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The Ubyssey Mar 21, 2006

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In depth with Classified.
Page 10
University grades: not as arbituary
as you think. Page 8
Assessing the conflict Iraq and Afghanistan.
Page 14
f  j... .
Vol.LXXXVII   N°44
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
 Shiny pork since 1918
Suzuki warns about genetic modifications
by Kristin Warkentin
David Suzuki took to the stage last Monday at
the Chan Centre in front of a room full of students, staff, and members of the community
who were eagerly waiting to hear what the
outspoken scientist, broadcaster and author
had to say.
Hosted by UBCs Terry Project, Suzuki's talk,
the third and final lecture in a series with the
theme, "Global Citizenship on Global Issues/
focused mainly on biotechnology. But he also
echoed the need for an integration of the arts
and sciences: "One of the things I've decried at
this University was the tremendous gap—the
schism between the sciences and the arts."
Suzuki went on to discuss his own personal
history and the positive advances in science
since he was a child, colouring his narrative
with frequent jokes and the repeated remark,
'I'm just an old fart now," before diving into the
main topic of his lecture: the need for reform in
biotechnical research and its application.
According to Suzuki, the scientific approach
termed "reductionism," that focuses .on understanding individual parts of the whole, is to
blame for a dangerous short-sightedness in the
field of biotechnology. "Modern biology,
biotechnology and medicine continue to operate on this paradigm of reductionism/ he said.
"But in focusing on a part of nature, we lose
sight of the context in which that part exists/
Suzuki stressed the importance of looking at
See "Suzukability" page 2.
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T-Birds hit the dirt!
Lucky number 13, Richard Smythe, kicks up some dust while sliding into third base at Nat Bailey Stadium.TheThunderbirds won all four weekend games against Oregon
Tech during the home opener weekend. UBC now sit with a record of 6-0 in the conference. See page 7 for complete weekend coverage, yinan max wang photo
UBC Model UN delegates heading to San Francisco
Students will represent Thai
and Greek governments
by Michael Kenacan
Twelve students represented UBC at the
Model United Nations (MUN) summit held at
Seattle University in Washington State earlier
in the month.
The theme of the conference was
"Diplomacy in Relief: Developing our
Developing World/ Three committees were
represented: the General Assembly, the
UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and
Development), and the Security Council, in
addition to one regional intergovernmental
body, the Association of Southeast Asian
The Seattle MUN represented a warm-up for
the delegates to the far Western MUN in San
Francisco next month.
Lisa Robbins, head delegate for the UBC
group, said she "learned about the countries we
represented diplomatically, how to approach
negotiation and how to compromise without
giving up what you want*
Jennifer Schofield, International Relations
Student Association (IRSA) vp External, who has
participated in and directed UBC MUNs in the
past, said that delegates experience "how to
have constructive dialogue and not just push
[their] view on others/
"Interaction with other students is a wonderful part of MUN/ said Allen Sens, chair of
the UBC International Relations Program. To
Sens, the benefits of the MUN program also
include, "operating within the rules of the
organisation and acting within them/ Sens
was confident that the student delegates are
able to add, "a great depth and understanding of the issues involved/
"I tliink [MUN is] a great investment in
terms of the time put in/ said Sens. "The more
people that understand how the UN system
works, the better it is/
Robbins and her fellow delegates began
training for the Seattle MUN last October,
where they represented Greece and Thailand.
They will do so again at the far Western
MUN, though Robbins hopes to have a briefing
with the Thai and Greek embassies before that
time. IRSA helped the delegates by setting up
funding before and after the conference, though
See "MUN"page 2.
UBC lab features state-of-the-art ecosystem technology
by Alvina Lo
UBC is now home to a new research lab that will
help international decision makers address
underwater environmental issues such as
depleting fish stocks.
On March 10, the new $10.6 million
Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory
(AERL) officially opened, though researchers
have already been working in the facility since
September 2005. It features an Immersion
Laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment
designed to run real-time simulations of
underwater  ecosystems  around  the world.
The AERL also houses the UBC Fisheries
Centre and the Institute for Resources,
Environment and Sustainability (IRES).
"This facility provides a much-needed
new home for some of the world's top
experts in fisheries and environmental
research/ said UBC President Martha Piper
in a press statement.
One of these experts is Daniel Pauly, an
internationally renowned global fisheries
expert and director of the UBC Fisheries Centre.
"The fisheries of citizens and consumers in
Canada and the world may be better managed
as a long term result/ he stated. "All efforts in
my 30 year career in fisheries conservation
converge in the work that will be done in the
Immersion Laboratory/
The technology, similar to that used Hy the
miHtary, integrates input from electronically
tagged marine mammals. The input data collected by UBC researchers will allow fishery
ininisters and international experts to visualise the direct impact of their choices on
these habitats and simulate new scenarios.
The AERL will help them make informed and
improved decisions, and consider biodiversity
in their decisions.
"[UBC researchers] will run workshops for
See "Eco-lab" page 2.
ECO-LAB: Study in' fishies at UBCs
newest building, yinan max wang photo
::*:'^at'^g&ayRasg^ 2 News
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
"I'm just an old fart now/' joked Suzuki at the Chan
"Suzukability" from page 7.
the whole picture throughout his lecture/citing the destructive use of DDT
and the horrors of eugenics as examples
of what happens when new technology
is applied without a thorough .knowledge of the broader context within
which that technology works.
Biotechnology, Suzuki warned, could
be headed down the same path.
He explained that when a gene is
inserted into an alien genome, "We really have no idea how that gene...will fit
within the genome/
"It sits there going, 'where the hell
am I?" he elaborated. "It's like taking
Bono out of U2 and sticking him in the
Vancouver Symphony and saying
'make music.' You'll get noise coming
out of there but who knows what the
sum total of that effect will be...it really
does not make sense to rush to apply
these technologies/
But rushing is exactly what Suzuki
claimed that scientists today are doing,
and the reason he cited for this rush is
money. "Don't buy the bogus argument
We need genetic engineering to feed
the world's burgeoning masses/* was
Suzuki's forceful statement, "That's not
what it's about.it's all about money/
Suzuki's message comes just in time
for the eighth meeting of the
Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on Biological Diversity happening in Curitiba, Brazil from March
20 to 31. The Convention on Biological
Diversity is an agreement that came out
of the United Nations Earth Sunimit in
Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and has since
been ratified by 187 countries. The
three main goals of the convention are
"the conservation of biodiversity, the
sustainable use of the components of
biodiversity, and sharing the benefits
arising from the commercial and other
utilisation of genetic resources in a fair
and equitable way/ according to the
convention's website.
The 11 day meeting will see over
3000 delegates and 100 ministers
come together to discuss local and global biodiversity and further actions that
need to be taken to ensure that the goals
of the convention are being met
Though the convention's website has
only positive things to say about the
meeting, one provision of the convention—article 8(j)—has been the source of
mounting controversy. The article was
put in place to protect the knowledge,
traditions and practices of indigenous
peoples, including their agricultural
practices. Contained within this article
is what some call a recommendation
and others call a moratorium on
Genetic Use Restriction Technologies
(or GURTs). GURTs, also known as terminator or suicide seeds, are seeds
which will not reproduce from generation to generation, forcing farmers who
use them to buy new stock every year,
rather than being able to replant and
share seeds saved from previous seasons. Activist groups, such as Ban
Terminator Campaign and ETC Group,
have been working to prohibit the technology, calling it "anti-farmer/ and
pointing out its danger for what ETC
group's executive director Pat Mooney
calls, "the world's most vulnerable farmers—the 1.4 billion people who depend
on farm saved seed/
Countries such as Canada, Australia
and New Zealand, however, do not
agree with Ban Terminator and ETC
group. A document put out by the Plant
Biosafety Office of the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency on GURTs states
that, "Canada's view is that there
should be recognition of the potential
benefits of GURTs as a biosafety tool
which could mitigate the dissemination of novel traits in the environment/ It is with this attitude that the
Canadian Government is going into the
Convention on Biodiversity. U
Students hope UBC will host future MUN
"MUN" from page 1.
IRSA did require the delegates
to do some of their own
fundraising as well, said
"You become a really tight
group learning diplomatic
skills and learning how to
work with others in difficult
situations/ she said.
Both Schofield and Robbins
said UBC delegates' attendance was in part to make an
impression and try to bring
the conference to Vancouver
next year. Bringing the conference to UBC, according to
Schofield, would showcase the
University to students from
across the Western US.
"MUNs are extremely
important and very valuable.
I think what the students
learn through active partici
pation like this is to get
involved/ explained Sens.
"The benefits for students
more largely are more exposure to issues being discussed, and the opportunities and constraints of the
UN system/
"It is a lesson on the failures and successes of the UN/
corroborated Robbins. When
asked about the relevance of
the MUN to the UN and international community, Schofield
disclosed that, 'these are people planning on getting into
diplomacy. This [MUN] gives
them good experience for
what they're going into/
Sens gave a final reason
on why to get involved in the
MUN program. "Let's face it,
they're fun/ said Sens.
"People forget that it's fun
' to learn/ II
UBC already world leader, says researcher
"Eco-lab" from page 1.
high level specialists in
charge of fisheries of various
countries. The technology will
aid fishery ministers to visualise the impact of their decisions on ecosystems in min-
utes, which in reality would
take several years to unfold/
said Pauly.
"British Columbia and the
Fisheries Center at UBC [are]
already the world leader in
aquatic ecosystems research/
he added. "For example, software from the work of Villy
Christensen's ECOPATH and
Carl Walters' ECOSIM that are
used complimentarily through
out the world for modeling
ecosystems, provide the
backbone of the simulations
that will be performed in
the Immersion Laboratory/
noted Pauly.   '
The construction of this
lab was funded in part by
UBC, as well as by donations
from the federal and provincial government both contributing $4.5 million.
"Research done in the
AERL will enable scientists to
provide important data that
will help protect both British
Columbia's and the world's
fragile ecosystem health/
said Advanced Education
Minister Murray Coell. II
Common Room:
A Student Art Exhibit
Belkin Satellite
March 22 onwards, 5pm
This exhibition features pieces
from UBCs art collection that
goes far to expand the boundaries of art.
Realities of Race 2006
March 20-24
A series of free events on
campus, including speakers
Sherene Razack, Lee Maracle
and a panel about Canada
and the war on terrorism.
See www.ams.ubc.ca/ror2006
for more information.
UBC Bike to School Day
SUB North Plaza outside the Bike
Friday March 24, 12-2pm
Crazy bikes, repair workshops,
food, music, and more!
