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The Ubyssey Jan 20, 2011

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Array Thunderhumping to victory SINCE 1918
Outrage as UBC delays hospice over cultural considerations. Page 3
The Forgotten: communities react
to MOAs cancelled show displaying
portraits of missing and murdered
women. Page 4
JANUARY 20,2011
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T*/- 2/UBYSSEY.CA/E VENTS/2011.01.20
JANUARY 20,2011
Justin McElroy: coordinating@uhyaey.ca
Arshy Mann: news@ubyssey.ca
Kalyeena Makortoff: kmakortoff@ubyssey.ca
Mich Cowan: mcowan@ubysseyca
Jonny Wakefield & Bryce Warnes:
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MAZDA 3 FOR SALE: 2005 4-door,
silver, automatic transmission,
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us create this baby! Learn about
layout and editing. Expect to be
fed. • Every Sunday and Wednesday, 2pm.
RESOURCE GROUPS • Are you working on a progressive project, but
need funding? Do you have an idea,
butcan'tgetitofftheground? Apply to the Resource Groups for
funding! Come in, pitch your
idea to us and we will consider fully or partially funding your
project. For more info, email re-
sourcegroups.ams@gmail.com. •
Every Monday, 11am in SUB 245
(second floor, north-east corner).
l-SLAM: EXPRESSED • Part of Islam
Awareness Week. Come by for
an evening of talent and breaking
misconceptions through art,
featuring spoken word artist
Boonaa Mohammed and local
talents. • 6:30-9pm, Woodward
6, $5.
WATER WARS • Water Wars
features an array of water-themed
activities. With classics including
joust, inner tube water polo and
water basketball, this year's
events promise to be a splash!
• 6:30pm-2am, Aquatic Centre,
$80-175, register by Jan. 13, go
to rec.ubc.ca for more information.
TO THE 70'S • Take a trip back to
disco balls, shaggy carpets and
stagflation in  The Incredible
Bread Machine. This 1975
movie delves into many issues
still relevant today, such as taxes,
drug prohibition, monopolies and
freedom of speech. If you like
debating social and economic
issues, you're in for a treat.
Hosted by the UBC Libertarian
Club. • 6:30-8pm, David Lam
Amphitheatre, free for members,
$2 at the door.
EVENT • Feature Lecture: The
Legacy of Muhammad: Terror
or Greatness? Featuring guest
speakers Sheikh Navaid Aziz and
DrSyed Ibn Iqbal. • 6:30-9:30pm,
Woodward 2, $10, $5 student
• An Afro-fusion night with
performances, entertainment
and a DJ celebrating the end of
Africa Awareness Conference
Week. • 7:30pm, Abdul Ladha
Centre, $10 non-members, $7
regular members, $5 premium
carnival? Love happy clowns?
You don't? We don't either. No
clowns will be there. However,
we do have your favourites like
a bouncy castle, popcorn and
cotton candy. If you love to
bounce or watch other people
bounce, come stuff your face
and join us for a rip-roaring good
time. • 12-4pm, in front of Ladha
(inside in case of rain), free.
opening ceremony for Science
Week 2011. It will feature the
talents of the Burnaby North
Vikings (marching band), the UBC
Cheerleaders, a flag ceremony,
free food (and cake) and high
spirits! Join at any time by falling
in step with the parade that
will be travelling around campus
starting from the Rose Garden.
More festivities will be held at
Abdul Ladha Science Student
Centre (where there will be face
painting and food). • 11am-2pm,
UBC campus, free.
Do you have what it takes to
bust other people's brains?
Well, then you should prove
your intellectual prowess in this
year's new and improved SUS
Not only will you get to show
off your smarts, you will also
need to display your creativity.
You can also win one of
many great prizes (totaling
over $1000). Furthermore,
you may have a chance to
prove yourselves against an
TEAM! • 1-4pm, Abdul Ladha
Centre, finals on Thursday, Jan.
27, 12-3pm, SUB. Get a team of
four people, go toscienceweek.
ca/events.php#brainprelim for
sign-up information.
survived term one here at UBC,
but you're not sure where to go
from here. The AUS First Year
Committee is here to help! Not
only will our awesome Dean,
Gage Averill, be there, but also
Arts Advising, department reps,
and more! Come by and take
the opportunity to figure out
your path in UBC academics. •
1-3:30pm, Global Lounge, free.
Quinquagenary presents Dr
Patrick McGeer. Dr McGeer is
a Canadian physician, professor
and medical researcher. He is
regarded as one of the world's
leading authorities on the causes
and prevention of Alzheimer's
Disease. He was a Canadian
basketball player who competed
in the 1948 Summer Olympics,
a politician who represented
the constituency of Vancouver-
Point Grey in the British Columbia
legislature from 1962-1986 and a
member of the BC government
from 1976-1986. Don't miss
out on an opportunity to meet
this incredible man! • 6-7:30pm,
Room 1005, Forestry Science
Centre, keynote reception 7:30-
8:15, adjacent lobby. Free food
OPEN MIC NIGHT • Have a story,
poem, or a hidden talent that's
been burning in your heart and
needs to be EXPRESSED? Want
to see your profs showcase their
talent and interact with them in
a relaxing environment? Come
out to the open mic event to
showcase your talent and to
enjoy a night of festivities and
refreshments at the UBC Art
Gallery. After the show, stroll
around the gallery and take a
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Jafiuary 20, 7:00pm,
COME TO SUB 23 FOR JI\pU llMpUi to the advance screening on
Thursday, January 20, 7:00pm, Scotiabank Theatre
We offer:
• Compact and portable
Hydrogen Storage
• MH fank Refilling Services
• StackablePEM Fuel Cells
look at the visual art on display
or enjoy a cup of coffee or hot
chocolate while enjoying each
others' company and escaping
the cold weather outside! •
6-8pm, The Gallery.
RAT RACE • Grab a team of five
friends and compete at the fun-
filled Rat Race! In this event,
you and your friends will be
given hints that will lead you
to different locations around
the campus. At each location,
your team will complete various
challenges ranging from relays
to problem solving events.
The team that completes all
challenges in the shortest
amount of time will be crowned
the winner and receive a prize!
Don't have a team of five? Sign
up for the Rat Race individuals
and we will match you up with
others that want to race in this
awesome event. • 11am-3pm,
UBC Campus, meet at Abdul
Ladha Centre.
PERFORMANCE • As part of Sexual
Assault Awareness Month
(SAAM) at UBC you're invited
to a showing of Dissolve, a one-
woman play about drug-facilitated
sexual assault by UBC alumnus
Meghan Gardiner. Gardiner
uses emotion and humour to
explore this important topic.
Come and see this inspirational
and entertaining piece of theatre
that has made an impact across
campus. • 7pm, Freddy Wood
Theatre, email sa.awareness®
ubc.ca for more information.
JELL-0 WRESTLING • At the annual
Jell-o wrestling competition
during Science Week, two
competitors will enter a tub full
of Jell-o, each with a sock on
their foot (provided by SUS). The
winner will be the one who is
successfully able to remove his
or her opponent's sock, while
wrestling in slippery, slimy
Jell-o! Pre-registration opens
the week before Science Week,
so make sure to sign up for a
guaranteed spot! Also make
sure to fill out the liability form
and bring it to the event. • 12-
3pm, SUB Ballroom, go to
to sign up.
