salmon and the migrations of local animal populations.
She's not sure if she'll tough it out through
all four years offered in the program, but she's
signing up for year two after the summer
"I'm taking it more as a personal challenge
than anything."
Terri-Anne Sam is mother of two and a
Songhees woman from Esquimalt.
"I'm not Musqueam, but my children are,"
she explains, pointing to two little kids outside
the building. One of them, her daughter, is
wobbling around on her tiny bike in a bright
pink jacket.
"I wanted to learn so that I could teach them
the language."
Sam eventually plans to become an elementary school teacher capable of instructing the
local kids in Musqueam. She's taking night
classes to get her teacher certification at UBC.
Does she like the language? "Yeah, yeah"
she says, "It's fun, but I missed last week so it's
very hard trying to catch up right now."
3£ 36 3£ 3£ 3fi
CrO   CrO   CrO   CTO   CfO
For Victor Guerin, a K-12 language coordinator
on the Musqueam reserve and a teacher at the
text by Bryan Zandberg
photos by Yinan Max Wang
and Bryan Zandberg
reserve's community college program, Sam is a
fresh set of vocal chords, another potential
transmitter that might beam the signal to
future generations. He now finds himself in a
place similar to that of elders a decade ago:
looking for people willing to collaborate in the
beleaguered renaissance of his native tongue.
Guerin was working as a longshoreman in
the 80s when, still in his early 20s, he landed
a job on a Salish project at the Museum of
Anthropology. There he worked alongside
ethnobotanist and anthropologist David
Rosen, a white man and a fluent speaker.
Guerin says Rosen's mastery of the
Musqueam inspired him.
"Seeing that sort of lit a fire under me and I
started to think, 'If this non-Aboriginal can
learn to speak our language fluently then why
can't I?"
He renewed his studies when he could with
older relatives and elders over the following 16
years. When UBCs Faculty of Arts began offering courses in 1997, Guerin studied
Musqueam for the full four years, cementing
the bits and pieces he'd already picked up.
By the time he finished, the makings of a
mission were falling into place around him and
his destiny was taking shape: a lot of people
who cared about the fate of Musqueam had it in
for Guerin to pass on what he'd learned.
"They put the thumb-screws to me," he
recalls, alluding to elders other people that
-Douglas H. Whalen
President, The Endangered
Language iuna
were looking to advance the cause at the time.
"I was actually almost ready to go into the
[longshoreman's] union. They pressured me to
come into this program," he says. "I've been
here ever since."
Seeing students like Sam ready to commit
themselves to the work is a welcome sight for
"I can only be in one place at one time," he
laments, laughing.
"As it stands, I am the only one that's qualified to go in and teach in schools," he says.
"And I can't answer all that demand."
It's clear Guerin has more vision than he
does time. There are vast expanses of ground to
be broken documenting the language ("one
recording can take years to transcribe and
analyse, just one recording," he reveals). He s
collaborating with Vancouver Opera Society to
make a version of Mozart's The Magic Flute in
his dialect. And then there's the fact that the
Olympics are coming up: Musqueam is going to
play an important role, showcasing Vancouver
First Nations culture to the world.
For now, Guerin parcels out his time teaching pre-schoolers and a college program on
the reserve. Even though the direst need lies
in teaching impressionable elementary students, nothing is available for Musqueam students in the BC school system at the moment,
something the BC College of Teachers is trying
to remedy by allowing adult speakers to teach
classes even before they finish their teacher
certification. As further incentive, high-school
students are given university credit for
course work in the language. Seven high-
schoolers just came through the second-year
university course.
Though Guerin puts interest in the small
reserve community of 1200 people at what he
calls "still at a fairly low level," you get the feel-
*iifl«»#»W«^^*' ******
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ing that everyone involved in the revitalisation
movement is crossing their fingers that new
blood will press ahead and swell their ranks.
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Modern pressures facing linguists and
minority language defenders are as looming
as they are persistent. Part of the problem
stems from an internal argument among linguists. At one end of the spectrum stand people like Shaw, Guerin and others who work to
preserve a particular idiom for the sake of
safeguarding the as-of-yet uncharted terrain it
represents—a cultural, psychological and historical repository that still has much to tell us
about who we are as a species.
At the other end of spectrum, there is the
somewhat anonymous, albeit insidious view
that language extinction is not problematic
and in fact should be encouraged. Wikipedia,
the free on-line encyclopedia extraordinaire,
summarises this view (which many think but
few will openly say) as follows: "Fewer languages means better and clearer communications among the majority of speakers. The
economic cost of maintaining a myriad of
separate languages, and their translator caretakers, is enormous."
"The extremist position of this view," the
passage continues, "is that all language
should give way to one single language, thereby creating the greatest economic efficiency
possible by utterly avoiding all transaction
costs associated with linguistic differences."
Douglas Whalen, a Yale-educated linguist
and founder and president of The Endangered
"Fewer languages means
better and clearer
communications among
the majority of speakers.
The economic cost of
maintaining a myriad of
separate languages, and
their translator
caretakers, is enormous."
Language Fund—begs to differ with this view
and similar arguments advancing the idea that
languages become extinct much like animals,
via natural selection.
"Yes, languages have died out over time,"
he wrote by e-mail, "but killing them off is a
different story. Many languages have been
under active assault (in Canada as well as the
US and other places). Many still are, though
there are some efforts (in Canada and the US)
to begin supporting them."
Interestingly, Whalen sees a silver fining
in the preponderance of major languages in
the world, provided they cater to diversity
over uniformity.
"Bilingualism is essential," he underscores, "and allows us to have the global language along with the minority language.
Those who insist that only the majority language should be used are usually also intent
on stamping out any cultural differences."
When I asked him if a single language could
help unite a fractious, intolerant human race
by eradicating difference and misunderstanding, his advice was pretty incisive:
"Perhaps you could take a look at today's
newspaper, where Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites
are killing each other off using a single language/ he pointed out.
If variety is the spice of life, and diversity is
the only thing we truly have in common, then
British Columbia is, linguistically speaking, a
delicious Utopia of multiplicity.
Here's a simple break-down of First Nations
languages in BC: there are eight language families in this province, easily Canada's richest in
terms of linguistic diversity.
The amazing thing is that, so far, linguists
have been finding no common ground from
one family to another.
"This is as different as any of the Indo-
European languages are from any of the
Chinese languages," says Shaw. The Salish
family, for example, is fully unrelated to any
of the Tsimshianic or Athabaskan languages.
Pressed for the reason why such diversity
exists in BC, Shaw says linguists don't really
know. It's speculated that rugged geography
accounts for some of it: steep mountains and
isolated inlets, as does natural abundance:
salmon-filled rivers and game-filled valleys.