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CONFERENCE 2006. Follow Your
Dream. Wanr to meet lenders in the sSporrs
industry? Sports Career Management
Conference 2006- a two-day conference
featuring rhe Presidents of the BC
Lions, Vancouver Whirecaps, Vancouver
Canadians and more! March 31 si-April
1st @ UBC Robson Square. Visit www.
rnjlevents.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 oi
Learning, 1985 West Mali, UBC,
Vancouver, BC (across West Mali 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 UBC School of Social
Work & Family Studies. Everyone
welcome! For more information, contact
seacoskyC?H:cn.bc.ca or see hrrp:/7vvww.s'cri.
bc.ca/sea tosky/swweek. pd f
STUDENT WEEK  in Solidarity with
Palestine- March 21-25. 2006. Tuesday
March 21-12:00 Forum "Is Israel An '
Apartheid State?" SUB (Student Union
Building) #2.14-216. Wednesday 22
through Friday 24- Film Showings In the
SUB. Slingshot Flip Flop For Palestine:
performances by the Philistine?;. Friday-
March 24- 8:30p Lyrical Lounge and
open snic. Knfry by donation- i hen's
Lounge, UBC Campus Graduate Student
Society Building (6371 Crescent Rd.)
Saturday March 25 -Also featuring
Manik lderii.il and Sichuan of the Sunday
Skool Dropout?, and Bearz Devine. $5
by donation at the door. 7:30p doors
8:30p show St. lames Square Hall 3214
W. 10th Ave (10th + Trutch). For more
info: paiestinesolidarif.v_ubc#'5vahoo.ca
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
Renovated East Van Suite. Heat, internet,
washer/dryer, NS/NP. Parks, skvrrain,
bus (BCIT, SFU, UBC). Excellent quiet
neighbourhood. $275/room. Homestay
optional. Please call I\»rer: 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
inrernet. On campus. Call 604-812-1365.
Females only. Apply alone or with friends.
Place available: June 1st till cad of August,
or portion thereof.
on-campus, student-owned, non-profit
bike shop! New &C used bikes, parts,
storage accessories, bike repairs and bike
repair instruction, tool use, bike srorage
and volunteer opportunities. On the
north side of the. SUB. 604-827-7333.
b i kekirch en <xfgm ail. co n t
per year (Sept through Sept}. Fully
equipped professional phoro studio. All
you nci:d is your digital or film camera.
Photosoc mernbers'also have access
to our state oi the art, traditional wet
lab (with free chemicals for processing
and enlarging) as well as mat cutting
facilities. Save hundreds o.l dollars, learn
how ro rake professional quality portraits
and have full control over your prints.
Foi only £63.00 per year you can gain
the 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
photosocubcC?>gmail.coin. www.ams.ubc.
ca/ciubs/photosociety. SUB Room 26.
to help with essay research and writing.
www.customessay.com, 1-888-345-8295
PROOFREADING. Academic / business
/ personal. §25.00 per hr.,or by job.
Experienced. BA, PosiBac.DipBus.Admm.
elsaf@teius.net (604) 255-5799
ENGLISH? Want a high energy, exciting
environment to work in? Lacking
experience and training? Submit resumes
for review to Greta Borick-Cunningham
at greta@ilac.corn Opportunities available
at International Language Academy of
Canada for Summer 2006
Drink &: Grow Rich $ $ 5 !! !
ADVENTURE! Teach English
Worldwide. Earn Money. Get TESOL
Certified in 5 days. Study In-Class,
Online, or by Correspondence. No
degree or experience needed. Job
guaranteed. 'Fo learn more, come to a
FREE Info Session Monday @ 6PM,
#203 1451 West Broadway. 1-888-270-
Looking for a roommate?
Or just have an announcement
If you are a student, you can
place classifieds for FREE?
For more information,
visit Room 23 in
the SUB [basement]
or call 8221654
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
Editorial Board
coordinating editor Jesse Marchand
coordinating@ubyssey.be. ca
news editors Paul Evans &J Eric Szeto
news@ubyssey.be. ca
culture editor Simon Underwood
sports editor Megan Smyth
features/national EDITOR
Bryan Zandberg
features@ubyssey.be ca
photo editor Yinan Max Wang
photos@ubyssey.be. ca
production manager Michelle Mayne
volunteers Vacant
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 Society. We are an autonomous,
democratically run student organisation, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
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are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily
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business manager Fernie Pereira
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ad design Shalene Takara
With a dead body to dispose of, Colleen Tang rounded up a
group of thinkers and do-ers, including Michelle Mayne,
Simon Underwood, Jesse Marchand, and Bryan Zandberg.
Boris Korby proved a natural mediator in the planning
phase. Paul Evans, Eric Szeto, and Mary Leighton threw
their ideas into the fray, and Megan Smyth and Claudia Li
were kind enough to round up a plate-less vehicle.
Fighting panic, Yinah Max Yang, Matt Hayles,and D. Winter
White fashioned a saw from utensils in the office. Greg
Ursic supervised this portion of the process. Just as Alvina
Lo and Ada Chen began to tire, Andrew MacKae.Cheata
Nao,and Benjamin Groberman appeared at the door,
ready to work.The group exhaled in unison when, after
several hours, Michael Kenacan returned from Deep Cove
empty-handed. Colleen would also like to thank Kristin
Warkentin, Peter Clark,Terry Boake, Catherine Hart,Szabo,
and Mai Bui for their contributions in the form of insights
and plastic gloves.
Ada Chen &£ Alvina Lo
Printed on
recycled paper
Canada Post Sales Agreement
Number 0040878022
1 THE UBYSSEY  Tuesday, 21 March. 2006
=. i
Campus leadership: steward or student?
by Matt Hayles
This is the JBrst installment in a series about
stewardship and student leaders. This part
addresses the question of who becomes a student leader. Part two will explore environmental factors within the Alma Mater Society (AMS)
and UBC that help or hinder student leaders.
Part three will explore campus media, and the
role they play in communications between student leaders and the student body
Hal Hannaford is the Headmaster of Royal
St George's College (RSGC), an all-boys private
school in the heart of Toronto. Tuition there
hovers upward of $20,000, and the school
admits only 430 boys, grades three to twelve,
into their program. It is also the school that Ian
Pattillo, the newly-elected Vice-President
External for the Alma Mater Society, graduated
from in June 2003.
But according to Hannaford, Pattillo did not
leave RSGC with an expensive finish. Rather, he
described Pattillo as being "responsibly anti-
establishment' At RSGC, Patillo helped spearhead and edit the high school's first student
paper, a critical publication intriguingly titled
The Grifter. For his editorial work Pattillo was
made an RSGC Steward, in recognition of his
role as a student leader.
When he came to UBC, Pattillo became
involved in the AMS Resource Groups. He built
on his earlier work with student papers by
becoming involved in the campus' newest publication, The Knoll. From there, he leapfrogged
into his current position on the AMS Executive.
But Pattillo's story of becoming a student
leader is unusual in that until this term he had
very little involvement with the AMS. His pred-
Decorate responsibly, y'all.
It's Responsible Consumption Week up here at Point Grey and these lovers of all things self-propelled kicked off five days of festivities, workshops, stuff swaps and panel discussions with spontaneous acts of bike decor followed by a parade. Get your own
buns into progressive, sustainable gear by consulting www.ubc-rcw.org for a full list of engaging events, yinan max wang photo
A Nobel addition
UBC Public Affairs announced on Monday
that Professor Carl E. Wieman, who received
the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2001, is joining
the University's Department of Physics and
Astronomy starting January 2007.
Named as the United States Professor of
the Year in 2004, Wieman's arrival coincides
with the announcement of a $ 12 million initiative to bolster science education at UBC.
"To have a world-class researcher engaging not only undergraduate and graduate students but also helping [to] provide instructional tools to our faculty is nothing less than
remarkable," remarked UBCs VP Academic
and Provost Lome Whitehead, who explained
that the $12 million for the initiative came
from fundraising revenue.
Wieman, currently a professor at the
University of Colorado, where he will
maintain ties after coming to UBC, has
already begun work designing a new science education project focused on the student experience.
"I am joining UBC because I am excited to
be a part of this initiative and hope that my
expertise can help realise it," said Wieman.
"Existing initiatives at UBC provide an excellent foundation for further improving how
science is taught and perceived by both science and non-science students."
AUS elections
Starting yesterday and continuing to the end
of the week, students in the Faculty of Arts
have the opportunity to vote for positions in
their undergraduate society.
Many of the positions are uncontested and
simply acclamation, but the Presidential spot
is a race between candidates Laura Levine
and Stephanie Ryan.
Voting is in Buchanan A block from March
20-24 and student cards are required to vote.
International week
Onlookers clamored around the three and a
half hour fashion exhibition that occupied the
SUB Main Concourse in the early afternoon
on Monday.
Irene Sattarzadeh, director of the fashion show, explained that it was part of
International Week currently happening
on campus.
At least one hundred spectators formed
a constant crowd that clustered around the
thirty-foot runway.
The event featured models from various
countries. "They aren't even necessarily modeling things from their own country,"
remarked Sattarzadeh.
International Week events continue all
week, concluding Friday with Festiva, comprised of international performances, a food
fair, lantern parade and dance. II
ecessor, Jess Klug, who turned over her position
as VP External at the beginning of March, sees
his background as an advantage. "He knows
what it's like to be on the outside, to be a regular student not knowing what the AMS is, what
it does."
For this reason, Pattillo understands stewardship among the executives as creating rallying points for an otherwise apathetic student
body. "The goal of student leadership," he said,
"then has to be to engage students and [show
them] that they do have common interests, and
that the AMS is the way to advance those goals."
But Pattillo recognised the difficulty involved in
the task, saying that at this point, while the executives take on leadership rolls, they aren't really leading students.
Pattillo hopes to encourage more active student outreach, but he was very frank about the
challenges he will face during his term in office.
"I have a lot to learn," he said.
On the other hand, student leaders like
Kevin Keystone, current AMS President, and
Mariana Payet, recently promoted to Executive
Coordinator of Student Services, fit the more
common profile by having long histories of
campus involvement.
Keystone was treasurer of Pride UBC, took
American Sign Language courses at the AMS
Minischool, performed in the Totem Park
Musical, and attended Yoga and Swingkids. He
just left his job as VP Finance in order to move
into the President's office down the hall.
Like Pattillo, Keystone graduated from a private school in Toronto. The University of
Toronto Schools (UTS) is an elite high school,
where tuition rings in at just under $ 13,000. He
attributed his zeal for campus involvement to
his years at UTS, summing up student life there
with the quip, "academics, extra-curriculars,
sleep—pick two." He described UTS as a pressure-cooker, and said that he still feels a lot of
the same stress at UBC. For Keystone, "the
notion of stewardship is inherently related to
this idea of saving the world."
"I think negative pressure, overwhelming
pressure, this sort of pressure that leads to people being regularly unhappy, can be an unfortunate byproduct of student leadership," he said.
He added that this year's student elections were
particularly stressful for candidates. "This year
was really emotionally draining and hard.
Based on the no-slates rules, it's become every
man for himself."
Payet agreed that getting involved in campus life requires a lot of dedication. Since arriving at the University in 2003, Payet has been an
Outreach Co-coordinator of Pride UBC, a MUG
Leader, and a * volunteer for both AMS
Speakeasy and the Sexual Assault Support
Centre. She just moved up from her job as AMS
Safety Coordinator.