$1 DROP-IN YOGA* Join UBC Yoga
Club's Christine Barr for an
invigorating yoga session at UBC
Bookstore. All levels welcome.
Bring your own mat. Space is
limited—first come, first served.
• 12-lpm, UBC Bookstore, $1.
The Flag is back! The Faculty of
Science is looking to challenge
all other faculties to represent
themselves at the event.
Brought to you by Science FYC.
• 12-2pm, Flag Pole Plaza.
• Skeptics in the Pub is a
long established social event
where like-minded skeptics,
humanists and freethinkers can
get together and discuss and
debate over drinks and food in
a social, casual atmosphere.
• 7:30pm, Legends Pub, 6511
Buswell St, Richmond, go to
cficanada.ca/vancouver for
more information.
ARTS CAREER EXPO 2011 • Wondering about career options?
Come discover the diverse career options available to BA
grads at the Arts Career Expo.
This event is intended for all
year levels and all majors. •
5-8:30pm, SUB Ballroom, $5
until Jan. 21, $8 Jan. 22-26, 2011.01.20/UBYSSEY.CA/NEWS/3
EDITOR ARSHY MANN»news@ubyssey.ca
Hospice delayed over cultural considerations
The St John's Hospice at UBC may
be facing yet another blockade
to construction—this time due
to cultural resistance.
Chinese residents of the
Promontory Tower on West Mall
are voicing complaints about
what they see as a cultural in-
sensitivity to Chinese taboos
regarding death. The hospice,
which would house terminally
ill patients, has been proposed
to be built next door to their
The protest, arranged byjanet
Fang, has received signatures in
opposition to the hospice from
70 per cent of the building's
Resident Lucy Lin said the petition for the new proposed location is not about property value, but culture. "We have little
children here and we have to
pass this place almost every day,
many times," she said.
"For the children, they will
ask questions, 'What's that place
about?' We don't talk to people
that age about death yet. It's a
bit too early, we feel."
Lin also said that in China,
places like hospices are either
in hospitals or a two to three
hour drive away.
"I like Canada. I enjoy living
here. It's a multicultural society
and every culture gets respected, so we just hope our culture
gets respect."
This is the second time that
the hospice location has been
protested. Last year, plans to
build the facility were halted
due to protests that its proposed
Proposed site for St John's Hospice, the second in two years. GEOFF LISTER PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
location, next door to a first-year
residence, would have been too
noisy for palliative care patients.
The current protests have already captured media attention
nationwide from major news
corporations like CBC, CTV and
The Province, and were discussed at a press conference in
Richmond on Tuesday.
However, the Chinese community does not universally share
Lin's opinion. Jan Walls, professor emeritus at SFU and founding director of the David Lam
Centre for International Communication, was a speaker at a
press conference this Tuesday
about the hospice. He said that
the building's residents were not
representing Chinese culture.
"There is a very widespread
and noble Chinese belief that
doing good for others, especially relieving suffering and reducing pain for others, is the highest form of good, whose practice
is one of the best ways to accumulate good karma," he said.
"This extremely positive aspect of a palliative care hospice
more than counteracts the negative aspect of being associated
with death," said Walls.
Another speaker at the event,
Sherman Tai, who is a Feng Shui
expert in Richmond, pointed out
the example of the Happy Valley district in Hong Kong, where
cemeteries are in close proximity to highly desirable residential districts.
UBC Director of Public Affairs
Scott Macrae said that more information needs to be gathered
before consultations with the
community can continue or construction ofthe hospice can begin.
"We'll be gathering that up
over the next month or so and
then we get back to the community with what we've heard,
so we're just kind of in listening mode at this point and we'll
take it from there," said Macrae.
Macrae said that UBC will look
into the community's objections,
as well as whether or not a hospice would affect property values for the residents.
When asked why the hospice
was receiving so much more
media attention this year than
when students were opposing
it, Macrae said he didn't know.
"Anything that I say would
be an opinion. We're not giving opinions now, we're listening to them." til
AMS elections voting will conclude on Saturday, not Friday,
after complications arose with
the email distribution of voter
IDs this past Monday.
Elections Administrator Erik
MacKinnon explained that ballots will be open until 5pm on
Saturday, January 22, since the
AMS Code of Procedure requires
polls be open for five days. Results will also be announced on
Council decided on January
12 that the Elections Committee would attempt to institute
a Condorcet ballot to avoid suspending AMS Code.
Normally, students are able to
vote using their Campus Wide
Logins (CWL), but the online
platform created for the 2011
voting period required the creation of one-time use passwords
and IDs.
"After significant work with
UBC Enrolment Services, UBC
IT Services, and SimplyVoting
(our 'new' online election platform vendor), we were able to
get this ballot totally complete
by Sunday at 8am, with the one
caveat that we needed to load
the list of student voters into the
database on Monday morning...
before the ballot could open,"
MacKinnon said in an email.
However, few students had
actually received their IDs on
Monday, and instead the emails
were sent to students in intervals starting Monday night. Academic Governing Officer of UBC
Enrollment Services Chris Eaton
said that all students should have
received their unique logins and
passwords by now. tl
President Ahmadian burns bridges with fellow executives
AMS President Bijan Ahmadian doesn't want his fellow VPs
reelected to the executive, and
he's making sure students know
about it.
In a video posted to his personal blog bijan.ca, Ahmadian made
endorsements for the AMS Elections, in which he supported the
opponents of current VP External
Jeremy McElroy and VP Finance
Elin Tayyar.
He scathingly criticized McElroy, attacking his work ethic and
stating that he didn't put in any
effort on the projects he was supposed to this year. Ahmadian is
also running a campaign on behalf of a number of candidates
he's decided to endorse.
"I [couldn't] believe that anyone
would sink this low in a student
government election," said McElroy. "Everything that he said was
absolute lies. Itwas outrageous."
Ahmadian's video was also
publicly criticized by VP Academic and University Affairs Ben
Cappellacci and VP Administration Ekaterina Dovjenko, both
of whom served on the executive with Ahmadian and McElroy.
"The accusations that Bijan
makes in his video are of the
utmost slander that I've ever seen
a person in student politics utter,"
said Cappellacci. "I'm personally
quite disgusted by what he said."
Shortly after the video was released, Dovjenko tweeted, "Grateful thatmypolitical opinions are
not dictated by a 31 year old who
has yet to graduate and has a talent show as his achievement."
In the video, and in an interview with The Ubyssey, Ahmadian claimed on multiple occasions
that McElroy is unprofessional,
has a poor work ethic and an adversarial approach in dealing
with the university. He also argued that he made no progress
on any projects in his portfolio.
"We put together a strategic
plan for him, for every executive,
and he was supposed to have certain accomplishments on them.
He didn't make any progress on
anything," said Ahmadian.
McElroy refutes these claims,
pointing to the completion of comprehensive reports on childcare,
student aid, and tuition, progress
on the creation of aprovincial lobby organization, and bringing the
CASA conference to Vancouver
all as tangible accomplishments.
He also said that Ahmadian
had not achieved the vast majority of his goals outlined in the
strategic plan.
"The only thing that he, as
President of the largest most
powerful student union in Canada, [accomplished] was a talent
show," said McElroy, who went on
to say Ahmadian often took credit
for the achievements of his VPs.
McElroy pointed to the UBC
Line campaign as an example.
Ahmadian had said that all progress on that had come from the
President's office.