The Algonquin family, on the other hand,
stretches clear across the Prairies and into
the Maritimes. These kinds of questions only
highlight linguists and anthropologists' calls
to preserve Indian idioms as much as is possible. They want to take advantage of the
clues they give us about the past.
Regardless, working with oral traditions
isn't easy. Linguists in Europe managed to
unearth a single Proto-Indo-European language
hiding at the root of a superficially diverse
spate of modern idioms like German, Sanskrit
and Hindi. Without written records, the same
investigative work in the New World is challenging, and marked by divisive theories.
Still, patterns emerge. Like the complexity
of First Nations sound systems, their richness
across linguistic lines. Shaw says there are
rare sounds found in BC that appear in odd,
far-flung places in the world, among disparate people groups. For example, the Bella
Coola language is internationally renowned
for long words and even sentences that don't
include a single vowel. Oddly, one of the only
other places this rare trait is found is near
Shaw is ecstatic about Musqueam verb
structure. Whereas in English we walk, come,
or go, the vast majority of Musqueam verbs
are oriented towards the water. "You can't
just say, 'She went home,' " explains Shaw.
"You have to {ask yourself], 'Was she farther
away from tKe water and going home?;' or
'Was she coming home in the direction away
from the water?;' 'Was she walking parallel to
the flow of the water downstream?; 'Was she
walking parallel upstream?"
These sorts of ties between concept and
language fundamentally shape the way we
perceive the world; Shaw falls back on the
word "embedded" on several occasions, to
•describe the effect these grammatical structures have on the mind, and vice versa. "To
find that encoded in the language, so essentially, is just fascinating." It's also necessary,
a fundamental aspect of cultural identity,
which is now constantly being rediscovered
by people like Guerin, Grant and Shaw as they
wend their way into the logic of the language.
If the renaissance is to take root, it has to
come alive in the day-to-day life at
Musqueam. "If the learning of a language is
confined to a classroom, it will never survive," surmises Guerin.
And yet talking to Guerin in his cubicle in
the Band Adnainstration Office, I got a sense of
how hemmed in the project is. When students
walk out of class, there will be no TV, no magazines, no summer camps in the Musqueam language. Just English or Mandarin or French or
some other language heard or read or felt in
the city. You can't learn Musqueam by osmosis
or immersion anymore.
"Pre-contact we were not confined to this
little reserve," Guerin reminds me. Outside
his office, in the foyer, there's a photograph
that is emblematic of the modern predicament. It's of one of the tribe's historical sites,
called the Marpole midden.
Archaelogists conjecture that the Marpole
area was inhabited by the Musqueam people
as long ago as 3500 BC. The midden—which
is like a dump containing shells and other
waste—was discovered by workers in 1889
during the extension of Granville Street. They
also unearthed tools, weapons and other artifacts in what proved to be one of the largest
village sites discovered in North America.
Getting back to the photograph in the Band
Office foyer, it shows the Marpole midden of
today buried as a substrata beneath the towering concrete pillars of an overpass at 75th and
Milton. The site is paved over with a parking
"First Nations languages are
as different as any of the
Indo-European languages
are from any of the chinese
—Patricia Shaw
Director, UBC First Nations Language
lot,  and the  artist's has  superimposed the
words "Marpole midden" on the scene.
It's a sobering way to construe what lies
beneath our society; Musqueam traditional
territory, after all, corresponds quite nicely
with what we consider the Greater Vancouver
Regional District.
Guerin says land claims, like language
revitalisation, are "a long process."
"We five in interesting times," he said, smiling, making me feel sharply aware of the yawning political rift between our cultures.
Does he feel like he has to fight through
nets of English?
"Absolutely. It's an uphill battle," he
"It's difficult to convey concepts in the context of a First Nations culture because people
are raised in a European-dominated culture,
their attitudes tend to be European-based.
Oftentimes, if you try to explain something to
someone, they'll listen to what you're saying
and they'll put their own interpretation or spin
on it that comes out of their upbringing."
Asked if he really believes that it's going to
work, if Musqueam will be a living language
again someday, Guerin replies: 'It's got a good
chance. But it's going to be a long haul. We're
still laying the groundwork for it right now."
"A greater percentage of languages is projected to die off in the next hundred years than
for bird, plants or mammals," wrote Whalen.
Put another way, between 50 to 90 per
cent of estimated 6,000-7,000 languages are
predicted to disappear in the next century,
many with little or no significant records.
As dismal as it sounds, there are ways to
catch them before they vanish. We live in the
continued on page 10.
-•«*■ ) 0 Feature
Tuesday, 28 March, 2006   THEUBYSSEY
The path you cjiob^e can make all the difference,
Minority languages everywhere are in decline
Geomatics Engineering Technology — Surveying and Mapping
The BCIT Geomatics Engineering Technology
program offers summer courses for direct
entry to the second year of the two-year
diploma program.
This summer program is open to students with
a Diploma of Technology or a minimum of two
years in a Bachelor of Science, engineering or
mathematics program at an accredited college,
university college, or university.
Upon successful completion of the seven-week
summer program, you will achieve advanced
placement into the second year of the two-year
diploma program which starts in September
2006. You may then choose to take either the
field survey or the digital mapping option.
Currently, the number of BCIT Geomatics
graduates is unable to meet industry demand.
Program Dales:
July 4 to August 18, 2006
For more information,
contact Bob Harrower at 604-431-4943
or by e-mail at robert_harrower@bcit.ca.
For qualification details,
contact Mary Sadowski of the
Advanced Placement and Degree Programs Office
at 604-456-8084 or 604-432-8230.
Pub Application
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
7:00pm - 9:00pm Presentation and Comment
A public information meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in the
Student Union Building, 6138 Student Union Boulevard, Room 214, UBC, to hear comments
and to receive submissions from the public on the proposed Liquor Primary Application. This
application for a new liquor primary licence has been received by the Greater Vancouver Regional District
from C.G.L. Investments Ltd., operating the Mahony and Sons Public House at 5990 University
Boulevard (Dentistry Building). This licence class permits all types of liquor to be served. Proposed hours
of service are between 10:00 am and 1:00 am Monday to Wednesday, 10:00 am and 2:00 am Thursday
to Saturday and 10:00 am to 12:00 am on Sunday. Person capacity will be limited to 200 persons inside
and 150 persons on the exterior patio. Sales of liquor for off-premises consumption will not be
The purpose of the public information meeting is for the GVRD, as the local government, to fulfill the
requirements of the Provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch by collecting the views of the
residents and businesses in the area. The applicant will make a presentation and will be available to
answer questions. Your views will be recorded and forwarded to the GVRD Board for their consideration
in reviewing this application.
Should you have any questions regarding this application please contact Kris Nichols, Electoral Area
Administrator/Planner at 604-451-6560 or e-mail at kristian.nichols@gvrd.bc.ca. All written
submissions should be handed in at the public meeting or sent to the address below by no
later April 13, 2006. Your name(s) and address must be included.