"AMS involvement requires a lot of work
done on a volunteer basis," she wrote by email,
citing AMS council as a good example. "It really
isn't just about giving away a few hours every
other Wednesday evening, it means being able
to spare a lot of time throughout the
week...attending committee meetings, reading
minutes, reading reports, doing background
research, etc.*
Payet said that the required time-commitment limits what a lot of students can do.
"Many students...are struggling to stay in school
by having to work one or more jobs, which limits the amount of time they can spend involved
with the AMS."
But Keystone recognised that student leadership is not the same as student government
"There are people that are just championing
causes." He said that it's as simple as heading
up a group project. "You're inherently a leader.
We just happen to be students."
Hannaford echoed Keystone's sentiments.
"You have a formal structure in place for leadership, but then you have many informal leadership situations. There's a time to step in." For
Hannaford, a steward is someone who steps
into that leadership position. When he made
Pattillo an RSGC Steward for his work with The
Grifter, it was an award in recognition of his
past accomplishments, rather than an appointment to an official position.
"You don't have to have a position or wear a
tie to show leadership," he said. "Leadership is
an action and not just a position or a title." M A News
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006   THEUBYSSEY
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'Birth control pills impregnating
male fish/ says campus pharmacy
by Katie Hyslop
ST. JOHN'S (CUP)-Diana Pugliese
thought something was fishy when
Memorial University's Campus
Pharmacy denied her more than one
pack of her birth control pills.
Pugliese says the pharmacist told
her that women flush their pills
down the toilet resulting in impregnated male fish—which Pugliese
finds hypocritical.
"The biggest causes of
estrogen...or female sex hormones
and female sex-like hormones in the
water comes from urine, but [they]
also come from the breakdown of
plastic/ she said.
"One of the biggest polluters
would be large pharmaceutical
companies that are dumping their
expired shit."
The official policy of Campus
Pharmacy is to release up to three
packs of birth control at once.
According to the Newfoundland and
Labrador Pharmacy Board (NLPB), a
pharmacist can only deny a patient
medication for reasons of safety or
stability of the drug.
"To me, on the surface of that, it
sounds absurd/ said NLPB Secretary-
Registrar Donald Rowe, referring to
the reasoning of the pharmacist.
"Why would you buy the stuff and
flush it down the toilet if you're not
using it?"
Pugliese was not the first person
to fight this breach of pharmacy policy, according to Memorial's Students'
Union (MUNSU) President Cletus
Flaherty had a meeting with the
pharmacist, Services Coordinator
Jody Martin, and pharmacy owner
Robert Doyle.
"We were told that [the owner]
was going to look into it and that
female students here did have a right
to ask for a full three-month prescrip
tion, and that he'll put an end to the
problem/ said Flaherty.
Pugliese says a return trip to the
pharmacy the next month with a different pharmacist yielded different
results—she was given the option of
getting more than one pack of pills.
But she continued to have problems with that particular pharmacist.
Despite her doctor's request in the
prescription that her pills be released
three packs at a time, she was still
denied her pills.
She has since complained to
Martin and Doyle. Doyle could not be
reached at press time.
Students from the Women's
Resource Centre also took their prescriptions to Campus Pharmacy at
the request of Pugliese, only to be
denied more than one pack.
Pugliese posted a notice in The
Muse classifieds asking women with
problems obtaining birth control
from Campus Pharmacy to e-mail her
with their stories.
At least a dozen women responded, some who say they received the
fish reason, others who say they were
told it was a health risk.
Many women, induding Pugliese,
think money could be a motive for
the hold on pills.
According to Pugliese, every time
an undergraduate student gets pills
at the pharmacy, MUNSU's insurance provider, Industrial Alliance,
pays the pharmacy $8.87.
"If we have to go back every
month [to fill a prescription], the
insurance company is paying $8.87 a
month, as opposed to paying it every
three months/ said Pugliese.
• "[If] a thousand girls get their
birth control at that pharmacy, that's
an extra nine grand they're making
every month/
Members of the GSU executive
and their insurance provider,
Green Shield, contacted' her, but
she has not heard from MUNSU
despite writing a letter to VP
Internal Roger Drinkall.
"The GSU has been aware of the
birth control issue for a number of
months and is paying very close
attention to any new developments/ said GSU VP Finance
Darek Moreau. "Our insurance
provider is currently investigating
this matter/
MUNSU remains adamant that it
has followed formal procedure thus
far and that it is prepared to follow
through should the problem persist
"The students' union is here to
stand up for the rights of its female
members," said Flaherty. II
Campus pulls plug on plagiarism software
Mount Saint Vincent first to prohibit contoversial Turnitin.com
by Greg MacDonald
TORONTO (CUP)-The nationwide
controversy over Turnitin.com
escalated this week when Mount
Saint Vincent University in Nova
Scotia became the first Canadian
university to ban the plagiarism-
detection software.
On March 6, the University's senate voted to ban TuiTntin.com for
three years. The software, that runs
student papers through a database,
flagging papers that have more than
eight words in common with other
works in the system, is also used at
"Because of our focus on personal education, we deemed that the
software wasn't a good fit at our
school," said Robin Mclssac, a
spokesperson for Mount Saint
Vincent's administration.
Turnitin has aroused opposition
at many universities in Canada and
the U.S. due to claims it assumes
students are guilty until proven
innocent, said Chantal Brushett,
Mount Saint Vincent's student
union president.
She said reactions to the ban at
Mount Saint Vincent have been positive and people have been supportive, which she attributed to a task
force set up by the University to con
sult with faculty and students.
Mclssac said every voice was
heard, and the school's ban was not a
condemnation of Turmtin.com.
"We're not saying it's good or bad,
it could work well at a larger university. Our ban does not speak to the
value of the program itself, it just didn't fit here/
But Michael Dewson, vice provost
of faculty affairs for Ryerson
University, said the ban does not
affect Ryerson.
"We have no intention of stopping its use/ he said. Dewson
rejected claims Turnitin.com is an
invasion of privacy or a violation of
students' rights.
"We have full respect for privacy
issues/ he said. "The goal of
Turmtin.com is to understand and
.apply the principles of academic
integrity, not to catch people. Ryerson
focuses on framing faculty to use the
program constructively and better
preparing them to see plagiarism/
Dewson said.
Mitu Sengupta, a politics professor at Ryerson, said she uses
Turnitin.com for large introductory
"These classes are offered at
many universities across the country
and the essay topics are virtually the
same at each one/ she said. "It's very
easy for students to get a paper/
Sengupta said she understands
the reasons for the ban and allows
students who object in her classes
to opt out of using Turnitin.com.
She said she uses the software
"It's more a deterrent than any-
-Robin Mclssac
Mount Saint Vincent
University spokesperson
thing else/ she said. However, the
controversy regarding Turoitin.com
has fallen by the wayside, said
Nora Loreto, RSU vice-president
of education.
"We're still fully against its use,"
she said, "but we've had a lot bigger
issues to deal with this year. If there
is enough a student outcry against
the software, the [Ryerson Student
Union] would push for a ban.
Otherwise, we'll have to wait and see
what next year's council does." II
■ggrj THEUBYSSEY  Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
National 5
W ■
Police clash with protesters in Montreal
33 arrested, protesters pepper-sprayed during tenth anniversary
of international protest against police brutality
by Blake Sifton
MONTREAL (CUP)-For the tenth
year in a row, Montreal was the
scene of a heated anti-police-brutality demonstration Wednesday
night. Established in 1997 as an
initiative of Switzerland's Black
Flag organisation and the Montreal-
based Collective Oppose a la
Brutalite Policiere, the demonstration is meant to highlight the excessive use of power regularly attributed to the Montreal Police
Department. Due to the ironic regularity of arrests and police violence
that occur at the protest, it has
become an anticipated and somewhat notorious event:
On Wednesday, a raucous crowd
of approximately 500 people gathered at Berri Square at 5pm. Many
were street youth, the demographic
most   regularly   associated   with
police brutality. As the group set
out on their meandering march,
squeegees became implements of
destruction against provincial
election signs, while garbage cans
and other debris were strewn
across the streets.
The situation turned serious
when the demonstrators marched
up St Laurent street. North of
Sherbrooke. The windows of resto-
bar Club Med were broken by projectiles and an officer was struck in
the face with a bottle. While missiles
continued to fly, police doused the
crowd with pepper spray and several divisions of riot police charged
the crowd.
Demonstrators fled down
Sherbrooke and a lengthy pursuit
ensued. After evading an attempted mass arrest, the remnants of
the crowd eventually regrouped
outside of the Berri-UQAM metro
station. Police kept their distance,
but eventually moved in after a
large fire was set in the street.
Approximately 25 riot police
pursued fleeing demonstrators into
the metro station. Hitting their
shields in unison, officers cleared
the main court as shocked commuters looked on. Police pursued
demonstrators onto a platform.
Many protesters found themselves
sandwiched between the police fine
and the metro track.
Outside the station, riot police
encircled the remaining demonstrators, pushing them up against the
walls of the metro station. Those
within the police cordon were not
allowed to leave, and all were arrested. Those arrested included a passer-by not involved in the protest, two
journalists—including McGill Daily
photographer Charles Mostoller—
and many street youth.
As the arrested demonstrators
were carted away in buses, a police
LES KEUFS M'ENRAGENT! Protesters say they'll turn out in force
same time, same place next year to send the message that they've
had enough of police brutality, cup/file photo
media relations officer detailed the
stats of the evening. In the end
approximately 30 people were
taken into custody. Four were
charged with vandalising vehicles,
while the rest were issued munici
pal fines for attending an illegal
Despite the many arrests, it is
almost certain this event will again
ignite the streets of Montreal on
March 15, 2007. II
M< 6 News
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
There ar
or this le
s left! You better come
be a waste of tlnifei
Tuesdays at 1pm
A Sustainable Future   .
Documentary Film: "Building the Boulevard"
Creating a New Social Heart for UBCs Point Grey Campus
Date:      Tuesday, March 21,2006
Time:       630 - 7:00 pm Reception (Pizza & refreshments to be served) -
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm Project Update & Documentary Film Premiere (see below)
Venue:    Room 104 - Frederic Lasserre Building, UBC
6333 Memorial Road, Vancouver, BC V6T112
For directions to the above venue, please visit www.maps.ubc.ca.
Parking available at the Rose Garden Parkade
Agenda:   Dennis Pavlich (VP External Affairs): Update on University Boulevard Project.
Premiere showing of "Building the Boulevard," a documentary film by a UBC film
student who followed the University Boulevard Architectural Competition from'its
launch in October 2004 to the announcement of the winning team in April 2005.
The documentary tracks the complete competition process and the many visions,
voices and opinions of the campus community.
For more information, please visit the University Town website at www.universitytown.ubc.ca
or call the University Town inquiry line at 604.822.6400.