"[For] the rapid transit campaign, originally Elin Tayyar, the
VP Finance, and myself were approached by UBC. Bijan wasn't
even part ofthe equation.
"Their financial support came
in the form of hiring a public relations firm in Vancouver to do
all ofthe messaging for us, to produce all ofthe materials and give
us the resources to hire a coordinator. Bijan had absolutely nothing to do with that."
Ahmadian also claimed that
McElroy should have been the
one that presented to the Metro
Vancouver Board.
But according to McElroy, he
was the one who co-wrote the
speech with the PR firm, and it
was Ahmadian who insisted on
doing it himself.
"So for him to say that I should
have been doing that, when
he commandeered the entire
Ahmadian at a Council meeting. GEOFF LISTER PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
project and then shut me out, is
an outrageous accusation," said
Along with his video, Ahmadian is pushing endorsements
through pamphleteering, postering and class speeches, taking
advantage of a loophole in AMS
elections code that allows third
party candidates to spend without a limit.
"In all fairness, Bijan could
spend a million dollars and drop
[flyers] out of an airplane and,
aside from the littering charges he's going to get, there's nothing we can do for the elections,"
said Elections Administrator Erik
Cappellacci, however, said that
AMS Council will make clear to
Ahmadian that his actions are
unacceptable next week.
"I think you'll be able to see
that on the meeting of the 26th,"
he said, tl 4/UBYSSEY.CA/CULTURE/2011.01.20
Museum of Anthropology cancels paintings of
missing and murdered women
The portrait of Mona Wilson. Wilson went missing in 2001, and her remains were recovered from the Pickton farm the next year. COURTESY OF PAMELA MASIK
I n 2005 Pamela Masik, a painter based in Vancouver, began
work on a number of portraits. Each would take up a canvas
three metres high and roughly two and a half metres wide.
Over the next five years, she would complete 69 of these
portraits, on each the face of a missing or murdered woman
from the Downtown East Side.
Masik's collection of portraits,
The Forgotten, was set to show
at the Museum of Anthropology in the middle of February.
"We want to do exhibitions that
talk about contemporary issues,"
said MOA Director Anthony Shelton. In this case, the issue was
violence towards women—specifically racialized violence. The
women pictured in Masik's portraits either disappeared or died
by violence, dating back to 1978.
The majority ofthe women were
Aboriginal, and the remains
of some were found on serial
killer Robert 'Willie' Pickton's
pig farm. "[Society] virtually ignored these women," said Masik
in an interview with The Ubyssey. "My role as an artist [is] to
bear witness to
these women."
Then MOA canceled the show.
"About ayear ago,
we chose to show
'The Forgotten'
Project: Paintings
by Pamela Masik,
in the belief that
the exhibition could be a catalyst for discussion about, and a
driver for positive change with
regard to gender discrimination and racialized violence toward women," wrote Shelton in
ajanuary 12 release. The museum was not able to proceed because they had been unable to
build a constituency among the
groups specifically touched by
this issue.
Gloria Larocque initially
brought the complaint to MOA.
Larocque is a UBC student in her
final year of a First Nations Studies major and a Women's Studies
minor. She is also a member of
the Women's Memorial March
Committee, the DTES community group portrayed in the press
as the most opposed to Masik's
"I think it's completely unfair that the Women's Memorial
March Committee is being portrayed as trying to shut down
this exhibit," she said.
In their discussions with
MOA, Larocque and fellow
WMMC member Corinthia Kelly were trying to make a side exhibit to accompany The Forgotten and to address racialized violence against women in depth.
But Kelly said they were not given enough time to plan the side
exhibit before The Forgotten was
The Women's Memorial
March Committee has a num
'My role as an artist
[is] to bear witness
to these women."
years, Aboriginal women have
been pathologized," said La-
roque. "What forces Aboriginal
women to the streets has not
been properly addressed [in the
Masik said she did not confront families of the victims
for fear of adding to the media
bombardment that followed
Pickton's conviction. "Families would come to me, but I
didn't want to pressure people.
I didn't want to be like the media," she said. "We [kept] them
updated on what was going on
[and told] them my studio was
always open."
Ernie Crey a member ofthe
Sto:lo Tribal Council, which represents eight First Nations bands
in the Fraser Valley, is a brother of
one of the murdered women. Remains of his sister, Dawn Teresa
Crey, were discovered on the Pick-
ton farm in 2004.
In the week since
the story broke, he has been one
of the most outspoken critics of
the cancellation.
"To outright cancel it was the
wrong move," Crey told The Ubyssey. "The photo in the VPD poster
of my sister doesn't presenther in
her best light. That was the reality for my sister at that time. That's
how she looked."
Crey's wish is for the general
public to learn how Dawn lived
and died. She was mentally disabled and living in the DTES,
coping with a methadone addiction. He said that failing to bring
the exhibit to the MOA is a lost
"We need a whole new mindset and a series of policies related to health, education, social services, housing and zoning practices pursued by the city
of Vancouver," said Crey, adding that Vancouver has a NIMBY stance towards development
of social programs that leaves
many trapped on the DTES.
"When she needed a bowl of
soup and she was hungry, where
did she go for that bowl of soup?"
he said of Dawn. "Kerrisdale?
No. To my knowledge, there are
no soup kitchens in Kerrisdale."
In mid-Febuary the museum
will bring in Masik, community and women's groups, along
with faculties and journalists,
to discuss how best to represent
and address global
violence towards
[Masik] is not the women
Each party has
Lee nas a num- i lbui parly nas
ber of issues with   SpOKCSperSOn    On   their own best-case
how the women's
likenesses have
been handled.
"The problem is
that she's dealing
with women who
died by violence, and there was
no family consultation in her
process," said Larocque. She was
also concerned that Masik was
being portrayed as a voice for
the families. "My concern is:
who speaks for who? She is not
the spokesperson on this issue,"
she said.
Additionally they took offense
to some ofthe license Masik took
in portraying the women. Masik says she added violent slashes and abrasions to the images
which were not present in the
mug shots, to symbolize the violence that was done to them.
What most upset the WMMC
was the lack of consultation with
the families of the victims. For
one, Masik based her renderings
on a Vancouver Police Department poster with mug shots of
the women. "For many, many
this issue.
scenario for how
to proceed, and
none of them want
to move on. Kelly
and Larocque have
called for more consultation with families and community groups affected by exhibits before they are decided upon.
By not doing so earlier, the museum ended up having an exhibit
that "[lacked] racial awareness,"
said Larocque. Crey said the decision to cancel the exhibit was
hasty, and wishes it had simply
been postponed so these issues
could be resolved.
Masik has stated that the exhibit will not show at MOA. She
plans to open her studio to tours,
but for the time being, the paintings will stay put in her studio.
She hopes to eventually take the
paintings to Ottawa.
Shelton says MOA will act on
what is learned from the forum.
"By cancelling [the Forgotten],
we're not going to brush this under the carpet in any way whatsoever," he said, tl 2011.01.20/UBYSSEY.CA/LITERATURE/5
H_j ^, 1^   i_^<^>     %++-**       *—*
oi, - •--'■
_fSB&S^)&ig& -WW- u.iJ 8BBB*
It's a four letter word.
We moved to Canada in 2001. And yes, this is one
of those stories, a heartfelt recounting of a farewell.
Only...not really.
