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The Ubyssey Nov 2, 2001

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1 KlifM,  \OYl V,*H U ,\ .Mill J      !:W* ***.*.>- t'U* Jl*> fj it * , \rit ♦, {«>?::. Friday. November 2.2001
Page Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
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tw'u^e Oetoifer 26 article ;?TlSH'.^id^'|l^'W^p/;^-Y7'':''
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reported in theYartlbfe;: 7fe Odyssey regrets the errors^ Y
; Ijprjaf^:       |   4^2 $7^.-.«iY' -
2 InYthe October 30 article "Tuition question pbseJtolsfuY Y;
dents," the Ubyssey reported that an Alifia lyjafft Society-
organised forum on differential tuition yyOuldoesJieid qn-
ThursdayY November 1, Irdrfi, 12pm taipiriy ftyhe SUBY' -
south side lounge. The date of the forum nasbSehY Y
changed to Friday, Ndvembef 2. the time and location" ?'.'
remain unchanged.:"   Y   Y"'-Y7"YYYY: 7-
m •
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$2 off $7 studentfate with this ad Yand valid student ID
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Ready to dunk
by Sarah Conchie
The regular season won't get under-
way until tonight, but the UBC
women's basketball team is already
thinking about the Nationals. And not
without reason. The headliners are
back, the rookies are hot, and the
squad has already posted some
impressive wins against traditionally
strong teams.
With 14 Thunderbirds suiting up
this season, half of whom are fresh
from college and high school leagues,
a bigger bus wasn't the only adjustment the coaching staff had to make
in preparation for the new
"We...tried to get people in positions [where] we had holes, and
[looked for] the best kids that we
could get, so the talent factor is up,"
said coach Deb Huband.
Those Tads' include Lauren liem,
a speedy 5'6" guard from
Brookswood Secondary and Tina
Lum, a formidable and powerful post
from Lake Cowichan. Joined by
Annie Krygsveld, a feisty rebounder
who was a stand-out player in high
school and college ball, the newcomers are adding enthusiasm to a solid
core of talented veterans.
"Eveiyone wants one goal," said
Liem, "and we really, really want to
win. There's so much spirit..We're
all on the same page."
Carrie Rodgers, leading Ihe team
with an overall average of 18 points
per game, hopes to write a fresh page
of history for the team in her final year
and win the CIS Nationals. She isn't
alone. Fifth-year guard Charmene
Adams is also looking towards territory that the women's basketball team
hasn't conquered since the 1970s,
when the Birds were national champions three years running.
"I think that it's possible, because
some of the teams [that were major
.rivals] last year have lost fifth-year
players and they're rebuilding," said
Last year, UBC ended their 11-
11 season at the Canada West semifinals in Victoria, but shaking off
the rival Vikes might not be so difficult this year, as UVic lost a large
chunk of last season's starting
There are obstacles, however,
which talent and momentum may
not be enough to overcome. The fifth-
ranked Thunderbirds play in
Canada's most competitive conference against seven of the nation's top
ten teams. And SFU's Clan, who have
consistently beaten the Birds over the
last few years have a new juggernaut
that will not be easy to contend with.
Not only does the Clan boast three of
BC's top bailers in Teresa
Kleindienst Jennifer Van De Walle
and Jessica Kaczowka, but they added
father-and-daughter team Bruce and
Dani Langford to the roster this
year—the same coach and captain
who led the Heritage Park Secondary
School team from a flawless season
to a Provincial Championship last
Coach Huband, however, doesn't
seem fazed by such concerns as she
talks about what the Birds could
achieve this year. "Our strength is in
our depth," she said. "We have
strength in numbers, and we have talent so we're very enthusiastic that
we can bring it all together."
UBC still has a strong unit with
returning players Carrie Watson,
Carlee St Denis and Brandie Speers
rounding out the starting line-up.
Watson creates excellent scoring
opportunities from the point St
Denis and Speers are both dynamic,
consistent producers for the team.
Young blood and seasoned experience have been a potent combination
for the 6-2 Birds so far, as they rush
headlong into the regular season on a
four-game winning streak. They
swept the SFU Clan Classic last weekend, winning all three games with an
average lead of 33 points. The Birds
also came second in the Ryerson
Tournament losing to nationally top-
seeded Universite Laval by a scant
eight points.
It's early to place bets for the playoffs, but the excitement going around
the locker room these days is contagious. And as long as the Birds
remain healthy and keep working
hard, they just might be able to turn
speculation into reality.
"I think this is the team that has
the potential to go to the Nationals,
and this is the first time I've really felt
that to the core." said Huband, who
has coached the team for seven years.
"It's going to be a good year."
The Birds head out to Trinity
Western tonight to take on the
Spartans in the first league game of
the season. ♦ Page Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
Friday. November 2.2001
Despite the fact that a majority of
Canadians think it's time for same-
sex marriage rights, the road ahead
is still a long one
by Tim Wood
|ane Hamilton and Joy Masuhara are in
I lo?e.Jane is an .author whose work has
'teen published in the New York Times,
among other publications. Joy, her partner of
eight years, is a physician and breast cancer
survivor. ,
They first met in 1993, just as Masuhara
was coming out Having separated from her
husband of seven years, she was finalfynn a
winning the provincial election in May 2001, it
was a disappointing blow to the petitioning
couples. i
"It was a disappointment," admits
Hamilton. "It signals to, BC gay$ and lesbians
that we're not considered equal sand that discrimination is okay in the govejrnxnent's eyes."
Not only did Hamilton and Masuhara find
themselves in the' midst of controversy at the
position where she could face ,311 the que^O^*, provincial government level, they also found
she had been having about her' sexuahlp>l$r the gay community itself was divided on the
marriage issue. Some gays and lesbians in BC
have questioned whether the right to marry is
really worth fighting for.
"We respect that the community is diverse,"
says Hamilton. "I've never known any community to have consensus on any issue, so why we
would look for that here, I don't know."
Both Hamilton and Masuhara felt mixed
emotions upon hearing Justice Pitfield's conclusion that denying homosexuals the right to
lenge the federal government on areas of their
jurisdiction," he says, citing his government's
decision not to challenge the Nisga'a treaty on
the same grounds.
Mayencourt says he and BC minister for
Community Charter Ted Nebbeling, who is
also gay were specifically consulted by the
attorney-general before the decision was made
to withdraw -from the case. It was felt that
given the involvement of EGALE, it was unneCr
lot of people in the gay community get caught
up in marriage.as a corrupt heterosexual institution, which \s irrelevant Let's get the-right,
and if we don't want to be a part of it, we won't
be a part of it Or, we change it But giving different citizens different rights is not the
Masuhara agrees. "The acceptance, the visibility/ that cbmes with society saying, 'you
guy^want to' get married, go ahead, get mar-
was, she says, an exceedingly difficult time.
Hamilton, a single mother of two daughters, Meghan and Sarah, has been out for
about 20 years now, so when she and Joy met
she could deeply sympathise with Joy's confusion and pain. The two fell deeply in love and
decided to begin a life together. In 1996, as
soon as federal law allowed it Masuhara legally adopted Hamilton's daughters.
Today, Hamilton and Masuhara, mothers
to Meghan and Sarah, are ready
to get married. The only problem
is neither the BC government nor
the federal government, will
allow it
essary for the government to pay for additioii-N.  ried/ is way more powerful that just saying, 'I
al lawyers. Barbara Findlay, however, charac-     --—■-■-
terises the Liberal government's withdrawal as
"a snub, a rejection of equal rights for gays."
Mayencourt who represents in the West
End the very centre of BC's gay community,
recognises the desire of same-sex couples to
receive "formal legal recognition of our relationships." He says he is working with colleagues in the Liberal caucus and in the legal
profession to draft registered domestic part-
^n Wednesday, Parliament
voted against a bill intro-
' duced by gay Member of
Parliament Svend Robinson,
which would have legalised same-
sex unions. This follows the
October 4 ruling from BC
Supreme Court Justice Ian Pitfield
that it is up to the federal
Parliament and not the courts, to
determine the fate of same-sex
marriage in Canada.
Justice Pitfield's decision came
in response to a petition brought
over the summer by eight BC
same-sex couples and by EGALE, a
national gay rights organisation.