Education with a Career Focus
Dream it... Plan it... Build it... Sell it... Deliver it...
Get the real-world skills you need to succeed \n business. Build a career in:
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Tuesday, March 28, 6 - 8 pm
BCIT Burnaby Campus, 3700 Willingdon Avenue,
Building SE6, Room Townsquare A
Register For this event online at www.bcit.ca/infosessions or call 604-451-6735.
The path you choose can make all the difference.
Student website
matches keyboard
strokes to song rhythms
WATCH 'EM MUSICAL FBNGERS: The sounds of technology.
by Earl Tapia
students have turned a school
project into a valuable web
resource that allows people to find
the name of a song without having
to sing or hum the tune.
Dubbed Songtapper.com, the
program works by asking a person
to tap the rhythm of a song on
their spacebar and then matches
that rhythm to the appropriate
song on its database. People can
add rhythms to the database so
that new songs can be looked up.
According to Geoff Peters, one
of the creators of the website,
most people first try songs such
as Christmas carols or popular
songs like "Happy Birthday"—and
even familiar themes from movies
and games, such as the Mario
Brothers melody.
Peters explained how the first
version of the site had about 30
songs in its database. The latest
version, which came online last
September, is only growing in popularity, mostly by word of mouth
through various Internet forums
and blogs. It currently has over
12,000 songs on its database.
The site gets from 3,000 to as
many as 20,000 visits a day, and has
been mentioned in several articles
and publications, as well as being
referred to on a BBC radio show.
Peters—along with co-creators
Caroline Anthony and Michael
Schwartz—were asked to present the
Songtapper concept at a major conference in Pittsburgh, where it was
met with widespread enthusiasm.
Other possible uses of the
Songtapper concept include ideas
ranging from a children's toy ball
that replays a tune when the
appropriate rhythm is tapped to a
more sophisticated "clapper"
mechanism that would turn on or
off various household appliances,
not just lights, depending on the
"You could call someone on
your cell phone by just using the
key-tone rhythm matched to a
particular number, or on cell
phones with a microphone, you
could just tap on the dashboard to
make the appropriate rhythm,"
said Peters. Despite the many
possible applications for the technology behind Songtapper, it has
yet to be patented.
For now, Peters, who is also an
accomplished jazz pianist, has
some ideas for the future of
the website.
"It's really not that big of a site,
so it would be easy to get some
friends to translate it into other
languages. Then people could add
and search for songs from their
native language."  ll
jgy THE UBYSSEY  Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
Sports 7
Thunderbirds sweep opening series
BASES LOADED! Mark Capone slides into third base during theT-Birds' weekend match-up against OregonTech. yinan max wang photo
by Benjamin Groberman
UBC Thunderbirds baseball was
back at Nat Bailey Stadium
Saturday, as the 'Birds rode some
clutch performances to win both
ends of a double header against
Oregon Tech. Each game had a distinct flavour to it.
The first required some last
inning heroics from first baseman
Johnny Yiu, whose RBI single
punched in the game winning run
at the bottom half of the seventh to
give the T-Birds a 3-2 victory.
Game two required no such
heroics, as the Thunderbirds put
up big offensive numbers to roll
over the 'Hustlin' Owls 12-2.
In game one UBC was up
against a tough right-handed pitcher and had to battle for each of
their three runs. They were three
for four on sacrifice bunts over the
course of the seven-inning game.
During "game one, the kid that
they threw—Corey Merritt—he's
one of the better arms we'll see in
conference," UBC coach Terry
McKaig said following the action
on Saturday. "So going into the
game, I knew already it was going
to be a close game, hence all the
sacrifice bunts."
Coach McKaig was full of praise
for Yiu who built on his winning hit
in game one, to record four RBI's in
game two, "it was a really good day
by Johnny, and he's been doing that
all year for us, he's been playing
really well."
The highlight of the second
game for Yui's was when he came
to bat with the bases loaded in the
bottom of the sixth, and hit a triple
to clear the bases and collect three
more RBI's in his already successful day. "I was just seeing the ball
really well today," Yiu said.
Oregon Tech's starting pitcher
from game one thought so too, as
he and Yiu discussed in between
games, "He just congratulated me,
and said I was a tough out," Yiu stated, "I reciprocated, saying he's a
really good pitcher."
UBCs starting pitchers were
Shawn Shaefer and Doug Grant in
games one and two respectively.
After the game coach McKaig commended the efforts of the day's
starters, "I think both just battled,
and kept us in the game, which
was good, they didn't have their
best stuff. That's positive that we
won two games today and still
know that our pitching could have
been better." Grant collected the
win in game two, while game one's
win was credited to reliever Brad
Ashman. IB
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The Ubyssey and
Fox Searchlight Pictures
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on Thursday,
March 23rd, 2006
7:00 p.m. at Tinseltown,
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UBC cruises
through Sunday's
by Cheata Nao
The UBC Thunderbirds baseball
team dominated the opposition
on Sunday afternoon. They outplayed, out-hit, outran, and out-
pitched their conference counterparts winning game three in the
weekend series against the
Oregon Tech Owls 17-3. The T-
Birds, unbeaten at home thus far,
are now 18-6 overall and leading
6-0 in their conference.
The T-Birds got off to a quick
start jumping to a 3-0 lead in the
first inning, but it was the fourth
inning where UBC did the most
damage. The Thunderbirds had
nine hits and scored 11 runs in the
inning. Leading the charge in the
fourth for UBC was senior outfielder Richard Smythe who had all
four of his RBI's and three of his
four stolen bases in the fourth,
including a steal at home plate
thanks to an Owl's catching error.
After the quick start UBC cruised to
an easy win.
"We really wanted to come out
and have a little more intensity
and really take it to these guys,"
said shortstop Davey Wallace. "I
think getting off to a good start
was key to the game here.
Jumping on them early was the
big thing today."
Along with his four RBIs,
Smythe went three.for five at the
plate with three runs scored and
four stolen bases in total. Second
baseman Mark Capone and outfielder Adam Campbell both went
three for three with two RBI's each,
while catcher Brendan Kornbeger
and third baseman Tyler Hughes
continued their strong hitting
going three for six at the plate.
Strong and steady pitching
came from the Toronto Blue Jays
draft pick, UBC senior Jeff Tobin.
The Pickering, Ontario native, now
4-0, finished the game with six
innings played; zero earned runs,
four strikes, and one unearned run
off one hit.
"Our starting pitching with Jeff
Tobin out there, that was key [to
today's win]/ said second baseman Mark Capone.
With such a huge lead early in the
game, one would be hard pressed
not to wonder how the guys stayed
mentally focused and sharp out on
the field. With 13 seniors on the UBC
team the veteran squad has experience that could not be matched by
Oregon Tech.
"At times you lose a bit of your
focus, but you gotta do your best to
stay as into the game as possible/
said senior Davey Wallace.
"Keeping your focus in these
games is tough, but you learn to d"S
that as the years,go by."
Keeping the focus is just what
they did as UBC went on to play a
fourth game against Oregon Tech
later on Sunday and again pulled
off a win. This time the T-Birds did
it with a final score of 12-5.
UBCs next game is against the
top ranked team Lewis Clark State
Warriors on Tuesday at 6pm and
Wednesday at 12pm. Both games
will be at home at Nat Bailey
Stadium. Joe Forest is expected to
get the start for the game on
Tuesday. II 8 Feature
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
Feature 9
The alchemy of evaluation
A student's appraisal of grading practices at UBC
There is a soul in the machine. There are many
souls in the machine; all being smashed together,
torn apart and adjudicated on the work being done by
them. You know this and you do your part to hold up
your end. You work your ass off and for this you get a little piece of paper and an evaluation at the end of each
semester. These evaluations sometimes seem to be surprisingly arbitrary and to some extent they are.
The nation-state of the University of British
Columbia is engineered with a system of checks and
balances as it attempts, and it honestly does, to give
the best education to all of its citizens. Yet, the concept
of the University is a difficult one, especially with
regards to its academic economy. The grades that UBC
gives are its currency, and currently they are being
accepted at par with the rest of the Canadian
Universities, by their graduate schools and upper-level
programs. The major export is its population, the quality of which reflects back upon the school, but as with
any economy there is need for control mechanisms to
promote economic growth and prevent inflation, and
the University takes these steps—but not with as much
thought as you would think for a place with a population of 40,000 of the best and the brightest.
There is an opaqueness to the control of this academic economy, and it is the hope of this article to pull
back the cover and show the clockwork that governs the
adrninistration of marks. And to offer a couple of solutions that might satisfy some of the issues raised.
Grades in any course are based on work done for
that course in almost any form the teacher deems
appropriate, from essays and tests all the way through to
participation. Professors are expected by their departments to give out grades based on their expectations of
the students' understanding of the content of the course
that they teach. These expectations are (usually) higher
in upper-level courses (300 and 400 level) than they are
in lower-level courses. Yet, sometimes the raw marks
that are given out to students because of their work need
to be cooked a little bit before they can be turned in to
the department by the professor.
Let us pause and clarify. There is a hierarchy in the
grading system where the position above can revise the
grades of those below if they see something wrong with
them. This hierarchy goes from bottom to top in this
order: Teaching Assistant Professor, Department Head,
and Faculty Head. Professors are expected
to have a certain distribution of grades
amongst the students in their
classes, and if they do not ,-- —*-->,
stay within these guidelines then the grades will need to
be scaled so that they fit within these guidelines.
Scaling is a process in which the grades of the entire
class are shifted either up or down, so that while the
numeric values of individual grades—and therefore the
average—changes, the proportion of the grades to each
other remains roughly the same.
In the Faculty of Arts the grading guideline states that
in a "class of reasonable size...five per cent to 25 per
cent of the ciass" get A's, with "not more than 75 per
cent of the class" receiving either A's or B's and "not
over 20 per cent of the class" getting Fs. These seem
broad, but there are implications behind normalisation
that should not be present in a university of this quality.
Scaling downward is one of those things that are
used to address a particular problem and it has become
codified for a reason that many people now have forgotten. Some, in their attempts to justify it, may say that the
same reasons apply to scaling a class down as they do to
scaling a class up, but this is not the case.
A class is scaled upward mostly when something has
gone awry with the correlation between the quality of
the work done by the student and the grade received.
The best argument for scaling upwards is that a basic
competency is assumed of all the people entering into a
course, because of both the high standards that it takes
to get into UBC in the first place and the requirement of
having completed prerequisite courses before taking
higher-level ones. Therefore, if a class is below the faculty guidelines there is motivation to scale the students
up in that they were able to make it through the harsh
screening to get to that point in the first place.
The converse assumption—that a class is too stupid
to get more than the average—does not hold the same
argumentative weight because there is no upper limit
on the brilliance of the students that get into this
University. It is not like the University says to a student
who applies with too high an average and too many
extra-curricular activities, "I'm sorry. I don't think that
UBC is the place for you. I think that you belong at a better institution/ or "You did too well in a prerequisite,
perhaps university isn't the place for you/ This lack of
symmetry in admission standards should equate with a
lack of symmetry in grading patterns, but it doesn't as
grades are still scaled down if they range too far away
from an expected mean.