My bedroom window used to look out on sugarcane
fields, rustling green in the hot sun and on the horizon
you could see the blue glimmer of the sea (or the mountains—really it depended on which windowyou looked
out of). There was a grove of banana trees, plump matrons they, assiduously guarding their fruit. And just
out of sight was the chicken coop, smelly and dank. It
contained a rooster that I was sure took malicious pleasure in interrupting my slumber every morning. Oh, the
dreams I had about roast rooster.
Now, if you look out of my bedroom window, you will
see the ill-kept backyard belonging to my neighbor. He
used to have a lucrative crop of mint growing in it and
my summer nights would be spiced by the enervating
scent. This horizon doesn't offer much, just roofs of various houses. A uniform brown with one a different colour, determinedly asserting its individuality.
It is ironic, is it not? Fiji and Canada are, in terms of
land mass, a glass of water and one droplet. And yet it
is Fiji that holds the memory of space while Canada retains a sense of cohesiveness, a connection if you will,
to people and things that hints at a lack of distance.
In Fiji, my bedroom was very basic. A bed, a study table, a wardrobe that was falling apart and empty bookshelves, bare with the hope of being filled someday.
I was given to fancy, so lipstick kisses decorated my
door and I put up posters of long forgotten Bollywood
heroes on my walls. I didn't have many clothes, just
one basketful. Now that I think about it, I didn't have
much of anything.
It wasn't a big deal. I didn't know there was anything
more to have than what I already possessed.
It is ironic, is it not? Fiji and
Canada are, in terms of land
mass, a glass of water and one
droplet. And yet it is Fiji that
holds the memory of space
while Canada retains a sense of
cohesiveness, a connection ifyou
will, to people and things that
hints at a lack of distance.
My room here is a study in excess. My bookshelves
are overflowing, and my closet? Let's not even go
there. If I were to justify it, I would assert that I'm
trying to make up for what I did not have in my childhood. But it would be a lie. The truth is, I'm just greedy.
The walls of this room are hidden by photographs
of flowers, people and places I want to see and wish
to go to. There is a poster of Orlando Bloom (though
I much prefer him as a blonde Legolas) and Serevi, a
rugby player and my childhood hero. And, of course,
there is my computer, a sinister collection of machines in the corner.
It takes a while before a space transitions from a
place you exist in to a place you belong to. My window (I only have one now) might not look out to green
fields and the blue sea shimmering in the distance.
And I certainly can't hear any rooster in the morning.
But at night, when my head hits the pillow and my
consciousness slowly ebbs away, I have that feeling
unfurl in my chest.
You know that feeling.
The one that says you are home.
,. First ?lace ;
I haven't lived in any
one place for longer than six months
since I was seventeen
and we moved out of
the house I grew up
in. A year after that,
I packed my life into
four suitcases and
j" boarded a cross-coun
try train.
It's been long
enough that I don't call my parents' house home anymore. I don't remember street names or directions to
where my old friends live. It doesn't matter, though. I've
lived the last few years like a Tom Waits song: "Anywhere I lay my head, I'll call my home."
The Ubyssey's 2011 literary issue is themed "Make
Yourself at Home," and contains entries dealing with
the connections people have to given places. There
are stories about cities, squatting, immigration and the
people who become our home. Steven Galloway, Ray
Hsu and Christine Leclerc judged submissions based
on style, creativity and their illustration of the theme.
The submissions approach the theme in different
ways and produce wildly different ideas of what exactly "home" can mean. tl
Make Yourself at Home is this year's installment
of our annual literary supplement. Prizes of $75, $50
and $25 will be awarded to the first, second and third
place finalists.
Stories were submitted to judges without author
names. 6/UBYSSEY.CA/LITERATURE/2011.01.20
Rebecca burst into his apartment with an extremely
large box filled with spiralling plants and old wine bottles, a traveler's backpack and a bulging suitcase.
"Oh, hell no!" he told her as she smiled and said
brightly, "Hi, Charles!"
She marched right past him and dumped all her things
down in an untidy manner.
"You can't stay here again," he exclaimed. "This is
the third time this year! I have a phone, you know! You
could give me warning at least."
He watched her take masking tape and a roll of aluminum foil out of her box. "You can't tape up my window! My landlady will think lam growing weed in here!"
"My plants won't grow in all this light," she explained,
as she covered up the window.
"Is that a rabbit in there?" Charles peered into her
box. "I signed three...THREE agreement forms along
with my lease that I would not have pets in my apartment. You could get me kicked out if she finds out!"
"She won't."
"How will I explain this to my girlfriend?"
"Tell her I'm your sister. Or your cousin."
"She knows that I don't have a sister and we look
nothing alike!"
"I'm going to need you to sleep on the couch for a
few days," she told him as she started bringing her bags
into his bedroom. She shut the door on him.
"Rebecca!" He pounded on the door. "That's my
room! You can't keep coming over here and taking over
my apartment!"
She opened the door to throw him his duvet and pillows. At least five minutes went by before she opened
the bedroom door again. A different comforter lay on
his bed with different mismatched pillows. There were
picture frames of strangers now on his dresser and
window sill.
"My landlady was not cool with my rent being late
again," Rebecca sighed, going into his kitchen. "It's
tough being a student, you know?" Charles trailed behind
her. She opened his fridge and drank from his milk jug.
"You know I hate when you do that." He made a
lunge to grab the jug away from her but she just turned
her back on him.
"I think this may have expired," she looked at the expiry date. "Nope, it's still good." She put it back in the
fridge. Her cell phone suddenly rang.
"It is?" she said to the person on the other end. "The
rest of my stuff is on the bottom floor of your apartment building," she told Charles, covering up the receiver. "Could you bring it up for me?"
"No! Rebecca!"
But he brought up a potted tree, a guitar and an old
record player in another box.
She was still talking on her phone when he came
back, struggling to get through his doorway. "You can
only stay for the night," he told her. "I have someone
else wanting to sleep on my couch." He paused. "For
the next six months."
She still ignored him. "It's pretty bad, being walked
all over, but that's the type of person I am. I knowyou'll
"Uh huh," she said into her phone.
"You're not listening," he muttered and walked
into the bathroom. It took only a second for him
to yell her name. "I'll call you back," she told the
person on the other end of the line. "What's the
problem, Charles?"
"This is a guy's bathroom! You are crossing the line
here!" he exclaimed.
"Oh, that's nothing. I still haven't unpacked all my hair
products yet. Don't worry; I'll just move all this stuff into
this cupboard and my stuff will fit on the counter here."
"One night."
"Two weeks."
"One week."
"Two weeks."
"A week and a half."
"Two weeks."
Mervin's teeth hurt. Or at least what was left of
his teeth. The oddly numbered brown stumps that
poked through his swollen gums could hardly serve
the function of tearing or chewing, let alone maintaining the appearance or speech of a respectable
human being.
He sucked at his lips, pursing and protruding them
in a weird quasi-rhythmic motion. It was time to move.
The sun had been down for nearly two hours, and soon
the atmosphere of this place would become much tenser. This alleyway would turn into a sort of bazaar and
the heart of the city would beat with hostility. Opportunity would rear its coercive presence—drugs, sex
and violence would assert their reign over these dimly lit backstreets.
Mervin roused himself from his ache-filled lethargy.
His gums were now throbbing, pulsating, ringing into
his ears and bouncing around the scrambled contents
of his skull. It reminded him of squealing monitors and
sold out concert halls, chanting crowds and feedback,
the anticipation of channelling all of it into a carefully
calculated wall of noise. Raw energy consolidated into
rhythmic tales of depravity and antisocial tendencies,
memories of a past life.