Greater Vancouver Regional District
Attention: Kris Nichols
Policy and Planning
4330 Kingsway
Burnaby BC V5H 4G8
continued from page 9.
Information Age, after all.
"We are at a stage where we can
at least preserve some of the spoken form (which was not possible
in earlier times)/ says Whalen.
Canada has idly watched a number of First Nations languages disappear, including Beothuk (Newfound-
—Victor Guerin
Musqueam Language
land), Nicola (BC), Huron-Wendat
(Quebec) and Pentiatch (BC).
Epidemics were a devastating factor,
reducing pre-contact populations
from over five million to less than
half a million at the beginning of the
20th century.
Back at Musqueam, Guerin says
that for renaissance to take root, it
has to come alive in the day-to-day
"If the learning of a language is
confined to a classroom, it will
never survive.*
The hurdles to that happening
are pretty high. Residential schools
have left a deep scar, a lasting
mark of the attempted (and in
some cases successful) linguicide,
noted Whalen.
Grant adds his own society now
considers Musqueam "a ceremonial
language* more than a conversational one. Like Guerin, Grant wants to
see a full come-back, with kids
yelling at each other in Musqueam at
sport games and people speaking it
at kitchen tables.
For most of the people involved
in the project, the reinstatement of
this dialect of Halkomelem also
has to do with healing and self-
identity in the larger context of
Western society. TJiings like hereditary laws and kinship ties simply
can't be expressed the same way in
T think [our language] is important for us to understand and
appreciate who we are.* says
Grant. He says it's also an important tool in treaty negotiations.
"And not only that, but for us to
accept who we are. Because of legislation that denied a lot of stuff,
denied who we are.*
OT> OT> <7D <n) <JT>
Post-colonial and concerned with
the marginalised, universities are
an obvious linchpin for the vanguard of minority language revitalisation these days. That is if your
particular tongue is lucky enough
to fall in line for the trickle of funding universities can dedicate to it.
Since UBC is built on Musqueam
land, it's a pretty safe bet there will
always be a program acting as a
life-preserver for their language.
But there are dozens  of distinct
groups for whom this isn't the case.
Guerin, Grant and Shaw are
salient examples of what these
kinds of programs aim to do; students like Sam are a glimmer of
light for the future.
It's a little ironic, but Grant says
parsing a language down into its
constituent parts can be an unpopular approach on the reserve.
Many in his community don't like
the idea of academics dismantling
what they see as a vibrant whole or
a sacred aspect of ceremonial
"It's a difficult part to sell to the
community,* he sighs. 'They don't
really appreciate why you need
to break the language down to
rebuild it."
Sitting in class with his students, I was struck by what a slow,
minute process the work is.
Following hard on its heels was the
realisation that I was sitting with a
significant slice of the people who
hold some living knowledge of
Musqueam. Grant says that in the
underlying minutiae of the science
behind the work, it can be hard for
some to see the big picture.
vw <7T> «7v vw <7X>
For the moment, the only certainty
for everyone involved in championing Halkomelem can be
summed up in one word, and that
"Those who insist
that only the
majority language
should be used are
usually also intent
on stamping out
any cultural
-Douglas H. Whalen
President, The Endangered
Language Fund
word is work. "I'll be long gone and
there'll still be lots left to do,*
Guerin said at one point during the
Okay, maybe that's too simplistic. Since the passing of Adeline
Point, tied in with this labour is an
evident passion, a sort of rapt
obsession with a sleeping language
that invites a seeker to always venture further in.
Guerin remembers being out in
the field near the reserve one time
with a research assistant, working
on one project or another. He says
as he was walking he wondered
aloud one too many times what
the Musqueam name was for
certain things he was seeing in
"'Do you think about the language all the time?" Guerin recalls
the research assistant asking him.
"Yeah, pretty much," he remembers answering. 11 THE UBYSSEY  Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
Culture 11
The Numa Numa phenomenon
"We once had a dream that was a UBC Numa
Numa, you could only whisper it, anything
more than a whisper and it would vanish."
by Carolynne Burkholder
UBC used to be known for its
research and academics, but since
February 10, it has become world
famous for being home to the Numa
Numa phenomenon.
Numa Numa—for those yet to
experience it—is a four-and-a-half
minute video created by eight UBC
students who lip-synch, dance, and
make general merriment to the hilarity of their schoolmates.
The creators of Numa Numa—
fourth-year marketing student Jorgen
Kjono and recently graduated marketing major Tyson Miller—had no
idea just how popular Numa Numa
would become.
"We thought by the end of the first
day it would have 300 hits and
maybe top at 1,000," said Kjono, the
filmmaker and main engineer in the
orange hard hat.
"But then we were linked to on
Collegehumor.com...and we got
200,000 clicks in two days," he
continued. "I knew it was going to
be hot."
Over half a million hits later,
Kjono and partner-in-crirne Miller,
receive daily emails from all over the
"I get like 50 emails a day and it's
like 'Liverpool loves you' and I'm like
'Wait—Liverpool, England?" said
Miller, the pilot.
Creating a video for the Numa
Numa song was Kjono's idea.
"It was huge in Europe," said
Kjono, who grew up in Norway. "I'd
been rocking out to it for two summers now...I knew I had to make a
video for it."
Three months before the video
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was created, Kjono and Miller were
members of the winning UBC team at
the Western Business Games. Kjono
spent most of the games with a boom-
box on his shoulder blasting the
Numa Numa song.
"There were so many people so
stocked on the song" he said. "It just
rocked the shit out of the whole
The UBC Civil Engineering Club's
FilmflSUSt provided the needed push
to get the video finished.
"We had been talking about it for
so long...like 'we have to make this
video," said Miller. "It just forced
Jorgen to finally get it done."
Although disqualified from the
competition—no one from Numa
Numa is an engineering student—
they received a standing ovation at
FilmfEUSt and the video is still
available on the Civil Engineering
Club website.
The video was filmed over two
days in various locations on the UBC
campus and in Richmond.
The premise of the video is quite
simple—"a pilot meets up with some
UBC engineers and has some fun
with the guys,* said Kjono. The uniform is authentic, borrowed from
Kjono's friend.
Although the dancers' moves
are remarkably in time, Miller
insists they were not choreographed. "I just did what my body
said was right," he said.
The naked man on Wreck Beach—
the most popular part of the video
according to Kjono—was completely
"I didn't even know they were
filming when that happened," said
Miller. "I came back and everyone
was laughing."
** *.   *l"   •*   t     *Z',
"I don't think the guy even
noticed," added Kjono.
Kjono, who owns a film production company HBS Productions,
filmed most of Numa Numa and did
all the editing.
Over the month and a half that followed, the video has gained cult status on campus and has made UBC
famous all over the world.