The Department of Psychology is a pi
good example of the policy of normalisation. Following
their discipline's methodology and creating a science
out of the statistical analysis of human behaviour, they
scale all classes unless they come out to approximately (within a per cent) a prescribed grade. The psychology department has three different rankings for a
class: they can either be a strong class, which will have
an average of 72 per cent, an average class, which will
have a mean of 70 per cent, or a weak class, which will
have a 68 per cent average.
Eric Eich, head of the Department of Psychology,
said that this system was implemented, "because of
pressures from above." He was referring to either of
the faculties, which the psychology department straddles—but is unsure as to whether it was the Faculty of
Arts or Sciences that put the pressure on them to lower
their grades. As for the departmental rationale for lowering grades, he cited the phenomenon know as grade
inflation, which will be explained in just a moment.
Eich commented on the possibility of there being an
aberrational class of very intelligent students by
explaining the department's policy on justifying devia-
tional averages. If professors wish to assign a class a
higher mean grade than departmental standards
allow, then they must take a random sample of their
class, (he gave the number of about 30 per cent) and
find their mean grade. If it is higher then departmental norms then the change is justified; if this is not the
case they will usually have their classes' grades scaled
after they submit them to the department
Besides the problematic assumption that this type of
justification has of not accounting for difference in individuals scores in different subjects or in different years,
it also has an implicit bias against the professors in the
department, points out the head of the linguistics
department Joseph Stemberger. "It also assumes that
there can be no professor who raises the students up to
a new level, who by his passion and ability is able to do
a better job of teaching, bringing the student's marks up
by having them learn more."
The students at UBC (those who graduate) can be broken down into two different categories, which are relevant to the grading economy: those whose undergraduate degree is the end of their academic career and those
who will need their grades to apply for something else.
To the first group, the value of the currency does not
matter as much as the value of their country of origin:
"Oh, you came from UBC and have BA I guess you're
trainable, so we won't throw out your resume with all of
se who don't have degrees/ To the second group, the
marks are important whether they are applying to graduate schools, law schools or even for some jobs that ask
for copies of their transcript
For this group it is important to understand the
dynamic that occurs between the quality of the export
(the student) and the value of the currency (or the
grade assigned to said student). These two notions can
be combined to get the motivation of how the school
should form its policy on grading. It should grade students so as to produce the best results for them.
Graduates refer to the University as a 'nourishing
mother' (or alma mater) because, like a mother, the
academic institution should care for and nourish its
own before those outside the family. This means that
the University should want more of its own students
and less of other universities' to get into graduate, programs. The school just can't go around giving everybody A+'s though, or their marks would become meaningless, so the grading at a school needs to be a balance between inflating grades and having less students get into graduate and professional schools.
The major concern with high grades is the concern
of grade inflation; here we come back to the school as a
nation-state. The term 'grade inflation' comes from the
use of an economic metaphor. Grades are viewed as the
currency of a particular school: UBC grades are viewed
as UBC dollars, SFU grades as SFU dollars. Yet the
metaphor stops there, because with non-metaphorical
currencies there is always a ratio of worth, 0.85
American dollars are worth Jl Canadian, while with
grades the goal is to try to avoid a ratio of worth.
The current system of grading in Canadian
Universities is that grades from one university tend to
be taken at face value by another regardless of where
they come from. Currently in Canada "An A is an A is an
A/ says Neil Guppy, the interim associate dean of
Students in the Faculty of Arts, saying that grades are
accepted at par across universities in Canada. With this
system in place it is not so much the ratio of worth that
is important as long as the grades of the students are
still being accepted at par with them. Grade inflation
then is the moving of grades outside of this limit where
they are being accepted at par by other universities.
According to this argument the university should always
try to give its students the best possible grades that they
can honestly give them, and a simple way to do this
would be to get rid of downward scaling.
This notion should also play a role in how the grades
are scaled when there are multiple sections being
taught Grades are scaled when there are multiple sections of the same course so that there is not an incentive
to switch from one class to another, where the instructor is an easier marker (or a better teacher). In light of
the arguments given above, the marks that these multiple-section courses are scaled to should be the ones of
the higher sections, within reason.
Grades can also be scaled upwards, and this normally happens because of difficulties is the administration
of a particular course. Professors are experts in their
respective fields, being recognised by their peers as having achieved a certain status in it. Therefore when it
comes time to write a test, something that is simple for
them to do within a couple of minutes time may be
much more difficult for their class. Or sometimes a
question on a test is worded a Utile funny, so that many
of the people in the class were unable to understand
what was entailed by a question, which the professor
thought was clear. Here the implication is that the students in the class needed a basic amount of competency to get into the course, and if they all did poorly on
something then it is likely the professor's fault In this
case, scaling of a test is just one of the tools that is available to correct this mistake. In these cases, scaling acts
as a correctional tool, so that the work done by the students is on par with the meanings of the letter grades
that they received.
These letter grades and the professor's understanding of them is the closest the world of marking comes to
an objective standard. Some departments (such as the
English Department) have set out marking guidelines
for what and A-paper looks like, what a B-paper looks
like, and so on. Yet most departments do not have these
guidelines and leave it up to the professional experience
of the instructor. This makes sense because of the multitude of ways for evaluating students, but it does underline that strict objectivity in marking is an illusion. For
either lacking consistent grading criteria between
assignments or having to mark so many, professors and
TAs often end up assigning grades based not just on the
content of an individual assignment, but on the content
of the assignment and in relation to the rest of the class.
Neil Guppy reminisced that when marking he "normally make[s] five or six piles of papers... and yes there are
objective standards., .but the work of the rest of the class
has an effect [on the mark given.]" Hand in the same
paper to five different markers and it might range anywhere from a "B to an A-/ So purely objective marks are
merely myths, like Platonic ideals.
Scaling upward could also be required if an instructor is attempting to hold students to standards that are
not on par with their level of teaching. If they are consistently giving the students assignments that they
beheve the class should be able to do, but which students don't do very well on, then there is something
wrong. And if this is happening year after year, fault
obviously lies with the professor and not the students.
The difficulty with this is that there can be no evidence
that this is happening. It is masked by the current
process of scaling, where grades are not only scaled at
the departmental level, but also by teachers as they are
marking. This means that a professor who has not
been able to teach very well, but who nonetheless gives
text by D. WinterWhite FEATURES STAF
photo by Yinan Max Wang PHOTO EDITOR
high grades through scaling would be able to disguise
his or her shortcomings when submitting marks to
departmental heads.
A.solution to this scenario would be to standardise
where grades are scaled, let's say at the departmental
level, with records being kept of the original assigned
grades. This would allow the marks given to act as an
additional check on a professor's work in the class, providing for more responsibility of teachers to their
departments. While professor evaluations might be able
to point to some of these shortcomings, having grades
only be scaled at the departmental level would act as
another balance within the system.
This same solution would also provide a valuable
resource of information. It would give accurate data on
the raw grades given before they are cooked by the
teachers to meet expected outcomes. This data collected over time could be useful to people studying what
the averages are and whether the same letter grades
are being given for work of a lesser quality, or if the
quality of the work is simply going up. Neil Guppy
believes that the second theory is really the case, all the
while cautioning that he has not looked at any studies
in the matter. "I think that students today just know
how to write a better English sentence then they did
forty years ago/ he says. This solution of keeping constant the level at which the grades are scaled would not
only keep an additional check and balance on the professors, but would also create a valuable source of data
for future policy decisions.
In summary, things should never be taken for granted just because they have been in effect for some time.
Many of the structures now in place are there for
extremely good reasons, but this does not mean that
you should not know what those reasons are and simply accept the institutions around you as being the best
that they can possibly be simply because they were the
ones that your fore-mothers and fore-fathers put into
effect Question eveiything. Why shouldn't the scaling
that happens be standardised at the departmental level,
with a record being kept of the originally assigned
grades? Why should there be normalisation' based on
an assumed parity across courses for students and an
assumed lack of teaching skills of professors? Why
shouldn't the University be working for its students in getting them into post-graduate
positions? Ask, learn, tell all. IB 10 Culture
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
j A/MdI for d®c£ year's ecftfowl staff has e©roroeDee<Jl
j The following are times that staff members can vote (ps. Look for Liz):
I ^
:  W
:  Thursday 12:30-1:000
:  possibly oh Friday sometime, but no promises.. .luck of the drawth
:  draw Monday: 2:002:30 and 4:30-5:00
•     ■■■■■■■'■"
:  Voting closes at 5:00 on Monday.
Summer U-Passes Available Soon
Make full use of your Summer U-Pass by
* registering for classes early!
Eligible Students who are registered in summer courses and
have a Canadian address on the.SSC on March 23rd will
receive their U-Pass in the mail, by mid-April. Please ensure
your address is correct at www.students.ubc.ca/ssc
by March 23rd.
This information
is highly Classified
1' W
If you do not receive your U-Pass in the mail or have an
International Address, you can pick your U-Pass Up at the
Carding Office in the UBC Bookstore beginning April 24th.
For more details, including exemption and subsidy
application information, visit www.upass.ubc.ca
PiK^SVS^S^S1*^ *s^«?w
^ ^SI^&L
line Ubyssey feel that we should be doing out raosc ,
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,(100 endowment that will fund the
Ubyssey Community Contribution Award. This
-annual award recognizes returning UBC students who
have made a significant contribution to developing
and strengthening the sense of community on the
U BC campus by:
Organizing or administrating an event or   -
project, or
Promoting activism and awareness in an
academic cultural, political, recreational, or
social sphere.
The award is open to all returning, full-rime 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 2006.
Nominees for the award will be judged on:
1. The impact of the contribution made - the
number of people involved or affected.
2. The extent of the contribution - the degree to
which it strengthens the sense of community
on campus.
A     WAR
3*  The innovation of the omtritutititafi ^\-% * ^"
preference wilt &e given to recognising st new
contribution over the administration of »r*
existingone*       ....'•' ' ~-\    v  -
4*  The commitment "of fine individual to UBC as a
Nominations should include a. cover letter by the
nominator, either an individual or a group, Srielly
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 <trt? 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 infbrtnation, please contact Fernie
Pereira, Business Manager, The Ubyssey, at (604)
$22-6681 or emaU:fpereim(a)intei-change.ubc.ca
Boy-Cott-In The Industry
Classified, with Jay-Bizzy
Buffalo Club
March 22, $12.
by Szabo
Classified has put out an album a
year since he was 15. Producing
his own beats, writing his own
rhymes, and getting it to us the
hard way—independently—has
earned him the title of the hardest
workingman in Canadian hip-hop.