Hobbling the first few steps, he oriented himself and
with a familiar pace turned onto a bustling avenue. The
smell of exhaust and salty pizza was a welcome change
from the urinary aroma of the alleyway.
A faded yellow awning caught his eye and he jaywalked across the street to a convenience store stocked
with mouthwash and expired Campbell's soup. He paid
in coins for a bottle of Buckley's cough syrup. Back on
the street, he washed down three acetaminophen tablets with a long pull of the syrup, emptying nearly half
of the bottle. The ringing muted to a bearable volume,
and his feet carried him confidently along the sidewalk,
through the crowds of tourists, students, drunks and
weirdos. He pursed his lips again, not with pain, but to
the tune of some half-forgotten song written in a dingy basement, rehearsed at a drummer's parent's house
and for a tender moment in time sung with urgent sincerity to packed venues across the country.
The city was breathing now. Streams of humans navigated the grid of streets like vital fluid. Mervin moved
alone, conscious of the pace but choosing solitude.
He squeezed his emaciated frame through a crowd of
darkly clad smokers and into a familiar doorway. The
two-four beat of hardcore punk rock blasted him upon
entry. Moving to the bar as anonymously as possible,
he could sense he was being watched. It was a familiar feeling, one he used to enjoy and even capitalize
on. Gradually, his presence spread through the dingy
pub. Out of the shadows and crowds came high fives,
beers, photo opportunities. He dealt with his fans passively: smile, make a smart ass comment and guzzle
the inevitable free glass of shitty draft.
Signing an autograph, a ball point pen felt monstrous
in his skeletal fingers. A slap on the back from an enthusiastic fan almost knocked him off his barstool. The
bands stopped playing and a familiar song came over
the sound system. "Be thankful for what you haa-a-ave,
tomorrow you could looo-oose it all." His own voice
seemed foreign, a bleary visage of a past self. There
he was: transient, drunk, subculture icon, a faded negative of punk rock's glory days. He put his hood over
his head, shook hands with the bouncer and retreated
into the maze of darkened streets, the labyrinth in which
he made his home. In the pub, Mervin's vocal prowess
rang youthfully over the loudspeakers. Leather-clad patrons bobbed their heads, drank and laughed. Content
for another night in the immortalization of his voice,
Mervin's ghostly figure lost itself in the city. 2011.01.20/UBYSSEY.CA/LITERATURE/7
The migration had been a long time coming. Years of
my fragile Liberal sensibilities, floral and Utopian, cradled precariously in the vice grip of the Tories and the
tar sands. Grid-like city planning trained into synchronized synapses in my mind.
Cattle farming regulations and First Nations relations
a distant but turgid debate. The opulence of warm Chinook winds and tar sand wealth froze into a steely contrast
against the stale, dry cold and severe minority disparity. I
stole away from my cradled, golf course existence, urban
development by urban development, minivan by minivan
to discover accents, immigrants and subcultures. Bosnian
hippies who played gypsy rock and South African small
business owners: they had the whole map at their disposal and they ended up here? They always mentioned potential, potential. Potential I couldn't see.
Go west, young man, and west it was.
From the prairies where the leaves crunch to dust to
the sodden coast where they fall and squish with trash
and discarded dog shit into an urban vermicompost.
Layers of rock slab and dense prairie earth stacked like
Jenga tiles upon the loamy, fragrant Okanagan bowl.
The Rockies carve an uneven and unruly border, a five
o'clock shadow that separates provinces and ideologies.
"The hippies are in the mountains," I'd hear. Hippies, Australians and retirees with the occasional foreign geologist cluster where the landscape is agreeable and the periphery is quiet. The Coquihalla climbs
and tumbles like ringlets past mountain towns and hot
springs, marijuana grow-ops and glass-blowing shops.
I stare at the endless waterfront, hitherto starved for
saltwater and humid air. Cobblestoned streets and
warped and bowed totem poles pepper the "old"
western cities, hosting old-growth forests and the
country's oldest Chinatown.
Bosnian hippies who played
gypsy rock and South
African small business
owners: they had the whole
map at their disposal and
they ended up here?
Here I learn that I've not only been trained to
be the majority, but to expect to be the majority. I
learn that here is not a cold you can prepare for. It
is a cold that will make home in your bones. Here I
learn that farmers bustle and harvest all year round
instead of caged and housed for six months out of
the year. Artists, while visible, are still poor. Weather, while mild and welcoming, is still complained
about. There is no snow but there is always
rain. There are still those that are forgotten
about, chastised and invisibilized. Here is
a world, just like any other world where
people are themselves and entirely human: critical and dynamic. The intermittent squirming of discontent did
not cease by simply adding humidity into the air.
The internal circuitry of ambitions
and dreams work like highways and
flight routes, taking us from Friday dinners and china patterns to political unrest and gentrified neighborhoods and
back again. In my mortal, breathing, perspiring mobile home, rest is not in the destination but in the search. A search a long time com
ing and a long time going.
Home. It's that place you haven't seen for some time
now, and you're not sure if you want to anymore. You
shift your bags on one shoulder. The train blows its
horn, loud and jarring, and you nearly drop everything
at the sound. As it speeds away, your choice is made
for you... not that there was much of one in the first
place. You're here to stay.
You dig in your pocket for your headphones and shove
earbuds in your ears then pause and take them out again.
You want to hear this. The kids cycling down suburban
streets with screams of laughter on their lips, old men
on their porches, swinging in rocking chairs with little
old ladies beside them. In a rare moment of longing you
want this place you took the long way home to avoid.
The feeling courses through your skin, pulling at your
heartstrings finally, the last and most painful stroke.
You rush out of the train station, Chucks slapping
on the new pavement. There's no ride waiting for
you because you didn't want to trouble anyone, and
of course, the next wish is they were waiting for you
in that old minivan, tired smiles on their faces. Your
mother with her huge, bug-eyed glasses on because
it's so late, and your father with a big grin underneath
his handlebar moustache.
Hailing a cab is almost as good. You haven't taken a cab in months, now, in your new city with tall
You won't live here again. The
concept horrified you when
you were first leaving for
school, but you think you've
made your peace with it now,
even as it just occurs to you.
You wouldn't be able to see
your parents every day, be in
this same place over and over
again, even though you love
towers and public transit that's dirt-cheap for you. You
miss it already, the sharp-angled towers and pretty
little holes that are out of the way but magic when
you find them. It's the first time you realize you might
have two homes now, and you pause a little on your
way to the street, hand out for your ride. The cabbie
picks you up anyway, and your movement is out of
your control again.
Your body is like a compass. You park your bearings in one place to make a new north, and strike out
from there. Your body always pulls you back. Already
you can feel your home, your old home pulling atyou,
and you stare out the window with a feeling like sobbing relief. There's one tear, but no more.
You pass the park you and your brother played in as
kids and your old elementary school. When the cab
driver pulls around that last curb you're scrambling
to get out. You shove some bills at him, he thanks
you for the tip, and you walk slowly up the driveway
to the house you grew up in. The lights are on, and
you know they're waiting for you.