The provincial NDP government
had been involved initially, but the
Liberals withdrew from the action
following their victory in May's
election. The federal government
was named as a defendant in
the suit
The ruling was unique in that Justice
Pitfield found the law discriminatory, but not
in violation of the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms because, he says, the Constitution
makes clear that the primary purpose of marriage is procreation.
Barbara Findlay, a Vancouver civil rights
lawyer who is representing three of the couples, including Hamilton and Masuhara,
described her clients as "deeply shocked" by
the ruling. Her clients and the other petitioners immediately announced their intention to
pursue the challenge to the BC Court of Appeal.
This shock is further intensified by a recent
Leger Marketing poll finding that over 65 per
cent of Canadians support granting same-sex
couples the right to marry.
1^»or Hamilton and Masuhara, the deci-
* sion to enter the battle for same-sex
.   marriage rights came about slowly after
they met
"I think people didn't think in terms of marriage in those days-we didn't even have pension rights thea" says Hamilton, "Certainly we
considered ourselves a family all along, but
marriage was very much out of the. question
back then."
"We had considered applying for a marriage
license for a long time—we finally got around to
it on September 1, 2000, and were rejected.
Other [BC same-sex couples in the same position] had already initiated the challenge."
When the newly elected Liberal govern-
. ment did not lend its support to the case after
do.' That's the power of the right to marry."
She adds that the symbolism of gay exclusion from the institution of marriage speaks
louder than words.
"We're not given the right to belong to this
institution if we choose to. It's the symbolism
that matters. It's about tolerance, acceptance,
support of us being homosexual whether
you're single or not"
Mayencourt's legislation, which is to be modelled on a recent Nova Scotia bill,
is tentatively scheduled for introduction to the Legislature during
the spring session, in February
of next year. In the meantime, he
says, he plans to have the
Government caucus and
Legislation Review Committees
look it over. He says he would
like to be assured of "substantial"
support within the caucus before
introducing the legislation, but
insists homophobia is not an
issue in the Liberal government
_ _WLma
JOY MASUHARA AND JANE HAMILTON: Fighting for the right to marry, tim wood photo
marry was indeed discriminatory, but justifiable. While it was great that he found gays and
lesbians were being discriminated against
they said, it was disappointing that he ultimately found it justifiable.
"To find that discrimination is okay is really quite appalling, especially in this day and
age in Canadian society," says Hamilton.
ustice Pitfield's ruling was the first time
a judge has recognised the ban on same-
marriage as discriminatory, and
therefore, says EGALE executive director John
Fisher, the petitioners are in "a strong position," even though the court ultimately ruled
against them.
Two years ago, the Supreme Court of
Canada ruled that discrimination based on
sexual orientation is unconstitutional.
According to both Fisher and Findlay, it will
likely take "four to seven years" for the BC case
and two similar cases to get underway in
Ontario and Quebec to wind their way to the
top court
In his decision. Justice Pitfield wrote, "As
opposed to the general subject of family, it was
marriage...that was considered of such national importance that exclusive jurisdiction over
[it] should be assigned to the federal
According to gay Liberal MLA Lome
Mayencourt (Vancouver/Burrard) the matter
of jurisdiction was the motivation for his government's withdrawal from the petition.
"It isn't the business of the province to chal-
nership legislation, which, if passed, would
make BC only the second province in Canada
to do so.
Findlay is quick to dismiss Mayencourt's
proposal, however, calling it "marriage lite."
Such legislation, she argues, "is not a benefit
but a stigma. It confers on gay and lesbian couples a status which says in effect 'y°u are nc*
worthy of the right to many."
She further points out that unlike married
couples, people who register as domestic partners in jurisdictions where it is possible to do
so do not maintain the status when they move
to a different province or country.
Mayencourt, however, emphasises the
need for compromise in a legislative setting. A
lot of gays and lesbians view marriage as an
"outdated" institution, he says, and one that
isn't worth fighting for.
Among those who question the same-sex
marriage fight is Matt Lovick of Pride UBC. He
considers marriage "heterosexist" and worries that legalising same-sex marriage could
create divisions in the gay community
between those who choose take advantage of it
and those who don't
^ Steven Best also a Pride UBC member, disagrees with Lovick. "You don't want to get married, fine, [but] let the people who don't agree
with you five happily with the equal rights they
are entitled to. Equality means the same
rights, good or bad, for everybody," he says.
Jane Hamilton challenges criticisms like
Lovick's, saying "wouldn't extending marriage
to queers make it a queer institution as well? A
mong   UBC   students,
opinions on same-sex
arriage vary, reflecting the differing views held in
the greater population.
Greg, a second-year Arts student who declined to give his
last name, feels the ruling was
appropriate. "The main purpose
of marriage is reproduction,' he
argues. However, concerning
recognised domestic partnerships, Greg could think of no
"reasonable arguments against'
extending to gay and lesbian
couples the same rights granted to heterosexual couples.
When asked his thoughts, Graham
Chernoff, also a second-year Arts student
responds: "It [would mean] blessing a
sin...Homosexuality is a sin." Religious implications aside, however, he too feels it would be
acceptable to extend to same-sex couples the
rights accorded to heterosexual couples.
Science student Samir Gupta says: "[Same-
sex marriage] is. fine. In addition to the symbolic recognition [marriage affords], same-sex
partners should be entitled to the same benefits as straights."
ooking ahead to the Supreme Court of
. Canada in five-odd years, both Hamilton
I And Masuhara are optimistic. They feel
absolutely convinced that Canada will not say
that discrimination is justifiable.
The day after my interview with Hamilton
and Masuhara, I learn that Jane Hamilton may
not live to see the ultimate, outcome of their
fight for the right to marry, due to heart disease. But Hamilton's words remain fresh, as I
remember her determination to fight for the
right to marry.
Not being allowed to legally marry, while
being given the right to registered domestic
partnerships, Hamilton says, is "being allowed
on the bus but told to sit at the back. It's still
not equal. Without the government fully backing our relationships and us as queer people,
we're not ever going to stop homophobia
and bashing." ♦ AlFridav. November 2.2001
Pane Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
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Student fees to go to safety
 by Kathleen Deering
The Alma Mater Society (AMS)
will ask students to vote next
week for an increase in student
fees to maintain and expand
student Services, including
safety programs. But not everyone at UBC believes that students should be paying for safely projects.
In a referendum to be held
from November 5 to 9; the AMS
will be asking students to
increase student fees by $3
every year for four years.
Seventy per cent of the proposed increase would go to student services, including Joblink
and Safewalk. Twenty per cent
would" go to improving other
safety initiatives.
But some students feel it
should be the responsibility of
the university, not student
groups, to ensure funding for a
safe environment on campus.
"I don't think it's fair that the
AMS should take on all the
responsibility," said Liam Mitchell,
a Journalism graduate student and
Graduate Student Society (GSS) representative to AMS Council.
Community and Regional
Planning graduate student Aaron
Berghusch agrees with Mitchell. He
says he doesn't understand why the
university doesn't pay for programs
that are so important for maintaining its high image, but are currently
provided by the AMS.
"These services, such as Joblink,
Safewalk and tutoring, are so crucial,' he said.
While not a regular member of
AMS Council, Berghusch was
standing in for a Planning representative to Council when the society voted to ask students for more
money for services. Berghusch
voted against including the question in next week's referendum
because, he said, the university
will never step in to help with services if it sees that students are willing to pay for them.
"[University administrators] will
never concern themselves with student services if we keep dishing out
the money," he said.
But Erfan Kazemi, AMS president, said the student fee increase is
- necessary to maintain existing student services.
According to Kazemi, the AMS
recieves some money from the university's development office to fund
safety programs such as Safewalk.
While he said he feels that the university should contribute more to
Student drivers worry
about increased IC8C
Canadian Federation of Students
(CFS) and lobby group Friends of
Public Auto Insurance (FPAI) are
asking students to pressure the BC
Liberals to keep the Insurance
Corporation of British Columbia
(ICBC) public.
The government is considering
selling ICBC, which last year paid
out $42.7 million to cover the
health, care costs of automobile
accident victims. CFS and FPAI say
insurance premiums for young
drivers could increase dramatically under a private provider.