Kjono and Miller are incredulous
at their newfound celebrity status—
especially with the groupies.
"It's incredible how many people recognise us, especially Tyson,"
said Kjono. "I was sitting in class
and these six Chinese guys were
staring at me and then I acknowledged them and they all busted out
the sprinkler."
"We're not trying to be cool here,
we're just trying to have fun," Miller
pointed out
And fun, according to Kjono and
Miller, is what Numa Numa is all
"Compared to other universities
UBC is pretty intense...we need to be
more laid back," said Miller. "UBC
should chill out and actually have
some fun."
"We're just normal fun-loving people," added Kjono. "[The video] is
about having fun and encouraging
others to have fun."
The duo has plans in the works for
other videos, but said they are under
a lot of pressure to make a video as
popular as Numa Numa.
"I certainly hope it keeps going
the ways it's been going," said
Kjono. "But these things always die
eventually." II
Numa Numa is available at
xDC9voyw or on the UBC Civil
Engineering Club homepage.
The return of art to life
World Theatre Day
March 26-27
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we please
ask that you take your seats and
please turn off all cell phones and
pagers." The fights dim, the curtains
draw open, and a spotlight focuses
upon the stage. The show has begun.
World Theatre Day, an annual
event that has been taking place for
the past 35 years, kicked off on
Sunday with a series of live events.
Presented by the Greater Vancouver
Professional Theatre Alliance, the
event included readings, behind the
scenes tours, an open rehearsal and
a musical.
The event dates back to 1961
when the International Theatre
Institute (ITI), a non-governmental
association developed by the United
Nations Educational, Scientific, and
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO),
decided upon a day which according
to their mandate aims to "promote
international exchange, stimulate
creation, increase cooperation, and
to deepen mutual understanding in
order to participate in strengthening peace and friendship among
The ITI releases an international
message every year—past writers
have     included     Arthur     Miller,
Lawrence Olivier and Michel
Tremblay. This year the reins were
handed over to Mexican playwright
Victor Hugo Rascon-Banda, who tided
his piece "Ray of Hope." In his message, Rascon-Banda stressed that "we
have to experience theatre in order to
understand what is happening to us,
to transmit the pain and suffering
that is all around us, but also to
glimpse a ray of hope in the chaos
and nightmare of our daily fives."
While Rascon-Banda's message is
both poignant and universal, it also
conveys more than the metaphysical
removal of suffering. It transmits the
importance of the theatre in everyday
society and calls to memory the
importance of the theatre as a cultural symbol. With an important role in
both Ancient Western and Eastern
cultures, the theatre spans the globe
as a universal common ground.
this year the World Theatre Day
will be celebrated on five continents,
with Rascon-Banda's message being
translated into 20 languages. It is
through this large dissemination that
organisers hope to shed light upon
the theatres "visible enemies"—a lack
of education and an increase in
poverty and neglect—all of which
have contributed to a fall in the popularity of theatre. So, on this theatre
day remember the words of Oscar
Wilde, "The stage is not merely the
meeting place of all the arts, but is
also the return of art to life." II
Battle for band supremacy
Last Thursday marked the culmination of the AMS battle
of the bands. Shukov came in first place, taking home
$1,000 in gift certificates at Tom Lee Music plus $500 cash.
In second place came Life Without Water winning $250.
Walkouts are
Sexual Perversity in Chicago
UBC Players Club
until April 1
by Jason Webb
When it comes to playwright and
screenwriter David Mamet, audiences have come out of theatres
either completely impressed or totally disgusted. What makes this project
so exciting is that the actors and stage
crew are working independently
from Theatre at UBC—the students
working on this production are there
for the love of their craft, rather than
simply pursuing a degree.
This production would not have
been possible without first-time
director Ryan Scholz, a UBC student
with a keen interest in theatre. "I've
always loved drama," explains
Scholz, "I acted in a bunch of high
school productions and the last couple of years I've tried to have my in
hand in every facet of the arts. I've
tried to write some stuff, direct, I like
to see things from a broader perspective." But how do you get people to
come out to a play while theatre is
seen as geriatric entertainment?
Scholz has the answer to that.
"I read this play when I was in
high school and I was like, is this
drama? I was so used to reading
Shakespeare and all this stuff and
people come up and say 'drama,
drama.' It's like poetry. Poetry was
huge back with the Romantics and
the Victorians, but no one reads
poetry anymore, they sit down and
watch primetime."
Mamet's play breaks the rules of
the traditional plot-based three-act
play. Instead, Mamet takes a small
but poignant sample from the lives of
four characters and displays them for
the audience to dissect. We follow
Dan and Bernie, two friends who
work at the same office. In their spare
time, the two urbanites prowl the
bars in search for their next sexual
adventure. Enter Deb and Joan,
roommates and friends, who are not
only searching for meaningful relationships but they also want to extract
some meaning from their jobs and
their fives. Tt's about equal rights
amendments and gender issues
between men and women," says
Scholz, "and it's written by Mamet so
it has machine gun dialogue and it's
very inappropriate."
After receiving a grant from the
UBC Players Club, Scholz and three
friends organised the production,
held auditions and brought in seasoned theatre veterans to help out
"It's almost like communal theatre,"
Scholz says as he grins. That means
the actors and crew are on their own.
Likewise, the director has an equally
important ambition in regards to theatre: T think theatre in Vancouver
can become like it is Montreal or
Toronto. We have the Fringe Festival,
which is great and Bard on the Beach
is great but I want to get people excited about theatre."
Audiences should be prepared for
what Scholz calls "seventy minutes of
in-your-face drama." Mamet is very
direct, renowned for his painfully
realistic dialogue that can infuriate
and disgust, even those with the
strongest of constitutions. Scholz
feels that "the greatest goal of a director is to get someone to walk out of
the theatre and be so disgusted or be
speechless and a week down the road
they're still thinking about it*
"I think people would be quite
offended, which is great. I would
like people to get up and walk out of
the play." II
V-v •£..—
www.ams. ulDc.ca
March 31st, SUB 245. Doors open @ 7pm
What could be better than beer, wine, food, and art combined?
No cover, cheap drinks. Put on by the AMS Resource Groups.
Tickets are still available to check out The New Pornographers, the Weakerthans,
Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans, Cadence Weapon, The Salteens, and
my!gay!husband! at Arts County Fair 15! You can buy tickets at the Ticketmaster
booth in the SUB, next to Blue Chip Cookies, where they're still just $20, or you
can try to win tickets by visiting us at www.artscountyfair.com. See you
April 7th!
» ^fc£«o^f>
AMS Webmaster
Position Description: The AMS
is seeking a Webmaster to assist
with maintaining the AMS
website. Working in conjunction with the Marketing and
Promotions department, the
Webmaster will develop
database and web applications,
work with AMS staff to
continue to improve the
website, and conduct
routine maintenance.