You won't live here again. The concept horrified you
when you were first leaving for school, but you think
you've made your peace with it now, even as it just occurs to you. You wouldn't be able to see your parents every day, be in this same place over and over again, even
though you love them. Even as your compass swings
wildly around to this new north, you can feel the faint
tug of a new home. You will do great things with your
life, and live in many places like a vagrant, like a queen,
and even like a normal person with two point five children. This is the first of many north poles.
You open the door with a smile on your face,
and move to greet your family you know is waiting for you. For now it is still close enough to your
home and, after months that feel like long years,
you have returned. 8/UBYSSEY.CA/LITERATURE/2011.01.20
Stephanie takes her shoes off as she comes into
our apartment, back from work. We're both starving; lunch was hours ago. We greet each other with
a hug and a kiss. She hangs her jacket up and flops
down on the bed.
"Urn, I want something," she says.
"Ok, what is it?" I pretend to be confused.
"Meh! I don't want to say it." She looks away in
"I have no idea what you're talking about." I
get out a can of Diet Coke. I bring it over and she
squeals in delight, grabbing the can and guzzling
eagerly. I smile at our near-daily ritual.
After she surfs the internet for a while, Stephanie goes to make dinner. "I'm thinking stir-fry tonight," she says. Stir-fry is one of the first dishes
she made me, and still my favourite. "Should I put
celery in it?"
I nod. "Are you sure?" she asks. "I thought you
said you didn't like celery."
"Meh!" I exclaim.
"Well, okay. Just wanted to make sure because I
seem to rememberyou telling me you didn't like it..."
Early on in our relationship, I made the mistake
of telling her which vegetables I did and didn't like.
In my parents' household, most of our vegetables
were eaten raw, and Stephanie's delicious vegan
dishes are another thing entirely. Now, I get excited about sales on broccoli.
I play around on my computer while Stephanie
cooks. The sound of vegetables sizzling is in the
background. Soon, a tantalizing aroma is wafting
from the stove. "Work was rough," Stephanie calls
over to me. "I am so tungry." Tungry is our portmanteau for tired and hungry. Sadly, being tungry
is a common state for us.
After a while, Stephanie glances at the table then
quickly turns back to her cooking. "I think, I'm not
Early on in our relationship,
I made the mistake of
telling her which vegetables
I did and didn't like. In my
parents' household, most
of our vegetables were
eaten raw, and Stephanie's
delicious vegan dishes are
another thing entirely. Now,
I get excited about sales on
sure, but I think I saw that the table wasn't set!
That there was no soy sauce or plates, and instead
there was other junk on the table! Now, I might be
wrong, since I just took a quick look, but wouldn't
that be so horrid?"
I gasp in mock horror. "Surely you're mistaken," I
cry out, as I pull out what we need from the fridge
and pantry. "Perhaps you should take another look."
She turns back to gaze once again at the table.
Everything is in its proper position and ready for
our meal. "Oh my god, I was so wrong! I am so
sorry for doubting you! Please forgive me. Can I
make up for it with a wonderful dinner?" This is another daily ritual.
We settle in and eat our stir-fry. As always, it
is delicious. As always, we discuss just how delicious. "This is amazing," she says.
"The tofu is so good!" I reply. I'm not just saying it for Stephanie's ego. It really is that tasty. Her
cooking is the only food that can make me moan.
The broccoli is tender and succulent. The marinated tofu has a nice spicy kick to it. As we scrape
our plates clean, I take off my glasses. Stephanie
hands me our decadent smoothie (blueberries, banana, soy ice cream, mango-strawberry juice). I
close my eyes and drain the glass, shivering as the
icy liquid slides down my throat.
We retreat to the bedroom, and cuddle together on the bed. "So blothy," I say, patting my stomach. Blothy is our word for bloated and slothful.
Stephanie nods.
"Me too....you know, I love it when you do that."
"Do what?" I ask.
"Gaze at me adoringly."
"I do?"
"Yeah, after every meal I cook. It seems to come
"Meh!" I turn away and bury my face into a pillow. Unbidden, a smile creeps onto my lips.
"I love you too," she says.
I'm replacing tumbling rain
With sprawled sheets of snow,
Tall cedars and taller still towers
For squat buildings,
sparse pines and larch,
The thumping of the club scene
For my father's fist on my door
And his unruly tongue on the subject of my life.
I am replacing my cold, half-dried sheets
With the warmth of your arms
as you hold me in sleep.
I am coming home.
Laura Moss
Director, UBC International Canadian Studies Centre,
is pleased to invite you and yourfriendstothe
Brenda and David McLean Public Lecture Series in Canadian Studies by
John O'Brian
McLean Chair in Canadian Studies
Nuclear Photography, the Atomic Age, and Canada
at the Liu Institute for Global Issues (6476 NW Marine Drive)
Tuesday evenings at 7 o'clock
January 25   On Photographing a Dirty Bomb
February 1    Vox Crapulous (Reception to follow)
February 8    Picturing Nuclear Risk
John O'Brian will examine the place of photography in the
construction of nuclear narratives si nee World War II.
To what extent, he will ask, is the mushroom cloud, the meta-symbol
ofthe atomic age, laced with Canadian content?
.lo Canadian
Montreal sets me ablaze
with old fires,
bends me backwards,
lays me down softly in her streets,
blows on embers
I forgot existed.
Montreal twists and ties me to her lights.
I've slid down one too many flights
of glittering, swivelling, spiralling staircases.
She is a cold, dizzying bitch
who glamours me with rust
and paint that flakes to the touch.
Her thick tree trunks and branches
Are obscene, and the way she bares them
Even more so.
Montreal makes a scene
Every time her sun rises.
When it peaks, she's still dragging her feet
And her cigarette.
When it sets, she starts all over again;
wastes her nights away
dancing with the first one who will take her.
This morning I woke up
dirtied with bruises
and frost bites, but Montreal
did not remember my name.
She has seen too much,
her sun has risen one too many times
to strange strung out bodies
at the foot of her mountain.
Montreal has not missed me.
She has replaced me
a thousand times over.
When I am gone, her metros stay warm,
her bricks go on crumbling
her alleys go on smelling like piss.
Montreal is a cold, dizzying bitch
who reels me back in, every time. 2011.01.20/UBYSSEY.CA/CULTURE/9
SENIOR WRITER GINNY MONACO »gmonaco@ubyssey.ca
may not be PC, but its part of comics history
I didn't grow anniversary collection, 75 Years just meant that comics fans start- mS&Q&tij*m^k
I  up reading Of DC Comics: The Art Of Modern ed referring to either the pre-Cri- _^^^\.             _\\\    <J    ml
I  comics. Sure, Mythmaking (which made an ap- sis or post-Crisis periodin the DC ^ft * y\^        II       /* K
I   I had stacks pearance on my 2010 wishlist universe, and the only thing that /     \   \ly (r. ^"" \\   •/
I didn't grow
up reading
comics. Sure,
I had stacks
of Archie Digests and Calvin & Hobbes
and Garfield
cracked me
up in a way
that I don't fully understand nowadays, but well into university the
appeal of superhero comics still
mostly eludes me.
I get why they're important:
the early- and mid-2 0th century
was full of demons and enemies
that one couldn't see and often
couldn't fight back against, and
superheroes were called upon to
do what the average citizen could
not—that is, to take that cultural
baggage and punch it right on the
nose. I get that. It's just that I've
never been sure what superheroes
would have to say to me specifically With a limited range of female heroes, even fewer women
of colour and heroes of non-normative sexualities, and a glaringly patriarchal worldview overall,
it always seemed to me that superhero comics had become the Man
that they were created to undermine. Factor in Marvel and DCs
joint trademark on the term 'super hero,' and you can see why it
always seemed more sensible for
me to stick to indie, local and online work.