According to a recent study by
the Consumers' Association of
Canada, under privatised insur-
r     n
.*«.*_____*I j_rjyj.._*■_
SAFEWALK! Safewalkers Brent Fuller and Rachel Burns have lots of
people to walk and increased student fees could decrease the wait for
late-night walkers, nic fensom photo
safety initatives, he believes that
over the next few years, universities
are going to be tight on cash.
"To be honest and to be fair, they
really don't have money,' he said.
"You, see that in terms of Science
labs that are cut and crumbling
Kazemi also said that the AMS
has applied to both the university
and the provincial government for
more funding for safety, but that the
student society has not yet recieved
a positive response.
But according to Executive
Coordinator of the Vice-President
Students Office, Byron Hender, university funding is not being withheld from the AMS. The student
society simply hasn't brought it up.
"If the AMS chose to raise it as an
issue, we'd certainly discuss it,"
Hender said. "The AMS has to make
their own decisions."
Hender maintains that over the
years the university has funded
safety programs, including safety
buses, and has cooperated with the
AMS on a number of projects, such
as annual safety audits.
Funded by the provincial government UBC Campus Planning also
implements long-term safety initiatives, including improving lighting
on campus and installing and maintaining the blue light phones.
"We pay for a number of items
related more to the outside environment," said David Grigg, associate
director of Campus Planning.
According to Grigg, direct phones to
ance systems, premiums are often
based on categories such as age
and gender. In Toronto, for example, a young male with a perfect
driving record pays approximately
50 per cent more for insurance
than a young female with a perfect
driving record.
—Zahra Jamel
The Other Press
Universities, business
leaders praise liberal
OTTAWA (CUP)-The Association of
Universities and Colleges of Canada
launched a two-year campaign last
week to promote the value of Arts
and Science degrees.
The campaign was unveiled in
Ottawa at an October 24 event
Safewalk will be installed in the
Graduate Student Centre,
Woodward Library and the Student
Recreation Centre this year.
Departments at UBC also pay for
some safety initiatives, says AMS
Safety Coordinator Sue Brown. UBC
publishes a safety guide and safety
cards with emergency numbers that
students can call.
But Brown said that there are
many other safety-related improvements that could benefit UBC students, such as a sexual assault centre or the creation of a centralised,
anonymous phone line for people to
report crime. She said that with an
increased number of students using
Safewalk, the program could also
use more money to expand.
"Some nights students are waiting 20 to 30 minutes for a walk,"
she said. "Some students just aren't
willing to wait that long.'
In many universities, it appears
that students must contribute funding to ensure personal safety programs.
In 1998, UVic students voted in a
referendum to increase student fees
by $2 to pay for a new Open UVic
Resource Sexual Assault Centre,
which was previously run on a small
budget by many volunteers.
Queen's University seems to
have found a balance. Their
Walksafe program—the model for
UBC's Safewalk—recieves funding
from both the university and the
Queen's student union, which operates the service. ♦
which brought together business
leaders and students from the
region to discuss the importance of
a liberal education.
"Arts and Sciences grads get jobs
and they get great jobs/ said
University of Ottawa Rector Gilles
Patry. Patry said that studies show
University of Ottawa graduates in
the Arts and Sciences have employment rates equal to or better than
graduates of professional programs.
—Mark Greenan
Ottawa Bureau Chief Page Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
Friday. November 2.20011 h_%
- %_w
Science students to receive more credit
by Gtenda Luymes
UBC Science students will soon face more four- or seven-credit
courses and, in some cases, higher tuition fees, as the Science
curriculum committee draws near to a close on its re-credita-
tion project
The committee, composed of university staff, faculty and stu-
"It's time to
get a tetter
the amount
of time and
effort that
students are
dents, has been considering
changing particularly demanding three-credit Science undergraduate courses into four-
credit courses over the past
two years.
The courses to be
re-credited are chosen on a case-by-case
basis   and   started
as fees are charged per credit According to a representative of
the Science Undergraduate Society on the re-crediting committee, increased revenue though this re-creditation process is far
more desirable than differential tuition or a lower quality of
But Neil Guppy, associate vice-president, academic, said that
increased revenue through the re-crediting of courses is not the
main reason for the change and explained that the revenue was
not that substantial.
"It's time to get a better equation between the amount of
time and effort that students are spending on courses and the
overall credit they're receiving for them," he said.
Some students however, disagree.
"This is just a way for the university to make moneyY It basically comes down to more money for the same amount of work.
Increased credits don't practically benefit students," said third-
year biology student Jennifer Walker.
But third-year microbiology student Christine Song has a different opinion.
"A small tuition increase is far better than cut labs and cancelled classes. It also gives us more credit for the work we're
doing," she said.
The bulk of the change in re-creditation took effect in spring
2001, and Guppy said that while this process has applied primarily to the Faculty of Science, he is unclear of whether or not
other faculties will undergo similar changes. ♦
spending on ™& &"&*** biol°-
courses a
the overall
for them"
-Neil Guppy
VP Academic
by Lars Qoeifsr
"Biology 110 and
120 were reduced
to the lecture cours-
they're es Biology 111 and
"    " 121   and a stand
alone lab was introduced. For students,
a six-credit package
became a seven-
credit package,"
explained Richard
Anstee, chair of the curriculum committee." When
we embarked on re-crediting there were a number
of courses where students were already asking for
higher credit values."
Re-crediting gives Science students more credit for
the work they are doing, but also raises their tuition.
Graduate students at UBC will receive $ 1
million in bursaries from the Toronto
Dominion (TD) Bank over the next five
The money will be given to the university in blocks of $200,000 a year for
the next five years, and will be made
available to graduate students as a part
of the existing bursary program, according to the UBC Development Office.
Meredith Weins, associate vice-president of community glvicg with TD, said
that it was UBC President Martha Piper
who approached TD and promoted the
graduate bursary program.
The size of the university and the pop-
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f M^4f^_v444'^_$-
ulation that the university serves weie
also factors which TD considered in making a grant to UBC, shs said.
This donation will help more th.su
100 students a year who should each
receive between $50 to $2500 '■n financial aid per term. Last year UBC itself
gave $581,000 dollars in bursaries to its
graduate students.
But while graduate students who
qualify for bursaries will win big in the
short term, UBC will be unable to invest
the money in order to provide students
with a long-term increase in financial
Stephen Shapiro, manager of the
Development Office at UBC, said that it
was unusual for large amounts to be
given directly.
*It is highly unusual for a gift this
large not to be endowed. TD said they
-,vant to put this money directly in the
ha ads of rite students, quickly," he said.
But UBC will be matching TD's donation of $400,000 with an endowment in
the bank's name, to continue to fund
graduate student bursaries after TD's
five-year donation ends.
Annick Gauthier, president of the
Graduate Student Society, said that she
was pleased with the donation.
"The fact that we have money and that
there's been this initiative of making
money available to graduate students
that are needy is a wonderful thing,"
she said. ♦
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1  - SS51 W. 4th Ave
Vancouver, __C
Pm: BD4-734.348a
Bring in 2 Items For
Vancouver Food Bank &. Receive
Free Haireufc: with Purchase of
Full Head of Highlights
Attention Ubyssey Staff
and any volunteers who did not
attend Wednesday's meeting.
Important Information
There will be a series of meetings
next week:
Anyone wishing to participate in Ubyssey
radio...Wednesday 2pm.
Buy Nothing Day
The Ubyssey will be producing a supplement to
the paper. Anyone who wishes to
participate...Wednesday 1pm.
Information for delegates and interested parties...Tuesday 3:30pm..
All meetings will be in the Ubyssey offices.
SUB Room 24. Please be prompt.
side: To anyone who didn't attend Wednesday's meeting, yon are all fired... ha ha fooled yon. Yon are not fired.
* _       ..        *      •"' ' | t "
1   <
\    I
1    i
K     <   <
/ I Friday. November 2.2001
Page Friday-trie Ubyssey Magazine
Friday, November 2.2001
ing 7^j7b)7—a plac« (a call Uijh)7
Medecins Sans Frontieres brings the struggle of millions worldwide to Vancouver's Vanier Park
by Michael Schwandt
n Sunday afternoon in Vanier Park, an hour-
Jjlong line-up of curious Vancouverites encircles
a grouping of tents and makeshift medical stations standing in the midst of the usual joggers and kite-
flyers. It is like a refugee camp. Something key is missing, however—the panic, terror and distress that surely
hangs in the air when people fleeing conflict and violence finally arrive at a refugee camp. But then, this
isn't the real thing. After all, when the people in this
line-up have had enough of the camp, they can go home.