Compensation: $13/hour
Time Commitment: Part-time, flexible hours- mm. 10 hours, max. 20 hours per
♦Assist with uploading content on a regular, weekly basis based on completed
web requests from executives, student services, and other staflf.
♦Develop and manage database applications within the website (e.g. Volunteer
Connections, AMS Tutoring, etc).
♦Assist with special projects including the creation of online surveys and
contests, forms, polls, and administering the AMS web board.
♦Provide training to AMS executives, staff, and other internal users on a regular
♦Create a technical style guide outlining web page templates, styles, and forms.
♦Work with the Marketing and Promotions Manager to ensure graphic design
standards are adhered to in the web medium.
♦Training will be provided for the successful candidate.
♦Must be part-time or full-time UBC student.
♦Prior demonstrated experience using scripting languages (PHP, ASP, JSP,
Coldfusion etc). Knowledge of Dreamweaver MX 7 and Coldfusion MX 7 an
♦Experience with database technology and comfortable with SQL. Experience
with MS Access and MS SQL an asset.
♦An interest or prior experience in web design and standards is highly desirable.
♦Strong interpersonal skills and high aptitude in English writing.
♦Must be able adhere to challenging deadlines and work with minimal supervision.
To Apply: Interested candidates should email their CVs and references to Paul
Dayson, Marketing and Promotions Manager via e-email at
marketing@ams.ubc.ca, by Friday, April 7, 2006. Please include at least two
URLs or websites that demonstrate your skill and qualifications. Due to time
constraints, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.
AMS Hiring for 2 Service Coordinator Positions
AMS Safewalk Coordinator - AMS Safewalk is student-run service
essentially comprised of a foot patrol initiative that will accompany anyone
between points on campus. It employs well over 100 students and also works
to encourage safety all across campus through various promotion and
outreach booths. Employees are trained in the safety policies of this nonintervention service as well as in basic protocols such as radios, client
interaction and knowledge of available safety resources.
The coordinator is responsible for ensuring smooth operation of the Safewalk
Program. This includes: hiring new staff, organizing training sessions,
scheduling shifts for employees, coordination with payroll, employee
discipline and conflict resolution and seeking to improve the Safewalk
service; working with other campus organizations to improve campus safety
as a whole. On-call duties with 1-2 assistant coordinators).
Applicants should have a concern for safety on campus and experience with
safety issues. Experience working with Safewalk and knowledge of the
service structure and context an asset, though not required. Receptivity to
change and innovation.
Minimum of 25 hours per week from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2007 and
availability during Safewalk operating hours. Must be able to work flexible
hours/weekend and late nights due to nature of Safewalk service. Increased
hours during the Safewalker hiring in August and September. Sits on several
committees and attends weekly and bi-weekly meetings, contributing to
larger safety issues and bringing Safewalk into the larger community context.
AMS Speak Easy Coordinator — Speakeasy is a volunteer based organization with an anti-oppression framework, which provides information,
referrals and confidential peer support counseling for a wide variety of issues
to the UBC community. The trained and friendly staff helps anyone who
approaches the desk or calls the information or crisis line. Speakeasy also
provides on and off campus referrals for further support when needed.
Volunteers are also serving as an information resource through managing the
SUB Information Desk throughout the school year.
The coordinator manages all aspects of the AMS Speakeasy office and
service. This includes: hiring and training coordinators and volunteers peer
counselors, developing a sense of volunteer community, liaising with UBC
Counseling services, the Sexual Assault Support Center, the Wellness Center,
and other health and safety related services at UBC, attending meetings,
training sessions, and sitting on various committees, developing promotion
The applicant must be a UBC student for the full-term of employment.
Counseling or peer support, facilitation, workshop development and event
planning experience are required. Experience within Speakeasy is strongly
advised. Knowledge areas: community building strategies, and a vast range
of issues and previous training in providing support in areas such as suicide,
sexual assault, coping mechanisms, stress, depression, relationship concerns,
etc. desired including an understanding of the anti-oppression framework and
the ways in which various oppressions impact individuals and groups.
Connections with on and off campus services related to but not exclusive to
counseling, health, and wellness needed.
Minimum of 20 hours per week from September 1, 2006 to April 30, 2007.
September hours will increase to 30+ hours a week due to interviewing and
training of volunteers. January hours during the week before training will
increase to 25-30 hours a week due to training. Availability for 5-10 hours of
orientation/transition during March-April is preferred.
For complete job descriptions please see: ams.ubc.ca/jobs
Applications should be e-mailed to applications@jams.ubc.ca with the job
title included in the subject heading or hand-delivered by noon on March
30, 2006 to:
Vice-President Academic & University Affairs,
Chair of the Appointments Committee
c/o Alma Mater Society
Room 238 - 6138 SUB Boulevard
■■/"' \&- THE UBYSSEY  Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
Culture 13
Hell meets perfection, blood and Little Willies
Four little compact discs you never knew you needed
Hank Williams m
Straight to Hell
by Levi Barnett
Hank Williams III has seen the
devil, and he'd like to share it with
you. So goes his new album,
Straight to Hell, which opens with
the saying "Satan is real/ and
makes sure you beheve it by the
time it's all over. An album ground
up by harsh living, with moonshine
and shotguns a-plenty, it's also a
tribute to the glory days of 20th
Century country music, and to the
players who performed with Hanks
Williams Sr and Jr, the grandfather
and father of Hank Williams III.
While many singers boast how
badass they are, Mr. Williams lays
things straight in his songs, letting
tales of drink, drugs, and a lost
woman explain for themselves what
an absolute scoundrel he is. Others
might alternately glorify and lament
their lifestyle, but Williams just
accepts what he's done. As he
admits in the opening song, "I'm
going straight to hell—So you just
better get me one more round/ Or
as he explains in the song "Pills I
took/ "Well, there's blood on the carpet an' holes in the walls/Well, it
must've been them pills I took/ He
doesn't say why he took the pills, or
that he regrets it, he's just letting the
listener in on his depravity. And
after a few listens, that depravity
sounds awfully good.
Williams shows a running contempt for the way he sees country
music heading. On "Not Everybody
likes Us" he takes this to the
extreme, saying that: "Well I think
I'd rather eat the barrel/Of a double-
barrel loaded shotgun, Than to hear
that s**t they call pop-country
music,/On ninety-eight-point-one. "
Early on in the album Hank
claims that country music has lost
its soul, and the rest of the songs
show his feeling of what must be
done as a result. To paraphrase
NOFX (and Mr Williams is a very
serious  punk-rocker),  it's   Hank
Ill's job to keep country hard-core.
If Johnny Cash shot a man in
Reno just to see him die, Hank
Williams III samples six different
psychoactive substances on "Crazed
Country Rebel," while driving
through the American South in an
overdose of sin. Nothing can stop
his ride to oblivion.