When I ask him what keeps him
focused, he replies, "Just knowing
that that's all I can pretty much do
and that's all I wanna do. I haven't
worked a job in a couple years, and
I've got my studio right in my basement, so I wake up and I'm there
from 10am 'til six at night—a good
eight hours a day making beats and
rhymes. If I get bored with the one
thing I'll go and do the other. But I
know I gotta keep at it and do those
things I don't want to do just to
make sure everything's as tight as
could possibly be."
The payoff, he says, is definitely touring. He tells me this sitting
in 22-degree heat in Austin, Texas,
where he's doing a show at the
South by SouthWest Festival. From
there he'll embark on his tour of
Western Canada, making it back to
Halifax just in time to showcase at
the Juno Awards—and play in the
Juno-Fest hockey game.
"I played hockey for like 14 years
when I was growing up. That was my
first love I guess you could call it.
Then I got into the music more, and
I haven't played in eight or nine
years seriously. So it should be really fun or really embarrassing, I
haven't figured it out yet."
It might surprise you to. know
that if hockey was his first love,
hip-hop only comes in third; he
married his high-school sweetheart last spring. "Kim and I had a
date in grade nine and she didn't
want nothing to do with me, but
then I saw her after we got out of
high-school and we hooked back
up." He figures he must have
matured a little; they've been
together ever since.
In terms of maturing, I ask
Classified what he was trying to
achieve with Boy-Cott-In The
Industry, his tenth and latest
"With Boy-Coit I used a lot more
live instruments like guitars, even
violins. I never really had that
opportunity with my previous
albums, so that was the big change
musically." He plans to grow in
this direction on the next album,
which is already well underway.
"When you're sampling a record
for a flute noise and it's only in
that one key, you pretty much
gotta use it in that key. But when
you got a flute player you can ask
him to change things up. It opens
a whole other realm."
The live instrumentational
tracks are the boundary pushers on
Boy-Cott. Otherwise, the redefinition of the Canadian hip-hop sound
achieved by his last album, Trial
and Error, is merely reinforced
here. Most of the rhymes on the
new album are about—you guessed
it—the industry. Classified's real
magic is in the relentless quality of
his beats, and he hits the sweet spot
enough times to make Boy-Cott
worth buying.
Classified plans to focus on
beat-making "to cover the bills" in
the future, because he doesn't
want "to be 40 and touring in a
van with a bunch of guys, right?"
His beats may do more than that,
however: they're- being snapped
up as fast as he can make them,
mostly by young East Coasters
such as Quake, and some of them
by maestro s, such as Fresh Wes.
Boy-Cott-In The Industry is so
fresh HMV doesn't even have it
instock yet. I won't tell you who I
had to sleep with to get my copy,
but I will tell you the best way to
hear it for the first time will be live
tomorrow night at the Buffalo
Club. II
tL THE UBYSSEY  Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
Culture H
Eight simple rules to
survive a horror movie
Rule number one, don't look back
Hills Have Eyes
Now playing
by Terry Boake
Sitting through the Hills Have Eyes
is like sitting through a bad "So a
man walks into a bar" joke. It's similar, to every other joke of its kind,
and everyone groans at the punch
line. A film so scary that the constant
string of laughter generated from
the audience must have been either
the product of nervous habit, or the
clever use of irony.
Imagine if you will, that you
and your family are lost in some
sort of unfamiliar territory. For
the sake of comparison, lets make
it a desert. Wonderful. Now, everyone take out his or her "Eight
Simple Rules to Survive in a
Horror Movie* checklist.
□ When lost, enthusiastically
follow the convenient directions of a shortcut given by a
crazy gas station employee.
G Take a limited amount of supplies with you. Check.
O Act really annoying, and conduct dialogue that isn't remotely realistic. Check.
O Suggest that everyone split up,
and then send more people,
alone, to find those who are
missing. Check.
O Always leave the most defenseless person behind without
protection. Check.
O When using a shotgun to attack
a villain, wield it as a bludgeoning weapon. Check.
H When a killer just lies down
after you shoot him in the
shoulder, drop your weapon
beside  him,   and  then  turn
around and walk away. Check.
01 Each time you kill a killer,
always assume that he's the last
one, then breath a sigh of well
earned relief, and exit frame
left Check.
Please, feel free to release your
selves from my pandering sarcasm. But, if you have followed
this checklist, then you have just
gone through the experience of the
Hills Have Eyes, without the inconvenience of getting off your lazy
ass, or spending your well-earned
>A>MVA,WA\Nh,^\Ci, >,
*<j£&3 <
cash. This is my gift to you.
So now take my advice, and
run! Far away from this steaming
pile of movie mutilation! And even
if the Hills have Eyes, and they can
see you, you don't have to fall pray
to their game. Don't look back. IB
Thinking about raising children?
by Catherine Hart
The other day in a Ubyssey culture
meeting, we were having one of
those discussions about life, our
purpose, the feeling that something's missing, and the conversation turned to babies—well what
else? Schoolwork getting you down?
Relationship not working out the
way you hoped? Graduating with
the sudden realisation that you're
not really qualified to do anything?
Maybe you need a baby. If only you
could avoid that messy first part, by
which I mean that bit with the placenta, and just 'get' a baby.
This was far from being a consensus; some of us thought it would
be nice to have a baby one day,
some pulled a similar face to the
one used in that discussion we had
about small dogs (lovable companion or glorified rodent?). I personally have no intention of even contemplating birth for a good twenty years
in the hopes that by then they will
have invented some quick and easy
pain-free anti-sagging alternative.
But even if one could just
acquire a baby (with no legal ramifications), surely that's just the beginning? What about the sleepless
nights, crying, endless diaper
changing, crying, feeding, did I
mention crying? Then I got this
press release about an ingenious
piece of software called The Baby
Nanny. Talking with Kim Appelt, the
software's creator, the Baby Nanny
is "a tool, someone with experience
who can help you, like a traditional
British nanny/ According to  the
There's software to help with that
website, you enter in the times
when your baby tends to sleep and
eat, when it's fussy, or even the consistency and colour of his or her
stool should you wish to get that far
into it, though God only knows why
you would; must be a hormonal
The software can then create a
schedule for your baby, complete
with pie charts. I don't remember
Mary Poppins offering that feature;
a bottomless bag or spontaneous
bursts of song about feeding the
birds perhaps. It strikes me as concerning that we five in such a technologically dependent age that we
can't even care for our babies without the aid of a computer program,
but according to the feedback, it
works. Appelt explains how the routine provides parents with a sense
of control, because you have conformed to the baby's routine and so
it is happier end ergo, cries less.
For mothers overwhelmed with
the prospect of a newborn and trying to  create  a routine  through
scribbled notes on scraps of paper.
The Baby Nanny provides an easy
and systematic way of entering your
child's data and producing a means
of managing it. "A manual for your
baby, by your baby/ as Appelt put it.
It can even work like a baby book,
with space  to  enter height and
weight changes for as many years as
you like, or even your baby's 'firsts'.
"Perfect for the new generation of
computer savvy parents," says the
press release. I'm guessing the market isn't aimed at the single mother
working two jobs and trying to raise
two other very young kids.
Despite my reservations, one
interesting thing The Baby Nanny
does is highlight just how difficult
babies can be. Babies are so complicated in fact that we need software
to help us decipher them, which
shouldn't be surprising as we won't
speak the same language for about
12 months. But it's not like this
nanny's going to help you change a
diaper. Babies are a nice idea, but
as a student, next time I'm wondering what's missing from my hfe, I
might just buy a goldfish. N
Bachelpr of Computer Science
(Integrated Garnpute
Student Dan Read
First Degree: English
For Information
Contact: (604) 822-9176
E-mail: BCS-info@cs.ubc.ca
Department of Computer Science
Be one of the first to
stop by SUB 23, to
pick up a free movie
pass to a preview
screening of:
«&fi»3ai w B B 8
on Wednesday,
March 22, 2006 at
7PM at Tinseltown
(88 West Pender St).
While quantities last.
One per person, available on a
limited basis.
l £r —
I. V
K <-
AMS Summer Volunteer Opportunities Fair
March 22 - 23, SUB Concourse. IOam — 3pm.
Slimmer volunteer placements are available in and around Vancouver and
internationally. For more information visit our website: www.ams.ubc/vex or
email vcassist@ams.ubc.ca.
Catch Fire
A student-organized play that takes a critical look at war, peace, and activism
from a North American perspective, negotiating questions of responsibility, what
it means to bear witness, and how we see ourselves in issues that aren't just "over
there." It is based loosely on the Firefly Project, an international compilation of
poetry and monologues written by youth, and performed for the first time last year
at UBC to huge success.
Friday, March 24th & Saturday, March 25th
Doors at 7:00; performance at 7:30
Graduate Student Society UBC Ballroom, 6371 Crescent Road Vancouver
Tickets: $7 for students; $10 for others. Available through contacting Krista Riley
at krista@warchild.ca / 778.858.7861, Sumayya KassamaJi at
sumayyak@yahoo.com / 604.722.1350, or Naomi Tessler at
naoini.tessler@gmail.com / 604.730.2894
UBC International Week March 20-24
UBC International Week 2006 - AkSents - is the largest multicultural event on
campus and it is just around the corner! As unique event, it offers students a
chance to engage in sociopolitical debate as well a chance to showcase and share
their cultural identity!
This year guest speakers include Ross Kauffman, the Oscar-winning director of
the documentary "Born into Brothels", Marc Kielburger CEO of Free the
Children, which has been nominated for 3 Nobel Peace Prizes, and Jack O'Deil
who has spent 50 years organizing and participating in the social change movement.
The week long celebration includes documentaries, dance workshops, an
international buffet, a photography show, career fairs, an International Idol
competition, and a grand finale event known as Festiva. See
www.students.ubc.ca/international for the full program.
Students wishing to volunteer with UBC International Week can contact Irene
Sattarzadeh atubcinternationalweek@hotmail.com
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
Blue Chip Cookies a Hit!
The AMS' Blue Chip Cookies, has been invited to publish one of its special
recipes in this year's edition of the KCTS Chefs Cookbook issued by Seattle's
PBS station. In being asked to submit a recipe Blue Chip Cookies joins such
renowned restaurants as Le Crocodile, Diva at the Met and The Fish House in
Stanley Park. This has also drawn the attention of local media, including The
Province. Blue Chip sells on
average one cookie every « _ ; v<" .****»
minute, and to make all its
cookies. Blue Chip uses
3,000 kilograms of chocolate
a year. It also uses 250
kilograms of coffee beans
every month, all of them
fair trade.