For people filling a refugee camp—it is home.
It's "A Refugee Camp in the City"—a scaled-down
interactive reconstruction of a refugee camp, which
made a six-day visit to Vancouver's Vanier Park last
week. The exhibit, run by the humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF/Doctors Without
Borders), has been presented in cities around the world,
and has made Canadian stops in Halifax, Montreal,
Ottawa and Toronto.
The aim of the reconstructed camp, according to
Clea Khan, a communications officer for MSF, is to educate—to draw attention to the critical situation of
refugees worldwide. "Basically, what we're aiming to do
is to raise awareness," she says at the site of the'
Vancouver camp. "It's a situation that is becoming
increasingly bad; there are more refugees every year
rather than fewer. Canada accepts a lot of refugees and
it's important for people to be aware of"
At the entrance to the Vancouver refugee camp
exhibit on Sunday, groups of visitors are met by guides.
The guides, who are experienced MSF field volunteers-
nurses, doctors, and logisticians—explain the features
of the camp and the issues facing its supposed inhabitants. Guides begin by giving each visitor a card similar
to that given to every family that registers in an actual
MSF refugee camp. The cards contain spaces for names
and health information, as well as boxes to be checked
off upon receipt of camp meals.
Touring the exhibit involves visits to a set of stations,
each depicting a specific aspect of life in a refugee
camp. Visitors are shown the tents where refugees stay
in the camps. Typically, as many as three families cram
into one small tent At the exhibit, visitors are invited to
step into the cramped space similar to those thousands
of refugees call home, sometimes for years at a time.
"It's squishy," remarked one preschool-aged visitor
as people crowded into the confined area.
Although MSF is normally able to provide lamps and
jerri-cans to each family, many necessary items must be
made by the residents of a camp. Improvised brooms
and sandals—pieced together from scrap material—are
found in and around the tents. Miniature cars made
from empty plastic bottles and a makeshift bicycle con
structed from spare pieces of wood are also on display.
Attention to detail in the reconstructed camp adds to its
"n the 30 days following September 11, 75,000 food
aid packages were dropped in Afghanistan by the
lerican militaiy each with sufficient food to sustain one person for one day. With over 5,000,000 Afghans
in constant need of food, this seems like an empty effort
to many humanitarian organisations. Meanwhile, air
strikes on Afghanistan's limited infrastructure make the
delivery of further relief more difficult than ever for
groups like the Red Cross and MSF.
In Afghanistan, persistent drought and a civil war
which came swiftly on the heels of Soviet occupation had
been forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their
homes, seeking refuge, even before the recent escalation
of violence.
Today, thousands more flee the violence between US-
led forces and the Taliban. But displaced Afghans represent only a small fraction of the world's refugee population. Currently, there are over 39 million refugees and
internally-displaced persons worldwide. That's more than
the entire population of Canada.
MSF, the event organiser, is an international medical
relief program, founded by a group of French physicians
in 1971. The organisation has worked since then to provide emergency aid to victims of armed conflict and natural disaster, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.
Towards this goal, MSF establishes camps for those fleeing violence in dozens of countries.
Funding for MSFs projects abroad comes from nongovernmental donors—something that is very important
to the organisation, as it works hard to maintain political
neutrality and independence while administering humanitarian aid.
If MSF were to have political affiliations, Kahn says, it
would cause a lot of confusion in areas of conflict or distress. Associating aid with the aims of a particular government or political group, she explains, can lead to
"potential problems in terms of access to the population
for humanitarian workers.
"As long as aid is being provided by an organisation
that is politically affiliated or has a political goal, there's
no way to keep it completely untainted by political aims,"
she says.
Financing from governments could prevent volunteer
staff from speaking freely on behalf of victimised populations. Logically, then, MSF is also opposed to governmental aid in the form of combined military and humanitarian interventions—interventions such as the hombs and
bread' campaign currently underway in Afghanistan.
A LONG WAIT: Vancouverites of all ages came out to see the reconstructed refugee camp on Sunday. They waited in an hour-long
line-up to see the exhibit. Michael schwandt photo '"
A priority for camp volunteers is ensuring that
14 \ refugees receive adequate food for survival. Food
A. YAis distributed evenly to guarantee that each individual receives a minimnrh of 2100 calories daily, with
extra calories given to pregnant women. Visitors to the
camp reconstruction in Vanier Park are given a taste-test
of a compact calorie-dense food called BP-5. BP-5 contains essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins in powdery cubes designed specifically for fast distribution and
easy consumption.
"I thought it was neat that they let us know what the
people are eating* remarked Ann Nguyen, a UBC student
visiting the camp on the weekend. "It didn't taste bad."
One daily serving of this dish is all that many refugees
eat for months at a time,
In a particularly disquieting element of the exhibit, the
. 'MUAC armband' is demonstrated. This Mid-Upper Arm
Circumference (MUAC) measuring device is used by MSF
volunteers to identify promptly children who are in immediate danger of starvation. Using standardised information to classify stages of malnutrition, MSF workers measure the circumference of children's arms. Those whose
upper arms measure less than ten centimetres around
are placed in the most severe category. Children with arm
circumferences over 14 centimetres are placed in the "no
apparent risk" category. Tragically, in many refugee
camps, measurements of less than six centimetres are not
uncommon. Unlike those in MSF refugee camps, none of
the youngsters attending the Vancouver camp were in any
jeopardy of malnutrition.
The most malnourished children in MSF camps are
placed on a diet of specialised high-protein milk. Often, so
much time has passed since a child has a real meal that
he or she can no longer swallow. The liquid meals must be
given through a nasal tube.
Death by dehydration is also a serious risk for many
refugees, and so distribution of clean water is very important in a camp. Given the difficulty of obtaining and purifying water, however, rationing fluids for drinking and
cleaning is strict Pumping water from lakes or rivers, followed by on-site chlorinating and testing brings logistical
difficulties that make providing each person in a camp
with five litres per day a challenge. Many visitors to the
Vanier Park camp were taken aback when reminded that
the average Canadian uses 326 litres in a day.
'any displaced persons, physically weak from
escaping danger, are vulnerable to illness,
specially when placed in the overcrowded conditions typical of a camp. In large camps, vaccinations are
necessary to prevent the spread of diseases—diseases
such as polio and measles that have been largely eradicated in Canada. Within 18 hours, MSF logisticians are
able to establish a vaccination tent wherever
required. There, volunteer nurses may administer as many as 1000
injections in a single day.
This is often done with
the assistance of refugee
volunteers, who may
help to give shots, record
vaccination data, or
round up children for
the feared—but essential—injections.
Illness remains an
inevitable fact of life
in refugee camps.
Designated cholera clinics
are set up to treat victims
of the intestinal bacterium, and to prevent outbreaks within camps.
Easily spread by touch
and water, cholera can
infect immense camp
populations if not isolated.
Individuals showing
symptoms of the disease
are given intravenous
rehydration, while they
and their wastes are kept
away from other refugees
, * * ■
5   :
7 I,«*r~-.*-~>-i__i-«;«5!^««®»,^^ia^4|
NOT-SO-TEMPORARY HOMES: Many families seeking refuge in tents like these stay for years at a time, michael schwandt photo
and water sources. Meanwhile, volunteer doctors and
nurses who treat cholera victims must be hosed down
with a chlorine solution daily to avoid infection.
A large component of the work done by MSF volunteers in refugee camps is not medical in the traditional
sense. Displaced individuals understandably experience
fear and despair that much of the world will never know.
This is especially true of those who are forced to stay in a
single crowded location for months or years at a time. One
guide at the exhibit described his time serving as a translator for volunteer psychologists. He had relayed the
frightful and often macabre stories of many traumatised
individuals, an experience that he described as "the hardest part of the job—ever."
For children, MSF relief workers often uses
art therapy to address mental health issues. It's a
method especially beneficial to young victims of
displacement, who are often unwilling or
unable, to voice their feelings about the experiences they have undergone.