Straight to Hell is a great listen
because of its songwriting and its
likeable placement of four letter
words, which flow so naturally and
accentuate the force of Hank Ill's
disdain for the his perceived enemies, including the sheriff whose
wife he enjoyed carnal relations
with, Kid Rock fans, and radio-
friendly pop country music.
A masterpiece of honky-tonk
nihilism recorded on a $500 piece
of equipment, it's worth hstening to
this album and living with no
regrets, just like Hank does
Everything's Perfect
vibe the track exhibited but the last
half of the song is a weak instrumental segment. I had to turn up the volume to hear all the instrurnents
being used. A tune that resembled
my young toddler days clanging on
glasses filled with different amounts
of water. The sound just trailed off
for over three minutes. It might
have been more effective if it was
shortened. However, Everything's
Perfect is overall an enjoyable
album filled with a light-hearted, joyful, easy-going vibe sure to brighten
up your day.
The Little Willies
by Mai Bui
by Colleen Tang
The first album a band makes
sparks curiosity because you never
know what to expect. To be honest,
I did not know what to expect
from the new Canadian band,
Onlyforward, from Montreal. I was
delighted to find that the band had
written and arranged the 11 tracks
with minimal help from other
artists such as Chad Linsley and
Marc Martel.
The first song, "Hi/ was amiable
and true to its title. Its invitingness
provoked my curiosity to the other
songs on the album. Lead singer
Dave Martel's voice reminds me of
a lower pitched, more cheerful and
smoother Coheed and Cambria.
The energy of the songs predominate the tracks. My personal
favourite is track five, "Mr
Weakling", with its catchy tune and
easy to sing to lyrics.
I am not a fan of "Live up to
Eternity". The first part of the song is
consistent with the alternative—rock
The Little Willies is a neat little New
York bar-band whose five members
share a common nostalgia for traditional country music and all things
Willie Nelson. As vocalist and
pianist for The Little Willies, Norah
Jones teams up with bassist Lee
Alexander, electric guitarist Jim
Campilongo, dnimmer Dan Reiser,
and guitarist and vocalist Richard
Julian to bring the thrills of honky-
tonk to the forefront
Their self-titled debut features
rollicking renditions of Townes van
Zandt's "No Place to Fall" and Kris
Kristofferson's "Best of All Possible
Worlds." You wouldn't have been
able to tell by hstening to her first
two albums, but Jones can pull off
country twang and bluesy growls
like nobody's business, as she
demonstrates in Willie Nelson's
"Gotta Get Drunk."
Although the Little Willies
formed with the intent of covering
some country music greats, a handful of tracks feature the songwriting
proficiency of Alexander, Julian, and
Jones, teaming up to write "Lou
Reed," an amusing ditty about Lou
Reed allegedly cow-tipping: "You
sure that was Lou Reed?" asks Jones.
"Sure it was" says Julian, "he was
wearing black Levi's."
Rounding out the sound are spe
cial guests Jon Dryden—on the organ
and accordion—and The Ordinaires
providing background vocals. Witty,
spirited, and slightly tipsy, The Little
Willies somehow manages to convey
the relaxed atmosphere of the
smoky bar and rowdy crowd that no
doubt accompany their five shows,
reminding us there is much more to
country music than maudlin lyrics
and cowboy hats.
. ■  >v   ;•..■■■ r
atnii'i" \y-f?\W- fT?fi7 ■■
For Blood and
by Peter Warren
With rage-fuelled lyrics and angry yet
passionate music, Anti-Mag attempts
to kick the anti-war movement into
gear with their new release "For
Blood and Empire."
I have never come across such
a purely political album before.
It's difficult for me to keep my
inner foreign policy dork in check
and focus solely on the music.
However, the politics of the record
cannot be ignored. The anger
directed at the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, and commer
cialism in general is impressive.
Musically, Anti-Flag can be
described as a combination of
Green Day and Rage Against the
Machine. The music is fairly simplistic, but considering the
record's message it works well.
Every song is loaded with intensity, which leaves me with the feeling these guys would be phenomenal to see five. That being said,
each song does sound quite similar to the preceding one. A decent
CD for a long drive, but probably
not the kind of thing you would
want to listen to in order to
unwind at the end of a long day.
After listening to the whole
thing I was left wondering, "why
are you guys so angry?" I think
that some of the urgency of the
message is lost when it is spewed
out in a fury, but then, I was never
much of a head-banger. I like this
record, the songs are catchy and
full of energy, and the fact that the
band really seems to care about
the issues in their songs strikes a
chord with me. However, at the
same time I can't help noticing
that Vietnam's anti-war song was
"Give Peace a Chance" and Iraq's
is "War Sucks, Let's Party!" IB
|T|ii0yc6py: editor is full time up
yjo SShours' a week. Job^duties
yincliucfe eontibuting: to editorialist Voting stories, updating;
y the website aritf : editing all
Ubyssey content for spelling/
, Please   apply; y by   position
paper by Wednesday at noon
The copy epUtor is an elected :
Applicants are expected to be.
Mailable for an editing ■: test■;,:
and an all candidates {brum;
,on 3ATedesdaY Aprily5   :.
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"■s*) 14 Opinion/Editorial
Tuesday, 28 March; 2006   THEUBYSSEY
the deal
There's been so much uproar about
the government-endorsed seal hunt
lately that even Sir Paul McCartney
has flown in from England to
protest From clubbing baby harp
seals to Larry Campbell writing letters saying Germans shouldn't criticise Canadians given the "bar-
barousness" of their own past, the
truth about the seal hunt seems out
of focus in the mainstream media.
Since 1995 the Canadian government's biggest argument for
issuing personal sealing licenses is
that it helps maintain and regulate
fish stocks, something seal hunt
advocates claim are huge contributors to the continual decline in fish
stock numbers. This year the federal government raised the quota for
commercial hunting of harp seals
to 325,000.
According to the Department of
Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) there
were an estimated 5.2 million harp
seals recorded in the Northwest
Atlantic stock—off the shores
Newfoundland—in 1999.
Based on these numbers, the
seals pose an extreme threat to
cod stocks. How many fish do you
think a seal could eat in one day?
We bet it's a whole lot. Times that
by 5.2 million and you have one
hell of a lot of dead fish. However,
seals, which take the brunt of the
blame for low cod numbers, feed
on other fis—including fish that
prey on cod.
But before we jump to conclusions we have to consider our own
role in contributing to the tragically
low numbers of fish. Depleted fish
stocks, cod in particular, are only
made worse by the increasing seal
population. But aren't depleted fish
stocks ultimately a problem caused
by our own over-fishing? Should we
really make the seals pay for mistakes we made in the past and even
continue to make in the present day
as well?