A few months ago, though,
I came across an article discussing the 75th anniversary of
DC Comics, which occurred in
2010.1 glanced through the epic
anniversary collection, 75 Years
Of DC Comics: The Art Of Modern
Mythmaking (which made an ap
pearance on my 2010 wishlist
column in November), and it oc
curred to me that ignoring the
DC and Marvel imprints altogether means shunning basically 90
per cent of the most seminal serial comics and graphic novels
ever produced, which seems hypocritical for someone who writes
a column about comics. In the
spirit of self-education, I made it
my New Year's resolution to pick
up a range ofthe best-known and
loved DC titles, raid my friends'
parents' boxes of old penny comics and get to know DC once and
for all.
During my quest for enlightenment, I was taken off-guard
by how deep the roots of comics
go, a by-product ofthe long-form
narrative fostered by the serialisation of superhero comics. Just
as some ofthe greatest Victorian
novels were originally issued by
the chapter in newspapers and
were therefore free—expected,
even—to be ludicrously long, the
makers of serialised comics are
able to take their time drawing
out themes, improving the art
and building on established characters. The drawback of such narratives is that they make coming
in somewhere other than the very
beginning really difficult. This is
part of why I felt alienated by superhero comics in the first place,
but it's a pain for comics creators
as well: in the '80s, DC ran the Crisis on Infinite Earths series in part
to simplify over 50 years' worth
of discontinuity. (Of course, this
just meant that comics fans started referring to either the pre-Cri-
sis or post-Crisis period in the DC
universe, and the only thing that
could completely resolve the issue would be to get Superman
to rotate the earth backwards
so that we'd go back half a
century giving DC the opportunity to rethink introducing something as ridiculously complicated as the Multi-
verse into comics. But I digress.)
However, this also means that
talented writers and artists are
allowed to interact with their
favourite writers and artists
through new interpretations of
a character or story. The dopey
sincerity and puritanical grit of
early Metropolis and Gotham
might not appeal to me, but
they provided a nourishing
soil in which their offspring
could flourish: classics like
Alan Moore's Vfor Vendetta
and Watchmen and groundbreaking reinventions of DC franchises like Wildcats 3.0 depend
upon the work that came before
them. That spirit of collaborative
storytelling is almost unique to
superhero comics and, I think,
executed more successfully there
than it has been in any other medium. Even the bad comics leave
an imprint upon the good ones,
occasionally revealing a spark of
brilliance that wasn't obvious in
the original.
Getting into superhero comics
isn't a matter of shaking hands
across the divide between indie
and mainstream, as I previously thought; the comics community is too incestuous for that. It's
possible that
the only real
divide is between
comics that resonate and
comics that don't. And for me,
a lot of them definitely don't. But
given 75 years and infinite earths,
it isn't all that surprising that even
a fussy indie kid like me could occasionally trip over a gem.
Good to finally meet you, DC.
I raise a belated glass of champagne to you and the next 75
years, tl
Hot springs an immersive experience for all
Varsity Outdoor Club
Towel? Check. Rubber duck?
Check. Chocolate fondue? Check.
Tent? Check. As I ran through the
gear list while waiting for my ride
to arrive, it struck me that this
was definitely not your average
Varsity Outdoor Club trip. No ice
axes, ropes, dehydrated food or
skis—and we were leaving town
at a leisurely 9am. We made it to
the trail head four hours later,
past Pemberton, through some of
the wreckage ofthe Meager Creek
landslide and across a shallow water bar. We unpacked the cars, and
the amount of things each of us
carried would have been enough
to at least nominate some of us
for the VOC's Kitchen Sink Award
(www. ubc-voc. com/wiki/Awards).
We knew that the campsite was
only a short distance away so
we'd have a few hours to recuperate after all.
The directions were a bit
sketchy and I've heard of more
than one group that returned to
the city without having found the
almost-mythical Pebble Creek hot-
springs. Luckily one of us had
been there before, and after half
Nude and rude with fondue. PHOTO COURTESY WC/THE VOC
an hour of walking down a steep
path, we made it to the campsite.
Half an hour later, tents and tarps
had been set up and the food was
stored atop a bear cache. We headed down the river to the actual
Not much happened after we
arrived. No peaks were bagged,
elevation wasn't gained or lost,
turns were not had. Instead, we
sat in the beautiful and rustic
pools right by the side of the river. We had to spend a few minutes
figuring out how to adjust the tem-
perature (throw a gallon jug into
the river and haul it back full of
cold water), but after that the hard
work was to remain hydrated and
watch our fingers and toes slowly
turn into prunes. Itwas interesting to watch a group of hardcore
VOCers spend a weekend doing
essentially nothing. Some of us
were fidgety for the first couple of
hours, but the delicious hot water
won us over, punctuated by a few
dips in the cold river. The rock-
climbers among us were happy
they got to exercise their forearms
during massage time.
Chocolate goes so well with hot-
springs it should bea mandatory
item. Later that night we returned
to the campsite to have dinner,
and when it was time for dessert
we headed back down to the river, carrying a few containers with
raspberries, bananas, pear slices,
kiwis and more.
It is at night when I find natural hotsprings to be at their most
beautiful. We lined the pools with
candles we brought along and listened to the sound of the river
next to us. The force of gravity was
the only thing that was needed to
keep the pools full and warm. We
didn't have a boombox, but luckily we had people with good singing skills.
We eventually went back to the
tents, and the next morning after breakfast we were back in the
pools for a final dip. Around noon
we started heading back, and after another long four-hour drive
we made it back to the city. I had
no blisters or bruises to show off
and there was no need for Tylenol because my muscles were definitely not sore. Itwas a nice, relaxing weekend in the backcoun-
To learn about upcoming trips with
the VOC check out ubc-voc.com. 10/UBYSSEY.CA/G AMES/2011.01.20
i) SvAAye      or
3)f 1Mb HOT    ,-^
G,U*LS        ^
Joke Candidates in the
AMS Elections
Kath¥ Yan Li likes pedicure on her toes-toes. GEOFF LISTER PHOTO/THE
With AMS elections underway,
students will undoubtedly notice that some candidates are
not like the others.
They differ not in political
leanings nor in experience, but
rather in seriousness.
With more bravado and piz-
zaz than the average candidate,
many of these mysterious politicians are using fake names. The
joke candidates, as they are collectively referred to, are part of
a longstanding tradition at UBC.
They throw their hats into the
ring for various races, intent on
gaining some experience, making a point and shocking and
awing UBC students.
This year, Kath¥ Yan Li is running for VP Administration with
the promise of a more sparkly
campus through the creation of
glitter fountains. Following the
philosophy of WWKD, or "What
Would Ke$ha Do," Kath¥ has
taken on a very "Ke$haesque"
name. Combining pop star flair
with styling experience in Pride
UBC, the fournal of International Affairs and (full disclosure)
The Ubyssey, Kath¥ promises
that her joking won't stop her
from making serious changes
to the Student Union Building
and clubs if she's elected.
"The VP Admin no doubt has
some issues that need to be resolved, and I believe that if any
one of the candidates got elected, they would do a capable job,"
Kath¥ said. "But what students
need is a charismatic VP Admin who will work and be able
to push for a more involved and
fun campus by example."