The children draw pictures of their homes
before, and during, times of war. The art is haunting with missiles and makeshift graveyards
replacing clouds and flowered yards. But the
therapeutic value to the young displaced artists is
"I thought it was very emotional,* says
Nguyen. "I can't imagine how much they've been
affected, and how much they will be for the rest
of their lives. It's kind of scary."
Perhaps the most provoking component of
the exhibit is the land-mine display. An MSF
guide stands in a roped-off 'mine area' and
describes an assortment of mines collected from
various war zones. A slide show at the camp
shows pictures of children disfigured by landmine blasts.
There are millions of land mines buried
around the world today, including types designed
specifically to wound children. Many mines cost
less than a Canadian dollar to produce. However,
their shrewd design makes detection and dismantling difficult and it can-cost more than
$1000 to remove a single mine. The world's
chief producers of land mines are the United
States, Russia, and China. Each of these nations
has consistently refused to join treaties banning
the use of land mines, citing the need to protect
their own soldiers in situations of conflict
egardless of the immense support that is provided to refugees by organisations like MSF, a
disheartening future faces most displaced people. Often, with no passports or other identifying documentation, refugees find themselves without resident
status in any nation. The lack of legal standing is worst
for people displaced within their own country since,
according to UN policy, these people are not refugees.
Recognised instead as Internally Displaced Persons,
such individuals are not granted the same international
rights and protection afforded to refugees who have
crossed a recognised border. When no nation is willing
to take responsibility for these people, they are left
dependent on humanitarian agencies. 'Temporary'
refugee camps become permanent homes for many of
the displaced.
Sadly, most of us who live in relatively safe nations
are unaware and unconcerned with the plight of the
world's refugees. Images on the nightly news seem to do
little to prompt outcry or action, or bridge the distance
between those of us living in safety and comfort and
those living the worst of nightmares. Humanitarian
groups must continue to speak out for civilian victims of
conflict, and bring the underlying causes of refugee
crises to the First World public. To judge from recent
local interest in the Refugee Camp in the City, MSF workers are not bearing witness in vain. ♦
SAFETY AND SHELTER: The refugee camp exhibit displayed the different tents used at the camps, depending on
the climatic conditions of the area, michael schwandt photo 8 Friday. November 2.2001
Page Friday-the Ubyssey Magazine
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Anthrax anx
.^__JjI]te_ssa Richardson   to fight the disease.
Four deaths and approximately 13
other confirmed cases of anthrax in
the United States have caused much
alarm throughout North America.
UBC students, however, don't seem
to be too concerned.
Tm not really scared at all,' said
Flavia Barandiaran, a second-year
Arts student I'm not going to start
ordering Cipro pills over the
Internet or anything."
"I live in Gage. The
worst thing that can happen to me is running out
of toilet paper. I don't fear
for my safety." said Mitch
Hooker, a third-year Arts
Anthrax is a bacterium
that can remain dormant
for decades, surrounded
by a tough protein? coat
These dormant forms are
termed spores. When
spores are released they may
become airborne and when inhaled,
can give rise to the most lethal form
of anthrax: Pulmonary anthrax.
There are two other forms that are
less lethal: cutaneous anthrax,
caused by skin to skin contact with
affected animals, and gastrointestinal anthrax, caused by the ingestion
of contaminated meat.
Symptoms of pulmonary anthrax
are similar to the flu. If high-dose
antibiotic treatment is
administered early on,
before acute symptoms
occur, then this disease
can be cured.
The threat of anthrax
has caused both the US
and Canada to stock up
on the antibiotic of
choice for treating f
anthrax, Cipro. The
Canadian government
spent $1.5 million on
Cipro pills to have on hand in case
of an outbreak in Canada. The efficacy of another, cheaper antibiotic,
doxycycline, has also now been
proved and it will also be prescribed
Top fsilgerian human
rights lawyer to visit
Nigeria's leading environment
human rights lawyer, Oror>to
Douglas, wffl be making a stop at
UBC this Tuesday to talk about
Where Vultures Feast; Shell H~omm
Sights and Oil m the Niger Delta, a
book he co-authored.
Boyglas was a member of the
legal team that represented Kea
Saro-Wiwa before his "judicial murder* In November
1995 by ifae
Nigerian military
government Saro-
Wiwa's protest of the
destruction created
by Shell Oil and the
Nigeriast government brought him and his cause
notoriety worldwide. He mobilised
tens of thou&anete in ike Niger Delta
to oppose Shell's oil drilling in.
In response to Saro-Wiwa's murder. Greater Vancouver residents
began 76 consecutive weeks of rallying at Shell stations across the city
and helped stop a proposed Shell
five-year. 30-milliosi petroleum
products contract with Vancouver
and surrounding municipalities.
Douglas will be speaking on
Tuesday, November 6 from 5:3Gpm
to 6:30pm in the UBC Curtis Law
Building, Boom 101. At 7pm, there
will be, music bf Jim, Sands and
As   of yet,    tlxere   Ixa-ve   fc>ee:n   mo
cases of anthrax in Canada. As of
October 25, according to the BC
Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC),
66 patient specimens and 14 environmental specimens sampled in
BC had tested negative for anthrax.
"We are reassured that the risk of
anthrax to citizens in the province
remains extremely low," said David
Patrick, director of epidemiology of
the BC CDC. The CDC advises that if
anyone has a "truly" suspicious package or situation
of concern they should put
the item down, cover it with
whatever is at hand and
wash their hands, then call
the police immediately.
Both Patrick and UBC students are frustrated with the
number pf false reports of
anthrax; that have occurred.
^ "I think [the threat] has
been blown way out of proportion. It's a waste of news time.
There are way more hoaxes that
actual incidences," said Ashley
Carwithen, a third-year Arts
"I'm not taking any precautions.
(The anthrax situation] is a big
media scanf and everybody is overreacting," agreed Anne Muter, a
second-year Science student.
Luke Brocki, a third-year
Science student said he thinks people in Canada are overreacting. "It doesn't really
concern me. People are
just playing on society's
anxieiy," he said. "In
Canada, the scare is pure
According to Patrick,
if people understand
"[BC's] low level of risk,"
and follow advice from
the CDC and related officials, "we will spare our
emergency personnel from
unnecessary diversion. We'll
carry on with business and life as
usual and keep ourselves in the
driver's seat." ♦
short presentation by Douglas.
Axworthy off to
Oyod Axworthy, director of UBC's
Liu Centre for the Study of Global
Issues and former minister of
Foreign Affairs, travelled to
Pakistan on a humanitarian factfinding mission Tuesday.
Axworthy will lead an
Oxfam-sponsored international
mission that will
examine the crisis
in Afghanistan, studying the need for
aid for refugees,
and hopefully developing long-term
plans for peace and
'I am delighted to accept this
invitation by Oxfam to get on the
ground and work with them, and
other relief agencies engaged in tlie
region, at this veiy critical time,"
said Axworthy.
"We're pleased that [Axworthy]
agreed to be our envoy," said
Mark Fried, communications and
advocacy coordinator of Oxfam
Canada, who is also going on the
trip. "He carries much of Canada's
good prestige around the world,
and we hope that having him
along will increase whatever clout
we might wield."
Axworthy will return on
Movember 6. ♦ > Pane Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
Friday. November 2.2001)
with the Shins and the Standard
at Richard's on Richards
Oct 27
by Duncan M. McHugh
When Pavement's former front-
man, Stephen Malkmus, rolled into
town last spring, it was kind of exciting. His new band, the Jicks, had
just put out a pretty good album,
better than any Pavement had made
in quite some time. And
despite a low-energy performance
(and a fucking annoying back-up
singer/girlfriend), Malkmus put on
a good show for a near-sold-out
Richard's crowd.
Where am I going with this?
Well; the Pavement break-up yielded another band: guitarist Spiral
Stairs' (Scott Kannberg's) Preston
School of Industiy (PSOI). I had
heard very little about the band and,
judging by the low turnout (I'd
guess about 80 people), neither had
most of Vancouver. Maybe the
show's turnout can be attributed to
its 6:30pm start time—a dreaded
Richard's early show. Either way, no
one seemed too keen on being
Things started off well enough,
Portland's the Standard played a
tight, intense set. The quintet's
sound wasn't too distinctive, but
was nonetheless enjoyable. Their
set was pretty short though, and
their vocals a little too sheepish.