What comes to most people's
minds when they think of Harp
seal hunting are the awful videos of
6e*£f Ueick
the 1970s and 1980s in which cute
whitecoat harp seals were viciously
clubbed to death for their fur.
Currently the hunting of white seal
pups is prohibited in Canada. This
isn't surprising, considering seal
pups lose their white fur at the ripe
young age of 14 days. After this,
baby seals are fair game and usually begin to be hunted after the age
of 25 days. Since most seals five to
the age of 20-35, it's a little unfair
to authorise the killing of such
young animals.
But clubbing is an accepted practice and the Canadian government
says it is dead serious when it
comes to enforcing its regulations
on inhumane killing practices having issued over 200 reprimands for
improper clubbings since 1996.
Many seals are killed with a club
or hakapik but the majority of seals
are killed with firearms. A report by
the Canadian Veterinary Journal in
2002 stated that 98 per cent of seals
hunted were killed properly and
humanely. Despite their assurances
that clubbing seals, when done
properly, is ethical and quick, the
brutality of it is still alarming to a
generation of people far removed
from animal death, used to getting
all- their meats prepackaged at the
grocery store. How come people
don't complain about the inhumane
conditions of cows, pigs and chickens that are raised on non-free
range farms? After touring a KFC
plant, the seal hunt doesn't look so
bad after all.
But unlike farming, the immediate value of seal hunting is not so
apparent Seal meat doesn't exactly
taste like chicken and feeding it to
carnivorous caged animals seems
to be the only market for it, albeit a
small one. Seal pelts are the main
commodity for sealers as 25 to 35
per cent of sealers' incomes are
derived from the hunt But even the
value of these pelts drops substantially year after year.
The simple act of hunting the
seal itself seems to be its most valuable commodity, bringing the
whole hunt into question. Seal
hunting helps to ensure the economic stability of communities
located in remote rural communities where traditional fishing is not
an option. In Newfoundland,
where unemployment has frequently jumped up higher than 15
per cent in recent years, the seal
hunt is vital to the livelihood of
many individuals who depend on it
for at least one third of their total
income per year. In order to lower
unemployment levels couldn't the
government of Newfoundland create sustainable initiatives for such
endeavors as ocean clean-up
instead of killing seals?
It does not appear that a resolution to the moral or economic
dilemma of the seal hunt will be
achieved in the near future. But
until more conclusive evidence is
found regarding the impact of the
seal hunt and the extent of the economic impact throughout the
Atlantic regions of Canada, the seal
hunt should be continually re-evaluated by the Canadian government
Still if seal carcasses aren't being
used to their fullest, then hunts
shouldn't be conducted. It isn't
known whether the entire carcass is
used for food, fuel, shelter, fur and
other products. The DFO encourages hunters to use all parts of killed
seals, but with little to no proof of
the details of carcass use, it seems
unlikely that holistic use is really
happening on a large scale. II
Conservatives minority
victimised at UBC
Justin Visser's recent contribution
to the Ubyssey was much needed. It
is true that there are still some dirty
words remaining in West Coast parlance, and one of them happens to be
the word "conservative."
Conservatives today are made to
seem like Neanderthals. In some
places, the left can speak as if they
are still the oppressed minority
opinion, but let's face it: at UBC, the
liberal mindset dominates, and
frankly, the traditional right is meeting its minority status as most
minorities do: as victims of censure,
prejudice, and fear-mongering, in
some instances.
There are great hearts and
minds to be found in a diversity of
political colours. At the same time,
the current frenzy of tolerance-
speak has hurt our freedom to reject
those ideas we beheve to be bad
ones. Some hold their views not out
of decent motives but as politics of
selfishness—and we all do this to
some degree. It can be good, then, to
expose the ridiculous. But why vilify
a conservative student merely
because she wears the conservative
tag, or a liberal because she is a liberal? Furthermore, there are some
that simply are not so easily cate
gorised. For example, one clever
writer recently mused on the fact
that both traditional conservatives
and leftist conservationists are
groups who hold an interest in conserving things...in one form or
another. And clearly, it is not at all
difficult to find both drives at work
in the same person.
That being said, Visser's point
stands: conservatives now have the
smaller numbers, and the prevailing bias is against them. As liberals
were once the derided rninority, so
now are their opponents. The only
constant is intense polarisation
between the two. The problem, I
dare say, is not so much a dominance of left or right as a tendency
for one side to demonise the other.
It is therefore extremely fortunate
that we have some—like Visser—
who are bold and articulate enough
to keep the student populace from
swinging too uncritically towards
one end of the political spectrum.
—Joel Stephanson
Arts 4
Cuteness factor hides
behind seal hunt protests
At dawn on Saturday, March 25,
the Canadian seal hunt began
amid a hubbub of controversy. We
had less than cordial visits from
Sir Paul McCartney and Bridget
Bardot, who somehow assume
their status as celebrities entitles
them to criticise the practices of
Canada as if they were sovereign
states themselves.
Calling the hunt barbaric and
inhumane, these individuals,
along with groups like the
Humane Society of the United
States, visited the Maritime ice
flows for photo-ops with these cuddly creatures that define the
Kodak moment. Shame on Canada
for allowing this practice to continue!, they said.
"Shame on Canada." As the well-
reputed country Canada is, it appropriately regulates the seal hunt so
that it is as humane as possible. The
club that is used to strike the seal
has been deemed humane, even
though many, if not most seals, are
killed by bullet The federal government regularly charges sealers
when humane regulations are
infringed upon, there are strict quotas on the number of these non-
endangered animals may be killed,
and to boot, in 1987 Canada placed
an outright ban on the killing of
those cute white coat seals (which
are actually only the seals in their
infancy). Apparently these baby
seals are too cute to be killed with
their coats on, so we kill them only
after the 12-14 days following their
birth when the coats fall off, and the
seals are a little less attractive.
Despite this regulation, anti-sealing
activist groups continue to take
advantage of white coat imagery.
White coats or no white coats,
the only reason this issue is even
seen as an issue is because the
baby seals are cute and fuzzy. Fish
are harvested using nets that grab
them by their gills and haul them
out of the water into an environment where they can no longer
breathe. Gasping for breath they
are then gutted using long sharp
knives while they are still wriggling with the last bit of life they
will enjoy before their innards
spill out onto the fisher's table.
This practice is far from humane,
and yet I've never heard of anyone
protesting it.
Fish and seals are both animals. They are both living things
and as such, their lives are of
equal value. That is, as long as we
aren't judging the value of their
lives on criteria of cuteness. We
certainly wouldn't do this with
humans, so why are we doing it
with animals?
—John Kendler
Political Science 4
how do you feel about
the seal hunt in
Atlantic Canada?
"I love seals. I don't want them to
die. But I guess people need seals."