'<ty ■
3rd Annual Realities of Race Week
Exposing the Invisible Borders: Immigration, Settlers,
Colonization and Beyond
March 20-24
Monday, March 20
White Anti-Racist Ally Workshop l:00-2:30pm, SUB 214
Book Launch: Bruce Baum's The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race
4:30-6:00pm, SUB 205
Tuesd ay, Ma rch 21
Immigration: Settlers, Colonization, and Beyond 2:00-3:30pm, First Nations
House of Learning
Action to End Racism Recognition Ceremony 4:30-5:30pm, First Nations
House of Learning
The Power of Illusion: Free film screening and facilitated dialogue 7:00-
9:00pm, Brock Hail 2001
Wednesday, March 22
We Have a Voice Written Word Workshop 1:00-2:30pm SUB 214
International Week Global Chat 4:00-6:00pm Norm Theatre
Thursday, March 23
Native Performance Artists Speak 10:00am- 12:00pm, First Nations House of
A New World Border Panel 4:00-6:00pm, Woodward 6
Friday, March 24
3rd Annual Campus Dialogue on Racism 12:00-2:00pm, First Nations House
of Learning
For more information visit the website at: www.ams.ubc.ca/ror2006
AMS Hiring for 7 Student Administrative
Commission Positions
Want to get involved? Then consider applying for one of these positions
with the Student Administrative Commission!
SAC Vice Chair
SAG Art Gal lery Commissioner
SAC Bookings Commissioner
SAC Administrative Commissioner
SAC Facilities and Building Commissioner
SAC External Clubs Commissioner
SAC Internal Clubs Commissioner
The Student Administrative Commission (SAC), chaired by the VP Administration, manages the Student Union Building, regulating all bookings and
functions as well as managing the AMS Art Gallery. It also administers and
acts as the official liaison between the AMS and the nearly 300 AMS Clubs,
Constituencies, and Student Resource Groups, allocates space in the SUB
and acts as the liaison between the Society and CiTR and Intramurals
For more job descriptions and applications information
please see www.ams.ubc.ca/jobs.
1 THEUBYSSEY   Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
Culture 13
Beads and Crafts club is looking for your inner creativity
Jewelry more about art than fashion
by Mai Bui
If the person seated across from you
is staring intently at your jewelry,
don't be alarmed. Chances are good
the bling-bling you bought with your
last pay cheque has just become a
source of creative inspiration for one
of a growing number of students who
prefer to make their own jewelry.
Co-founded last year by Iris Chen,
president, and Mandy Lau, vice president, the UBC Beads and Crafts club
organises a variety of different beading and crafting events throughout
the year. By registering online for a
spot in the workshop, anyone can not
only learn how to make, earrings,
bracelets, and necklaces, but also candles, Christmas ornaments, cell
phone straps, puffy animals, and
more. "You can make for under ten
dollars something that is sold in
stores for ninety dollars/ said Chen.
Intrigued, I signed up for a
bracelet-beading event. Shortly after
arriving, I was confused to see that
Chen had drawn on the chalkboard a
picture that resembled a molecule
with its complex spectacle of interwoven lines and circles. To my
relief, it turned out to be an enlarged
model of a sophisticated bracelet
beading pattern, demonstrating the
intricate path that the fishing wire
would take through the seed beads
to create a flower design—luckily it's
easier done than said. A Beads and
While Chen often
finds inspiration for
her beading patterns
from bead books, she
stressed that "books
are for ideas; they
are not to be treated
as a bible." Likewise,
the patterns are
provided only as
examples; participants
are encouraged to
come up with their
own pa1terns.
Crafts member usually designs patterns, explained Chen, who has
designed "probably around 12 new
patterns for club activities/
While Chen often finds inspiration for her beading patterns from
bead books, she stresses that
"books are for ideas; they are not to
be treated as a bible." Likewise, the
patterns are provided only as examples; participants are encouraged
to come up with their own patterns
using the materials provided.
Chen, a fourth-year Japanese and
THIS COULD BE YOU: Workshop helps you create art for under $10. yinan max wang photo
genetics major, developed her passion for beads and crafts while she
was on exchange in Japan during
high school. Inspired by some patterns she came across in Japanese
magazines, she started to pick up the
art of beading and jewelry making. In
spite of a tight spending budget, Chen
returned to Canada with her entire
suitcase filled with beads from Japan.
"My parents were  so  mad!"  she
recalled. Chen had managed to
finance her bead purchases with
detailed budgetary planning that
sometimes involved skipping lunch.
Ever since she came back from
Japan, Chen had had aspirations to
start a club devoted to her artsy-craft-
sy side. Now in her last year with the
club, she realises that the Beads and
Crafts club is not just about learning
how to bead and craft, it's also about
discovering  and  developing your
inner creativity.
"The most rewarding part
about starting the club was to see
that people are actually inspired
by the club," said Chen. "Watching
people who start as total beginners
learn to make their own necklace,
bracelet, and eventually come up
with their own design, has been
very rewarding." 11
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I H?"
14 Opinion/Editorial
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Let's not make Afghanistan our Iraq
Last weekend marked the third
anniversary of the United States-
led invasion of Iraq. Terms like
"coalition of the willing* and "mission accomplished/ which were
thrown around quite liberally
throughout 2003, have all but
faded from memory, giving rise to
terms like "suicide bombing,"
"mortar attack," and "improvised
explosive devices."
But this past weekend should
have marked something else: a
reality check.
Despite Vice President Dick
Cheney's confident announcement that "the insurgency was in
its last throes," nearlv ten months
ago, Iraq doesn't appear to be any
more stable now than it was at the
beginning of the war. Just last
Sunday former interim Prime
Minister Ayad Allawi reported that
Iraq was losing "an average of 50
to 60 people" per day. "If this is
not civil war, then God knows
what civil war is," he said.
And yet Allawi's words were lost
on top officials in the United States
nearly 3,000 miles away. On the
same day that Allawi spoke of Iraq
passing into a "point of no return,"
President George Bush remarked
that the American strategy in Iraq,
"will lead to victory."
Perhaps Bush really does
beheve that in the end it will all
just work out, but from the outside looking in, the response of
the U.S. administration seems
symptomatic of their lack of
understanding of the situation-
ideology is informing their facts,
not reality.
Meanwhile, back in Iraq, an
attack in February on one of the
holiest Shia Shrines in Samarra
fortified and sharpened the existing tension between the Shias and
the Sunnis. Only the day before, a
car bomb detonated in a Shia
neighbourhood market, resulting
in 22 deaths. The reprisal attacks
in the following two days killed at
least 500 Iraqi civilians.
Authorities have also discovered
100 corpses over the last six days,
all shot exectuion-style, all
believed to be sectarian score-settling. This doesn't .seem like a
country that has achieved democracy and peace at the hands of the
United States.
And while all of this going on,
our own leader Stephen Harper
has just returned from a surprise
Bush-style visit to our forces in
Afghanistan. It would be ignorant
to look at the U.S. involvement in
Iraq and not see there the reflection of our own potential for problems as we undertake a similar
combat mission in Afghanistan.
Things have been heating up
for the roughly 2,200 Canadian
military personnel stationed
across Afghanistan. While polls
show that Canadians aren't
opposed to military involvement
in the  region,  given the  recent
headlines of Canadian soldiers
killed and killing, it's obvious
we're quickly becoming embroiled
in something much more complex
than what we all thought. Harper's
recent rhetoric, the now-famous
quote that Canada won't "cut and
run," is fine and patriotic and all,
but what exactly are we expecting
to do over there? And can we actually accomplish it?
It's true the fledgling Afghan
democracy does need the assistance of the international community; however, the attacks both by
and against Canadians underscore the need for some sort of
national debate on the issue.
Instead, Canada seems to be
getting caught up in a complex
game of geopolitics—aka the war
on terror—with a foreign policy
that is making rapid strides
towards that of the United States.
Speaking to a defence group.
General Rick Hillier said of the
Afghanistan mission,  "We are, a
force for good, everything we do is
about protecting the weak and vulnerable because they can't protect
For one thing, Canada doesn't
protect the weak and the vulnerable everywhere (think Sudan).
What's worse is that with simple
rhetoric like Hillier's, we're jumping into a dangerous situation without proper discourse and debate.
Canadians have long cherished
the idea peacekeeping. But the
gestures and the missions our soldiers are taking on in Afghanistan
certainly stretch the definition of
If we don't want to be caught
looking back at our own brand of a
tactical, moral nightmare, why
don't we publicly re-evaluate what it
is we're doing in Afghanistan and
see if it is indeed consistent withour
values as a nation? And let's do it
now. It might in fact yield a better
way to protect Afghanistan's weak
and vulnerable. II
Coach Steph
Ask Coach Steph is a bi-weekly
advice column appearing in the
Ubyssey. If you have a question
pertaining to life management,
career preparation, self actualization
or just need general advice email
visit www.visionswithoutborders.ca
Stephanie Tait is a Personal and
Professional Leadership Coach who
works with young professionals
helping them create the lives and
careers they truly desire. She works
with her clients one-on-one and in
group workplace settings. Call in for
'Free Coach Fridays!' every Friday,
12:00-1:00pm (604-739-3605),
Dear Coach Steph,
I recently got in a(nother) massive
fight with my girlfriend. We don't
normally fight at all, but time and
again we just explode at each
other (sometimes it's my fault,
and sometimes it's more hers),
and one of us eventually ends up
storming out of the room. I love
her very much, but really hate getting in these arguments that don't
seem to get us anywhere but feeling upset. What's your advice?
Dear Melissa,
There are times in life when a
good dose of restraint goes a long
way. Especially when we are in
the heat of the moment, sometimes the most effective thing we
can do is step back, regain our
composure, think clearly about
how we really feel, and respond
from there.
I would encourage you to
become very aware of the times
when a fight is developing, and
catch it in the early stages. You'll
know it's a good time to walk
away (before you end up storming
away!) when you:
* hear yourself speaking in a
tone that does not reflect
how you really feel about that
* are thinking things about the
other person that are not
totally accurate, but rather
filled with a lot of your own
* feel anxious and compelled
to react angrily, perhaps by
* are more emotionally charged
than what the situation warrants
* know you are on the verge of
saying sometning to intentionally hurt the other person
We all get our buttons pushed
sometimes. We're especially susceptible to losing our cool when
this happens when around the
people we care about the most
because deep down, we know
they'll always care for us.
Regardless, the real personal
growth comes in our ability to
make better choices in those
moments of anger and blame.
Here are a few tips to help you
take care of your relationships
(and not to mention preserve
your self-respect) when a fight's
a brewin':
1. Find a quiet place by yourself. Close your eyes. Take several
deep breaths. When you feel
attacked or emotionally insecure,
your body goes into 'fight or
flight' mode. Operating in this
mode is not conducive to making
wise, thoughtful choices that
reflect how the loving part of you
feels. Allow yourself the time and
space to calm down and access
how you really feel.
2. Find a person who will really listen to you and vent about
your situation. Choose someone
who will listen objectively and
allow you to process your feelings
without adding further fuel to
your fire.
3. Writfe down just the facts
about what happened. If necessary, find out more information
as well. Before you talk, to the
other person about the incident,
look at these facts and see for
yourself just how big of a deal it
actually was.
4. When you can think about
the other person involved and
not feel any anger, you are ready
to have a sensible conversation
with them again. When you do,
speak from the "I* standpoint
without blame. Convey how the
situation made you feel and your
perception of why this was so.