Still they did a decent job warming
up the 'crowd.'
Next up were Albuquerque's the
Shins, the band who should have
been headlining. Their sometimes
sad, tuneful pop songs, most of
which were from their debut Oh,
Inverted World, soared through the
near-empty club.
They established their knack for
melody early, kicking off with the
upbeat "One By One All Day." On
stage, they joked about how cold
and empty the club was, but cheerfully. Simply put, they seemed to be
having fun. Other highlights of their
set included renditions of "The
Celibate Life" and their newest single, the melancholic "New Slang."
They finished up with an audience-
pleasing rendition of "Know Your
Last up was PSOI. Right off the
bat, things were informal. Stairs
promised to play some songs and
tell some jokes. Unfortunately, neither were all that great
While their musical ability was
evident PSOTs songs fell flat The
band wasn't bad, just unremarkable. The set just kind of came and
went and all of a sudden it was time
for the encore, which, unfortunately
for PSOI, was the best part of the
show. I say unfortunately because it
was the Shins' Merty Crandall that
made it so good. His impromptu
cover of "Billie Jean*—complete
with crotch-grabbing choreography—while Stairs changed a string
on his guitar, wrapped up the show
And so, as Richard's filled with
its obnoxious regulars, we were
back on the street by 10pm. A bit of
a bland, disappointing night,
though the Shins made it a worthwhile trip. ♦
by Duncan M. McHugh
"*M»   ""■» *
fy-. >
Photos by
Sara Young
» *
=■■»■■»3ra.wr~7Tr.aT -^K^*»^*--»-»^^■l*gg"■"^'^ T*^
Chilled, but upbeat This seems to be how James
Mercer is feeling as I sit down with him to talk
before a show this past Saturday. The club is
quite cold, especially for someone who has
spent most of the last decade in Albuquerque,
New Mexico. Still, Mercer, whose band the
Shins are playing this night, doesn't seem to
mind experiencing Vancouver's damp, cool
"We really are impressed with your city.
It's really pretty. I came up here once when I
was, I don't know, 19 or something, and I
remember it as being really beautiful, but we
were really astonished today. Just the colours
of the trees and the green and the buildings.
And the clouds, it's really surreal-looking out
there tonight," he says.
When it seems that most bands on tour
view a stop in Vancouver as a bit of
a chore (if they make the trip north
at all), it's refreshing to see someone enjoy playing here. Of course,
Mercer is understandably cheerful.
It was ten years ago that he and
some friends formed Flake (later
Flakemusic). They released several
records but never garnered much
attention. Now, after a decade of
playing music, Mercer and his
bandmates, playing as the Shins,
are enjoying recognition. They've
already toured with Modest Mouse
and are now opening for Preston
School of Industry (PSOI), the band
fronted by Spiral Stairs (ex-
"It's been a lot of fun actually. We've been
having a good time. The shows are a lot nicer
and we make money on the road, which is
great and then just doing interviews like this,
which we never used to do," Mercer saj s.
The Shins started as a side project in 1997,
a chance for Mercer to do more songwri'ing.
However, when Flakemusic broke up in 1993,
it gave him a chance to focus on the Shins, a
band made up of original Flakemusic members, this time playing different instruments.
Despite similar personnel, Flakemusic and the
Shins are very different bands.
"It's different in that things are left up to me,
in a way," he says. "I mean, you know, [the
Shins] was a side project that I started, so the
responsibilities He with me. That's about it The
other guys still come up with their own parts,
but I'm generally writing the songs."
The hype around the Shins became pretty
heavy this summer in expectation of their debut
album. Oh, Inverted World. A lot of this has to
with the band being signed by Sub Pop, the
Seattle-based indie juggernaut famous for putting out early Nirvana, Soundgarden and Beat
"[Sub Pop] sort of chose us," says Mercer.
"We weren't receiving a lot of attention. So, it
wasn't like there was a bidding war, or anything.
We got hooked up with them through a friend,
and it's worked out really well for us."
The album has garnered significant critical
praise, and some strange comparisons. Some of
the album's reviews, the Shins are compared to
everyone from the Magnetic Fields to Simon
and Garfunkel. But the band that they're most
often compared to, strangely enough, is the
Beach Boys.
"Well, I'm flattered," says Mercer. "I had no
idea that the record sounded like the Beach
Boys, or even similar. Actually, the funny stoiy
about that is my mom's friend had a young
daughter, and when that Md heard the record,
she thought it was the Beach Boys. So there
must be something..."
It should be noted, however, that there's no
I, FRONTMAN: James Mercer belts it out
last Staurday (above). The Shins divided:
(l-r) Marty Crandall, Neal Langford, James
Mercer and Jessie Sandoval (top), sara
mention of surf boards or beaches on the
album. In fact, if anything, there's a thread of
melancholia that runs through these songs.
Tracks like "The Celibate Life," and "New
Slang," the album's first single, both have a
really great sigh-inducing quality, the kind of
music Elliott Smith would make if he didn't
sound like such a wimp.
The tide of the album riffs on this. Oh,
Inverted World refers to a world where the
bad guys always win and where things don't
work out
from being a kid who, during high school, was
small-ish and stuff like that," says Mercer. "You
just kind of get this view that, basically, that the
world isn't fair, life's not fair, nobody ever said
it was...I guess, that's interesting to me."
It's these feelings that compel Mercer to
express his own thoughts and feelings, instead
of singing purely fictional lyrics.
"I'm not someone who's gifted at hypothetical writing, which is really a talent and
I totally respect it," he says. "And so I have
to sort of have some sort of emotional reality to really get inspired. Maybe that's why I
end up having some sort of care in what's
going on."
For the time being, the Shins are busy with
the PSOI tour which runs until November 24.
'[The tour] started in Portland. Our first
show was a little shaky as far as how tight we
v, ere, how well we performed. We were a little loose. [In] Seattle, we were actually being
recorded by Phil Ek, the guy who works with
Built To Spill and stuff. He recorded our
show for us and we happened to playing really well, or I thought so. So it was good luck,"
he says.
Mercer hopes to use that recording as live
tracks for an EP, which will be released with
some new songs in a few months.
"I have about eight songs that are in the
works right now. Maybe two of those are
actually completed So, I think we're
doing okay. And, I've always kept a
micro-cassette recorder, since the time I
was 17...Once in awhile, I'll just listen to
an old tape and it's usually tons and
tons of crap, and once in awhile, there's
something good on there and it'll end
up being a song."
From there, they hope to continue
touring. There are plans for a European
tour with labelmates Love As Laughter.
It's a trip he's looking forward to.
"Yeah, we're real excited about that 'cause
we've never toured over there."
After their set, the Shins sit around their
merch table, looking to unload some T-shirts,
records and something called the Turd Bird.
Mercer chats about the Vancouver music
scene. He's looking forward to picking up
some Destroyer and New Pornographer
records. He's only able to find the CDs in
Portland, where he recently moved to from
I try to complain about the dismal attendance for the 6:30pm show. Still Mercer
remains optimistic.
"It's not so bad for an early show," he says.
"Anyways, we had fun." And that seems to be
what it's about for Mercer. ♦ Friday. November 2.2001
Page Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
Duncan M. McHugh
Ai Lin Choo
Sarah MacNeill Morrison
Ron Nurwisah
Scott Bardsiey
Julia Christensen
Laura Blue
Nic Fensom
Hywel Tuscano
Graeme Worthy
Alicia Miller
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the
University of British Columbia. H 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.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff.
They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not
necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications
Society or the University of British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University
FVess (CUP) and adheres to CUFs guiding principles.
Alt editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Pubfications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot
be reproduced without the expressed, written permission
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include yoir phone number, student number and signature
(not for publication) as well as your year and facully with afl
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under 750 words and are run according to space.
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been verified.
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advertising thai if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to
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Fernie Pereira
Karen Leung
Shalene Takara
Ratty Deering was sitting on the edge ofthe very tall cli££ She'd
passed Tessa Richardson and Lais GoeHer on the way up. They
were breathing labourioush/, just like the way Ai Ian Choo used
to when they'd'go to the gym with Graeme Worthy and Michelle
Rosa. She could sec over the city to the house where Glenda
LuymeB and Alexis Roohani lived with Sarah Morrison. Ron
Nurwisah had bought the old place from a wizard, or bo he said.