—Samantha Rapoport
English 3
"I don't know anything about it/
—Trevor Barry
Chemistry 4
"I really don't care. As long as they
do it in a concentrated manner so
they don't destroy the habitat/
-Wade Abbot
Political Science 2
T know there have been protesters.
I know the government said, 'Screw
you Paul McCartney'/
— Vikram Gil
Experimental Medicine, Masters
"I don't know why Paul McCartney
went there/
—Sakae Alford
Nursing 2
—Streeters coordinated by
Mary Leighton and Kellan Higgins THE UBYSSEY  Tuesday, 28 March, 2006
Culture 15
Death on the Drive
Soldier Dreams
The Havana Theatre
1212 Commercial Drive
March 21-April 1
by Jason Webb
Everybody dies. This is a sad fact
that doesn't usually enter our heads
when we are young and energetic
and living each day as though they
come in an infinite number. When
we are gone, the world we lived in
is no longer a concern, but what
about the friends and family we
leave behind? Death creates a void
in the relationships we cultivate in
our lifetimes, and our loved ones
must reconcile their loss, either by
reliving their memories with each
other or in their own private way.
How the living cope with the
death of someone close is explored
in Daniel Madvor's "The Soldier
Dreams/ produced by I'm A Little
Pickled Theatre Company and
directed by Leanne Koehn. Having
the performance take place in the
small space in the back of the
Havana on Commercial Drive was
an ideal choice for the play: the
close proximity the audience has
with the performers allows us to
eavesdrop on an intimate family
gathering. As David, a young gay
man, lies on his deathbed, his family's relationships unfold, but they
are unable to communicate their
fear, frustration and confusion.
This is exemplified by the mono
logues, performed by each of the
characters, who each formed a
bond with David by using sign language to secretly communicate.
There are some remarkable performances in this production. With
such a minimal set, the actors must
rely on the dialogue to support the
narrative. A notable highhght is the
tension between Tish, David's sister, and Richard, the dying man's
lover. As Tish tries to control the
family and Richard wrestles with
how he fits into David's life, and
their open relationship, Tish and
Richard duel with cutting remarks
and power politics over the role of
'the most important person in the
deceased's life/ Their bickering
makes for wonderfully nauseating
Lee Vincent's character Sam,
Tish's introverted husband, was
also fun to watch—he handles the
stutters and gestures of an insecure
man with skill and good timing.
The strong performances add to
the structure of the play.
Structuring a play is a lot like moving chess pieces on the board for
the coming attack—a playwright
must have the characters set up for
the final hurrah. Maclvor has his
characters in ideal positions: Tish
and Richard's underlying antagonism, Judy's search for solace in
the arms of her brother-in-law and
Sam's inability to keep his spine
from slipping out of his back are
wonderfully constructed.
Unfortunately, the resolution is
quietly ushered off-stage to make
room for David's own monologue.
The consequences are never fully
explored and the play ends like air
slowly leaking out of a balloon.
Then again dying is a quiet affair.
When David passes away he opens
a vacuum that quickly sucks out the
tension and grief, leaving the characters to fend for themselves. The
play doesn't give us all the answers
we want and the uncertainty resonates after the performance. This
is one of those plays where you
have to see the performance and
decide for yourself. II
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Includes: Flights,
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««*5?.y 1 fi Sports
Tuesday, 28 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Birds squeak by in conference play
by Cheata Nao
The Thunderbirds looked loose and
relaxed during the pre-game warm
up, but could seldom afford to be
during the tense nail biter that took
place Sunday afternoon. It was a
low hitting, low scoring, nine-
inning affair at Nat Bailey Stadium
as the UBC Thunderbirds squeaked
past the Concordia Cavaliers 1-0 in
game three of their four game
series. With the win UBC improved
to 12-0 in conference play and 21-
7 overall.
There wasn't much action in the
game as both starting pitchers were
in top form on Sunday afternoon.
UBC seniors Jeff Tobin and Brad
Ashman combined allow only three
hits in nine innings while striking
out six in the shut-out game. "Our
pitching with Jeff "Tobin and Brad
Ashman just threw outstanding
today,"   said   head   coach   Terry
McKaig. Tobin finished the game
with zero earned runs allowed and
Ashman improved his record to 3-2
in relief efforts. Concordia pitcher
Bryan Goff finished the game with
11 strikeouts.
After a 15 minute rain delay at
the end of the first inning it was
seven straight innings of scoreless
play highlighted by a spectacular
diving catch by a Cavalier outfielder
off a Johnny Yiu hit to right field at
the bottom of the sixth. UBC had a
chance to score some runs and take
the lead in the bottom of the seventh
inning with runners on second and
third and junior Steve Bell-Irving
at bat, however Vancouver native
struck out to end the inning.
UBC was finally able to end the
game and come out with a win in the
bottom of the ninth. With no runners on base and two outs, senior
Connor Janes stepped up to the plate
and hit a home run to left field winning the game in dramatic fashion.
This was Janes's forth home run of
the future is friendly*
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the season. "Again another close
game, a one run game that we've
won with Connor Janes getting the
winning hit for us/ commented
Coach Terry McKaig after the win.
'We're starting to show a real knack
for being able to do that, it is important to show that good teams can
win late.*
UBC went on to take the forth
game in the series 5-0 and complete
the sweep over the Cavaliers. Their
record now stands 22-7 overall and
13-0 in the conference.
UBC hopes to continue their winning streak in Salem, Oregon
against Corban College. The four
game series will begin on Friday
March 31 at 2pm and continue the
following day at 12pm. "I don't
expect us to have any problems if
we prepare ourselves properly to
go out on the road and play well.
We've played well on the road all
year/ said Coach McKaig of his
team's play away from Nat Bailey
Stadium. H
Men's B-Ball grabs star
Adam Friesen and Chris Dyck will
both be joining the UBC men's basketball team next season.
Friesen, who previously played
for Trinity Western University,
received the Canada West All-Star
honour twice and was also named
to the second CIS All-Canadian
team. Friesen will be playing for
the Thunderbirds as a guard in his
last year of eligibility.
Dyck joins the UBC team after
two seasons playing for the
University of Manitoba. This season Dyck placed seventh in
Canada West standings, averaging
17.1 points per game.
High school recuits Brent
Malish and Alex Murphy were
announced earlier this season as
new additions to the T-Birds.
Malish, from Brookswood
Secondary, will take on a guard
position. Murphy, of St George's
Secondary, will be playing as a
point guard.
Taste of track
The UBC track and field team had
their first taste of competition this
year at the Spring Break Open
Track and Field meet in Edmonds,
Washington. Mike Clapson set a
personal best of 4.40m in the pole
vault event. UBC finished the meet
with many other wins and personal best times. The T-Birds hope
that their excellent showing at the
first meet of the season is a sign of
great results to come. If
Only 1.5 weeks
Come wrife for t?s!


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