Make sure you also let them
know how important they are
to you, if this is still true. A little
restraint can save a lot of energy
and hurt—not to mention a
relationship! And Melissa, it
sounds like yours is worth
saving. 11
Is Iraq in a civil war?
'Oh God, don't ask me."
—Naho Harada
Integrated Science 3
"It's an invasion. It's not a civil
war. The Americans invaded and
killed a whole bunch of people."
—Mariana Payet
Arts 4
"Yes, but involuntary/
—Sean J eon
Biophysics 2
"Sounds like there is from what I
—Jarret Winn
Arts 4
"Yes, I would say it is. I think it's
because it's mostly the Shiite side
being represented in Parliament."
—Orion Winklelmeyer
Engineering 3
—Streeters coordinated by
Mary Leighton THE UBYSSEY  Tuesday, 21 March, 2006
Opinion 15
Rubble thrown after missiles level prison
Too often silenced issues to be discussed during Palestine Solidarity Week
by Tristan Markle
I read the news today, oh boy!
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)
invade the Palestinian city of
Jericho, lay siege to a prison,
launch missiles into it and its surroundings from American-provided Apache helicopters, plow down
the walls of the prison with
Caterpillar bulldozers (killing four
and wounding at least 35), force
survivors to strip to their underwear, and then abduct them.
The BBC reports that local
Palestinian women surrounded
the prison, pleading for the safety
of their husbands. Children picked
up pieces of the destroyed prison
and hurled them at the Occupation
Forces. What on Earth is going
on here?
Why did Israel abduct these
'prisoners?* Who are they? The
main (but not only) target seems to
be Ahmad Saadat of the Popular
Front for the Liberation of
Palestine. He was accused of a
crime in 2001 by the Israeli government, was tried in a Palestinian
court, and subsequently acquitted.
Despite the lack of evidence
against him, Israel insisted that he
be held under "administrative
arrest" (arbitrary detention, which
can be renewed indefinitely) and
the Palestinian puppet regime
helplessly complied. In a word; he
was a political prisoner par excellence—one  of the  most popular
among thousands  of Palestinian
^ political prisoners.
To break the "conspiracy of
silence" surrounding these and
other flagrant human rights abuses
and war crimes, the UBC
Palestinian Solidarity Committee
has organised a week of education,
outreach, and discussion in solidarity with the Palestinian people
(March 21-24). It is all the more
important to engage these issues
now that Stephen Harper is  the
Palestinians have had
their freedom of
movement robbed, as
detailed in the un
human rights report
released last week.
Prime Minister. This week at the
United Nations, Canada joined the
US as the only countries to vote
against a South-African-sponsored
motion calling on Israel to allow all
Palestinian refugee women and
children to return to their homes.
This implies that for the first time
in over fifty years, Canada is rejecting the principle of UN resolution
194, which calls for the Right of
Return of Palestinian refugees.
What is the Right of Return, and
why does it matter? In the first lialf
of the 20th century, there were
waves  of Jewish immigration to
Palestine, and in 1947-8, there was
a much-anticipated war for the
land, which the nascent Jewish
community won handily. Over
700,000 Palestinians were
expelled from their homes by various means, and over 400 villages
were completely leveled—to erase
the Palestinian past. (All this has
been painstakingly documented by
historians). Israel declared its sovereignty over the conquered towns
and villages, and was admitted into
the United Nations on the condition that the refugee crisis be
resolved. However, Israel did not,
and still has not, allowed these
refugees back to their homes, nor
offered any kind of compensation,
nevermind accepting any responsibility for this traumatic act of ethnic cleansing.
Most urgently, this Palestine
Solidarity Week aims to break the
conspiracy of silence surrounding
the continued colonisation of the
Occupied Palestinian Territories
(OPT). In 1967, there was another
war between Israel and its neighbours, during which Israel occupied further Palestinian lands—the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Almost immediately, the Israeli
government began building
colonies in these OPT, in an show
of contempt of the Fourth Geneva
Conventions on the rights of those
living under occupation. The construction of illegal settler outposts
actually increased during the cyni
cal "peace-process" of the 1990s,
and has been escalating in recent
years. These so-called "settlements" are built on land expropriated from Palestinians. The expropriation notices appear in local
newspapers mere weeks before the
Most urgently, this
Palestine Solidarity
Week aims to break
the conspiracy of
silence surrounding
the continued
colonisation of the
Occupied Palestinian
Territories (OPT).
proprietors are rendered homeless. Each colony is connected to
Israel proper by enormous highways, also built on land expropriated in the most inconsiderate and
humiliating manner.
This network of colonial outposts and Jewish-only roads has
fragmented the OPT into cordoned-
off enclaves, which Nelson
Mandela described as such! "The
so-called 'Palestinian autonomous
areas' are bantustans. These are
restricted entities within the power
structure of the Israeli apartheid
system." The bantustans or "can
tons," as some Israeli officials prefer, are now under permanent military "closure," if not total "siege,"
so that (at the best of times) there is
only one entrance/exit for each
Palestinian population centre, and
Israeli soldiers guard it.
To pass through these checkpoints, Palestinians are required to
apply ahead of time for a permit
from the military "Civil
Administration." These permits are
expensive, temporary, and systematically denied. Palestinians have
had their freedom of movement
robbed, as detailed in the UN
Human Rights Report released last
week. They live under an inhumane
regime of surveillance, restriction,
and imprisonment, which
renowned Israeli human rights
activist Jeff Halper calls "the matrix
of control." The situation is not
ameliorated by the notorious
annexation/apartheid wall/barrier/electric-fence (complete with
sniper towers every 200 metres),
which snakes around the OPT,
strangulating and dispossessing.
These too-often silenced issues
will be discussed in the Palestine
Solidarity Week kick-off event, a
forum entitled "Is Israel an
Apartheid State?" at 12 pm on
Tuesday March 21 in the SUB room
216. Bring your friends.
— Tristan Markle is a member of
the UBC Palestine Solidarity
Clarifying some of the facts from this year's Ubyssey Page Women
I would like to congratulate the
team that put together the special
issue on women, which was excellent. Thank you also for the opportunity to share my opinions! I
would just like  to  clarify a few
points to set the record straight.
The first is that we have not yet
graduated a PhD student in
Women's Studies: the first, Chris
Shelley (who is a man), is expected
to graduate in May. The second is
that I do not think there are fewer
women faculty at UBC in all "professorial ranks", but at the rank of
full professor. This is because a
number have retired or left UBC
for various reasons. Third, I am
not personally involved (yet) in the
environmental movement, but my
husband (Yvon Raoul) is. This is
one of my many retirement projects! It's good to see from this special issue that the next generation
of students will keep gender analysis alive at UBC.
— Valerie Raoul
Professor of
Women's Studies and French
Be the first to come to SUB Room 23 to pick up
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^onlitu 1 fi Culture
Tuesday, 21 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Film's controversial message not lost on casual viewer
V for Vendetta
Now showing
by Peter Clark
"Remember, Remember/ The fifth of
November/ The gunpowder treason
and plot..." intones the narrator at the
outset of The WachowsM brothers'
newest film, V for Vendetta, which
takes place in a futuristic Britain
ruled by a fascist government. These
are the opening lines of the rhyme
that for centuries has commemorated the attempted bombing of the
British parliament in 1605 by the
anarchist Guy Fawkes. The hero of
the film (Hugo Weaving— The Matrix,
The Lord of the Rings), who goes by
the name of V, bases his persona and
. costume on this historical figure. For
the hero of a Hollywood film to draw
inspiration from an anarchist who
used violent means to achieve his
political ends (today some might call
him a terrorist) is controversial, but
this is only the beginning.
The trailer for V for Vendetta was
first shown at the San Diego Comic-
Con in midjuly of 2005, only a week
after the terrorist bombings of the
London underground. This caused a
heated debate over the film's appropriateness, since the climax of the
. plot centres on a strikingly similar
event. This is not the first time terrorist attacks in movies have caused controversy over their similarity to real
life events: the release of Collateral
Damage, for example, was delayed
for four months after 9/11. The contentious issue surrounding Vendetta
is that the title character, (the "hero")
is the perpetrator of the aforementioned event.
The film is adapted from the
graphic novel of the same name by
author Alan Moore and writer David
Lloyd. At the Comic-Con trailer
screening, Lloyd assured the audience that he had worked with the
Wachowski brothers to ensure the
screenplay was "very good." After seeing the film, I can tell you he's right.
Surprisingly, the script is very well
written, and takes a dominant role in
what could otherwise have been a
film focused purely on the computer-
generated action sequences. What's
more, both Natalie Portman and
Hugo Weaving, the film's leads, do
impressive jobs conveying the
growth of two complex characters.
That's not to say there are no problems with the film.
The pacing in the first half is altogether too quick, with strangely
abrupt scene cuts. Also the supporting characters are nearly all one-
dimensional cliches. In addition,
some of the events in the film are not
afforded enough explanation and
seem overly unrealistic and out of
place. Most of these faults are due to
the necessary compression of the
story in order to convert the complicated plot of a multi-part graphic
novel into a single film.
Fans of the graphic novel will, predictably, be disappointed due to the
small but numerous alterations to the
plot. However, most of these were
made to update its setting, in order to
make the film more relevant. The
original story7 was set in a Britain of
1997, whose rulers had gained con
trol in the chaotic aftermath of a
nuclear war. The fascist government
of the 2030-era film, however, has
risen to the fore much the same way
the Nazis did in a Germany economically destroyed by a lost war. The war
this government has lost, however, is
the one it had started some thirty
years earlier (referred to, fleetmgly,
as "the Americans' war").
The controversial message of the
film will not likely be lost on even the
most casual of spectators. The filmmakers' intentions are obviously not
to advocate violent acts, but something more elevated and perhaps
even more radical. As David Lloyd
explained last July at the Comic-Con,
"in terms of what's happening in
London over the last week, I think it's
going to be healthy to try and understand what leads a person to terrorism... then maybe we might be able to
solve the problems that cause terrorism more easily." The film brings this
to light through its investigation of
V's concentration camp background,
and the effects of a totalitarian government on society.
The filmmakers assert that this
is an important lesson. An adversarial approach to terrorists is
futile and dangerous, and understanding is instead the key; a heavy,
but urgent, piece of advice. The Guy
Fawkes rhyme ends with the words:
"I know of no reason/ The gunpowder treason/ Should ever be forgot."
Nor do I. 11
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the future is friendly*
For more details, visit telusmobiiity.com. or call 1 -866-264-2966
*T1-WS mobile music is available on select handsets only in Wireless High Speed (EVDO) and digital 1 x coverage areas. Please see coverage maps or go to telusmobility.com for details. © 200f5 TELUS Mobility.
The Ubyssey
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to find out
deadlines for
applications, job
descriptions and
more. Or come
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staff meeting
Wednesday at
noon in SUB 24!


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