Sarah Conchie shoot her head and laughed to herself everytime
he said this-remembering how Jesse Marchand and Phoebe
Wang had pulled the wool over his eyes with the firecrackers in
the woods. Greg Ursic and Michael Schwandt had readied the
top, now they sat down and opened a bottle of 1101 Wood's wine.
It was good, ErmTyChan and Kat Single-Dain always went on and
on about how good it was, but it wasn't as good as the stuff that
^uncan McHugh made in his bathtub. The soapscum making it
taste just the right amount of wrong. Sara Young couldn't stand
it; but that was her peroga&ve. 'More for us)' as Nic Fensom
would always say. So they sat and talked about the old tunes, -
about Julia Christensen, Alicia Miller and Hywel Tuscano. They
talked for an hour, but the whole Hmn it felt like they were dancing around the topic of Scott Bardsiey.
Canada Port SatM AvMRMBtJlymlMr 0732141
^o\ vn \\\o_i 4f\ots>\f~
A community as diverse as any
Opening our copy of Tuesday's Lower Mainland
section of the Vancouver Sun, we expected to see
a lead stoiy on the newly passed training wage.
Or perhaps a story on BC ravers that died of drug
overdose over the weekend. Or even another big
stoiy on Boaz, the Kelowna snake in the middle
of a squabble with social workers.
What we didn't expect to see was a large
photo of a guilty-looking Libby Davies. Even
more surprising was that the story had nothing
to do with politics, or her work as a member of
parliament A full story was instead dedicated to
her sexuality. As if it matters.
And does it? Does it matter that our local
mainstream papers still think that sexuality,
or having same-sex relationships is a big deal,
or that having a "gay relationship' is something wrong and controversial that one must
'admit* to?
We would say that it does. And not only is it
wrong, it's extremely disturbing. It's disturbing
that despite all our pride in tolerance and equality, people are still subjugated to this prejudice
on a daily basis. That people, and even sometimes friends and loved ones, are dumped into
the 'gay' category while labelled with society's
definition of 'them.'
Biological differences between gays and 'us'
also came to the forefront in a decision made by
Justice Ian H. Pitfield on a case brought to the BC
Supreme Court on October 4. While ruling that
restricting same-sex marriages was discriminatory, but not in violation of the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms. Justice Pitfield ruled
that changes to rules on marriage weren't justifiable as the institution of marriage serves only
to farther procreation.
Changes to rules are under the jurisdiction of
Parliament, he said.
But since Parliament already decided that it
wasn't in their power to change a 1866 definition of marriage in Febuary this year, who
should decide then?
Bill C-264, a bill introduced by MP Svend
Robinson that would allow same-sex marriages,
was turned down in the House of Commons as it
went against the union of 'one man and one
woman to the exclusion of others.'
So, why are our politicians tossing the issue
back and forth? And more importantly, why are
our politicians hanging on to a 1866 definition
—a definition that was written at a time when
men were allowed to rape and beat- their wives,
and when women were excluded from the right
to vote or hold a seat in Parliament, and were
not even considered persons.
Maybe it's because we insist on defining 'gay'
people as a collective. As a group indistinct of
individuality. We forget that homosexuals are as
diverse as the heterosexual community .
Instead, our commercials target 'gay' people
as a collective. They are stereotyped by our selective offering of 'gay' maintstream TV sitcoms. All
gays are like those on Will & Grace—White,
wealthy and sexually sanitised.
Perhaps what people don't realise is that
while so many people are working so hard to
eradicate class struggle in this country, we are
inevitably setting up another class of sexuality in
our society. By depriving one group a right as
basic as marriage, by depriving them of the privilege of individuality and perhaps more explicitly, by making them 'admit* to what media would
make out as a guilty or terrible choice they've
subscribed to—we invariably stigmatise them.
It would seem that the problem doesn't lie
solely in our institutions or in the choices of
some political actors. Maybe it's time that we all
took a closer look at our individual values and
beliefs, and gave everyone the respect and recognition that they rightfully deserve. ♦
Training wage has
solid basis
Q: When is TninirmiTn wage not the
mrmTniiTTi wage?
A: When you elect the Liberals!
Trust the provincial government
(Liberal AND New Democrat) to
obfuscate matters, but let's not
argue over semantics. The published responses of MLA Jenny
Kwan and Alma Mater Society Vice-
President, Finance, Yv'ette Lu to the
new 'training wage' ('Liberals
introduce 'first-job' wage' [Oct 30])
reveal that they are reacting' in
opposition without knowing the
details. However, they may be forgiven because the Ubyssey's article
itself fails to make the details clear.
The training wage does not apply
every time a worker changes jobs.
The training wage proposal clearly
states that it applies only to the first
500 hours of a new worker's 'first
EVER'job. Unless Kwan and Lu are
under the impression that university-aged students have never had a
job before, then I fail to see how
this new regulation will dramatically affect the pay rates of university
The minimum wage in BC is
the highest in Canada because the
government acknowledges the
high cost of living and the broadly
based dependence on part-time
work by many adults and adult
students. However, this high minimum wage has a detrimental
effect on young first-time jobseek-
ers because employers are seeking the best value for their payroll
dollars and there is an abundance
of experienced adult part-time
In my opinion $6-an-hour is an
excessive incentive/benefit for
employers and 500 hours is quite
high for an arbitrary and informal
training period, but the general
idea is right It effectively targets
aid to first-time jobseekers, who
are usually young teens in secondary school and not in need of a
wage that sustains rent, food and
education costs. The first-time job-
seeker is generally a 15-year-old
kid looking for that crucial first
'work experience' and some
spending money. When any worker leaves a job, the employer is
required to provide a Record of
Employment that states the length
of employment and approximate
hours worked. Thus, with very little increase in governmental
administration, employers will be
limited in their abuse of this new
I have no qualms about crying
foul when the government behaves
moronically, but in this instance I
think the media's focus is off target
(perhaps they've been training with
America's bombing pilots, who
recently destroyed a Red Cross
warehouse in Afghanistan?). Take
issue with the arbitrary training
wage amount of $6-an-hour and the
arbitrary training period of 500
hours, instead of the good underlying idea.
—Jodi Murphy
Science 4
A word of media
On September 11, we watched the
world lose its innocence. For some,
watching was all we could do—and
the networks made sure that our
appetites were fulfilled. For those
of us who were up early enough on
that fateful Tuesday morning, this
meant sitting fixated in front of our
televisions as news anchors turned
around in horror to watch the second plane tear through the south.
tower of the World Trade Centre. In
a figurative .sense, we saw it with
our own eyes—something that
those living at the time of Pearl
Harbour, or even the Vietnam War,
can't claim.
In the following weeks, our
lives have been barr aged by media
anthems. 'America Under Attack'
has morphed into "America's New
War.' Major networks, both
Canadian and American, were
seen vying for the best footage, the
best experts, the best coverage.
And when it was finally broadcast,
George W. Bush's address to
Congress was played out over and
over again in bars and restaurants
all across America.
It is often too easy to sit back in
front of the TV (or stretch out with
the local newspaper or even
switch on the radio while driving)
and simply swallow the information being presented. How many
of these breaking headlines can
we really trust? Are the images in
front of us unbiased or are we
being subjected to a carefully
selected string of filmed events—a
spin doctor's dream?
Overwhelmed with choice in
today's techno-crazed society, we
often opt for the quick-and-dirty
solution to our information needs.
But the next time you flick on the
TV, pause and think—who created
this footage? Who's telling the
story? And what is it they want you
to think?
—Jennifer Lau
UBC Equity Ambassador
Arts 4 Pane Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
Friday. November 1200114 4
at Fifth Avenue
now playing
Watching a film at 10:OOam is tough
enough. I am not a morning person
and a lousy night's sleep definitely
makes it far more challenging. But as
it turns out it's the ideal state of mind
to watch Waking Life. Director
Richard Linklater's (Dazed and
Confused, Before Sunrise) latest
effort is an unconventional film with
only the barest bones of a plot The
main character is asleep and can't
seem to wake up. In his journey to reenter a waking state, he floats from
dream to dream, hoping that the next
segue will see him back in reality.
Filmed as live action, each sequence
is animated by one of the 30 animators on the project some with vastly
differing styles.
The animation techniques range
from simple tracings of the cells in
which the characters are easily
identifiable (the sequence with
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy has
barely been altered) to surrealist
fantasies that make you wonder if
the creator had some hallucinogenic influences. The dynamic
styling of the sequences is visually
stimulating, sometimes bordering
on overwhelming, but your atten
tion is constantly drawn to the
screen. Had the makers of this film
chosen to run these images with an
equally bombastic soundtrack, this
film would be absolutely riveting.
The least it would have done is
drown out some of the mediocre
Each 'dream' is a discussion
between new characters that try to
divine the meaning of dreams. The
discussions touch on esoteric topics
ranging from existentialism and cosmology, to Gnosticism. Very cerebral stuff, and interesting—to some.
I was caught up in several of the conversations, such as the concept of
lucid dreaming. One character mentions that you know you're in a
dream when you can't adjust the
lighting levels, something I've been
trying to do without success. Other
discussions, however, prove to be so
abstruse that we slip into our own
dream states.
Waking Life is an adventurous
film that will draw the art
house/Mensa crowd wherever it
plays and will elicit deserved "oohs'
and 'aahs' for its visual imagery. It
may even spark some discussion at
the coffee houses afterwards. But
this is not light entertainment and
you simply won't find stock characters and a potboiler plot ♦
Mulhollantl Drive   ,
now playing
If you're looking for a straight forward, feel-good film, stay away from
Mulholland Drive. David Lynch, the
director responsible for films such
as Blue Velvet and the zany TV series
Twin Peaks, isn't interested in making you feel good. And he doesn't
seem too interested in telling stories
in linear sequence either.
Mulholland Drive revolves
around Betty (Naomi Watts), a naive
young actress from Deepwater,
Ontario, who has just moved to
Hollywood in hopes of making it big.
Before her first day is done, Betty
befriends Rita (Laura Harring), a car
accident survivor who has lost her
memory and mysteriously has a large
bag of cash in her possession. From
there Lynch manipulates the plot
breaking it into so many disjointed
pieces that you'll lose track if you
don't pay attention.
Mulholland Drive is a dense
film; Lynch alludes to Roy Orbison,
Rita Hayworth, Doo Wop, Alfred
Hitchcock and even some of his
own works. Watch for an appearance from a Twin Peaks
The complexity of this film allows
Mulholland Drive to explore many
themes at once. Lynch plays with the
nature of Hollywood, the concept of
identity and self notions of reality.
and our ideas of narrative structure.
The satirical Hollywood of
Mulholland Drive not only has greasy
agents, hot-shot directors and buxom
actresses, but there also seems to be
a sinister, shadowy hand guiding
everything along. When Adam (Justin
Theroux), a precocious young director a la Steven Sorderbergh, decides
to try to fight this mysterious force,
he finds his credit cards maxed out
his life destroyed and is led to visit a
strange albino cowboy hitman.
Make sense? Didn't
think so.
The plot seems to veer off in a
couple different directions. Are
Rita and Diane really who they
seem to be? Or are they actually in
fact Camilla and Diane, two
washed-out southern Californians?
Just who is the mysterious dwarf?
The hitmen? What's Billy Ray Cyrus
doing in a David Lynch film? Just
what exactly is going on in this
film? There are more questions
than answers in this film and
Mulholland Drive will make you
scratch your head or gasp in exasperation at least once.
Even after the film comes to its
relatively neat and gift-wrapped
ending, it still seems shrouded in
mystery. The only recommendation
I have for those planning to go see
it is to go with a friend. You might
find talking to yourself about
Mulholland Drive unbearable. ♦
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Friday. November 2.2001
Page Fridav-the Ubvssev Magazine
this <sooi> js$& wmm
A look at writer-actor Damien Atkins     by Phoebe Wang
Doing what you love. It's an elusive state that
so many stumble against, miss and fleetingly
embrace. First there's the alarming prospect
of deciding. Then there's the right attitude.
Since his youth, writer-actor Damien Atkins's
love has been the theatre, which he always
approached professionally. And Atkins is
right on target
There's a tendency to focus on age when
talking about Damien Atkins. It's; not every
day that an oh-so-young 2 S year-old is awarded $25,000 for his first full-length play, Good
Mother. <?r that it premiers at the Stratford
Festival. Atkins, a writer-in-residence at UBC's
creative writing department, has also staged
two other shows. Miss Chatelaine and Real
Live Giri received a diploma in Theatre Arts
from Grant McEwan College; and boasts a
^j*        long list of acting credits.
In the glare of the light and mirrors of a
small dressing room, Atkins is in his proper
atmosphere. A few evenings before opening
night, backstage is a distracting and noisy
place. Despite that maybe even because of
the activity around him, Atkins responds
attentively and readily. There's aii even, modulated polish to his maimer that shows his
ease with public speaking. "Do y'know what I
mean?' he keeps asking, heeding to affirm
that he's being understood. But you always
know what he means because his answers
are so unerringly appropriate.
Atkins's risks are the kind that—at first—
don't seem risky. "Success is a state of mind,'
he says. That makes too much sense to sound
subversive. To Atkins, success is a personal,
not a public, thing. It's this attitude that
brought him to this dressing room.
According to Atkins, there's a tendency to
^i confuse success with results. At the moment
you decide what you love tp do, "the end result
becomes irrelevant*
Atkins already knows that being able to
devote his energy to acting and writing is the
real measure of success. It is that disregard
for the end result that makes him successful.
Pointing out the tendency to think there's a
set formula for acheiving results, he says,
"that's the question everyone wants to know,
how does this happen?" With Atkins there
isn't a single answer.
His early start may have something to do
with it He acted and appeared in professional productions at a young age, moved from his
parents' home at the age of 16 to study theatre
at college, and at 18 he continued his career.
"I was single-minded from a really young
age," he says.
Commitment is a valuable lesson to
learn at any age, but if it's taught at a young
age, it's even more of an advantage. "If you
fall in love with something at such a young
age as I did, you become quite focused
when a lot of people haven't decided yet
what they want to do."
Atkins says he's "still in training." He may
have worked hard in his formal education,
but he sees that as part of taking responsibility of his development. "I worked hard
before I went to college, and I worked hard
after," he says.
He's already the younge=t
playwright to have a play pr
miere    at   the    Stratford
Festival, yet to Atkins, that
privilege was also a risk.
Aware of the. size of the festival, he was anxious about
keeping a voice in the production. It was also a slight- I
ly frightening enterprise,
rife with 'what ifs.' Atkins
remembers   his    anxiety,
"What if the the critics don't
like it? What if the audience
doesn't like it? What if it
doesn't sel|? Will I get a reputation?"
"In the end you realise thai
all of those things kind Of irrel
evant," he says.
The experience of workku
with a Stratford productio i
and here at UBC, are, accordir -'
to Atkins, "remarkably sim !
iar.* Both were blessed wi '
dedicated actors, he says.
Running workshops a:
talking to UBC students abc
their work has also been part
his education. He's enjoying'
residency because "it hold*
mirror up to your discipli'
philosophy and technique."
Remaining in Canada is \
another example of the kind
understated  risks  that  At-'
often takes. He's especially c •
ed by his home country's "pai
Iar      unique       tradition
theatre...There's the breadt'i
work, quality of work, and the ;
ity of people to work with here
I haven't exhausted those b,\
means yet"
"I love it here. There's lots-'
here" he says exuberantly.
Risk is a basic philoso]■',
Atkins; he believes that "you .
to write something that hur1 -
something that challenges you. The writer has
to go through some form of the experience
that he's hoping that the audience or the reader will go through, so that the journey that the
audience takes is as fresh and surprising as it
was for you."
Atkins's next few years are filled with projects. He mentions that each of his previous
projects have been a different form of storytelling. And Atkins's not going to stop expert
menting. He's trying to return to his first love,
the short story. He's also been asked by
Stratford to write a play about the 19th century abolitionist and writer, Fanny Kemble.
Another recent projeqt is a new play about gay
rights and porn. Then there's acting as well.
Atkins keeps pushing.
"We decide that people have certain limitations.. Oh, you can't do that It's always a
shock to us when someone kind of proves the
rule wrong.
"Y'know what I mean?" ♦
Vv "
"* ■
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