SuperSexySass, nee Sassan
Sangsari, is, on the other hand,
running for the Board of Governors with the intention of doing
away with tuition and allowing students to get into any program they wish. Another of his
campaign points is to complete
the construction of a Broadway
Skytrain in 2012. Despite being
roped into the category of joke
candidates and being regarded
by many students as one, SuperSexySass is set on serving the
student community in his run.
"I'm not a joke candidate, but
Hike jokes," SuperSexySass responded in an email. "Would I
take the [Board of Governors]
position seriously? Definitely!
I just don't take myself all too
This audacity to make a difference through fun is reminiscent of The Radical Beer Faction,
a group of students responsible for many of the joke candidates in past elections. Most active back in the pre-2004 days
of slate campaigning, they were
represented in various elections
along with other student political alliances. While some candidates ran under real names,
some chose strange and quirky
monikers that allowed them to
be more memorablez. An example of this is the Fire Hydrant
(real name Darren Peets) who
ran for Board of Governors in
2004, 2005 and 2006. The Fire
Hydrant then ran for VP Academic and University Affairs
in 2008.
Perhaps the biggest joke of all
is that while many candidates
have come within just a few votes
of victory no joke candidate has
ever won in the AMS Elections, tl
Preparation Seminars
* Complete 30-Hour Seminar's
• Convenient Weekend Schedule
• Proven Test-Taking Strategics
* Experienced Course Instructors
* Comprehensive Study Materials
* Simulated Practice Exams
• Limited Class Size
• Free Repeat Policy
* Personal Tutoring Available
• Thousands of Satisfied Students
Submit your comics to us
at ubyssey. ca/volunteer/
The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and
UBC International Canadian Studies Centre
FEBRUARY   4,10-3pm
at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
Daniel Grausam, Washington University
Finis Dunaway, Trent University
Martha Langford, Concordia University
John Langford, University of Victoria
Please RSVP for the Symposium by January 28
to rsvp.belkin@ubc.ca (lunch included).
Investment Research Assistant
To assist researching stocks, including junior oil and gas stocks,
REITs, US electric utilities, HKSE stocks, technology, and other
special situations.
Along with submitting your resume, please include:
• Cover letter describing your personal investment experience
and investment philosophy.
• Demonstrate your investment approach. In no more than two
pages, please recommend your favourite growth stock, turn
around stock, and income stock/security and justify your 3
Please mail your application to:
PO Box 74662 Kitsilano RPO
Vancouver BC, V6K 4P4
Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2011
Wo thank all applicant!; fnr thoir interest. Only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.
Fun fact ofthe day: The SUB's address is actually
6138 Student Union Boulevard, not SUB Boulevard.
Justin mcelroy | coordinating@ubysseyca
DO YOU CARE? WRITE US A LETTER»feedback@ubyssey.ca
Last week, stories began circulating in the national
media regarding protests over the hospice which
was planned to be built next to some condos on UBC
lands. Hospices, which provide end-of-life care to
end-of-life patients, were an affront to Chinese cultural values, some residents claimed. Condo owner Janet Fan, in an interview with CTV, said that she
was raised to believe that ghosts were associated with
death, and was very afraid of this palliative care centre.
This undoubtedly rings a few bells for those who
have been on campus and following The Ubyssey for
more than ayear. Students complained in the previous year when this same hospice was planned to
be built around the neighborhoods of Marine Drive
and Place Vanier. Naturally ghosts were less of an
issue that time around—critics were concerned that
first-year residences would be creating a level of
noise that would be incompatible with the needs of
a hospice. Thankfully the university reconsidered.
There is one uncomfortable point that sticks
out in this saga. When students came together as
a community to complain about the placement of
this hospice, it got play in The Ubyssey and a handful of blogs, but that was it. Certainly this was not
an issue worth debating outside campus. But when
a handful of millionaires—who have no necessary
role in the academic functioning of this campus-
invoked cultural ethics to complain about the same
thing, it got picked up by the national media and
debated endlessly.
We're not blaming the residents for this: they
didn't know a hospice might be built next to their
homes when they moved in, and have a right to voice
their opinions. But ask yourself this, students: why
are these millionaires' concerns about getting supernatural heeby-jeebies somehow more interesting to
national media outlets than the concerns of students?
There's a certain amount of ethnic tension being
exploited in reporting on this, to be sure. Increasingly though, non-academic residents of UBC are
being treated as the public face ofthe area. This is
just another example of how the university lands
are treated as though they don't belong to the people
they're actually intended for. When an apartment
rising against UBC gets more attention than when
students doing the same thing, it's a problem. tl
Saturday night, after a lackluster election typified
by uninspired campaigning and personality heightened over policy our next AMS Executives will be
mercifully elected.
Should you be as tired of AMS hackery as expected, do we have a surprise for you! Because in just
six(!) short(!) weeks(!) there will be a referendum.
And like it or not, you should care about it.
The main point ofthe referendum will be to vote
on renewing the UPass at a slightly higher rate of
$30per month. However, there will be a slew of other questions that will ask you to raise student fees to
benefit the AMS, campus clubs, CiTR and yes, even
The Ubyssey. There are two reasons for this. One
is that a UPass referendum is the only time more
than a smattering of students are motivated enough
to vote in campus elections, so quorum is guaranteed—you don't need to convince students to come
out to the polls, only to vote in favour of whatever
it is you're proposing.
The other reason, however, is that the AMS, having not had their fees raised for many years, are
facing a financial strain and would very much like
more money fromyou (full disclosure: so would we).
So a debate will happen over the next two months,
in which some student groups will be claiming
that they need more money while other student
groups will tell you that those organizations don't
deliver any value.
Truth is, after two years in which they have heard
of many foolish things their student union has done,
many willbe skeptical of giving the AMS more money. They do need it, if only to continue the tangible—
if not newsworthy—services they provide on a regular basis. But groups must make a clear link between what the money is for and where it will go.
"Engaging students" and "lobbying governments"
won't be calls that will convince students to hand
over money.
That, aside from anything else, is what we hope
from whomever is elected on Saturday. Because while
it's one thing to campaign for yourself it's another
thing to campaign for more money, va
AMS detached from issues that affect students on campus
The AMS election season is in full swing
and once again the attitude of the student body looks to be one largely of indifference. There isn't even a dynamic race at the top of the ballot for students to divide themselves along their
oft-stereotyped choices of being either
Knoll-loving hippies or university-supporting neo-facists.
Counter-intuitively to many in the
AMS and UBC blogosphere who seem
to delight in political bomb-throwing
and "gotcha" moments, a lack of campus
drama could be the start of a new political life within the AMS that may eventually motivate more students to vote.
Quite simply the silent majority of students that I have encountered over five
years at UBC who cut across the social
strata—athletes, international students,
Rez rats, commuting students, Greeks—
don't really care about the Great Political Debates. They appear to have little
to do with our time here as students.
However, there may be some things
I wouldn'tmind the studentpoliticians
in the AMS getting angry about. What
really grinds my gears is when I'm expected to pay over $3 for a slice of pizza, or the highest price for beer on campus at establishments that are supposed
to be run in my best interest. A complaint I hear constantly from the silent
majority and those on the political inside alike is about the lack of student
life on campus. Why isn't anyone looking at the Student Life Committee and
the tens of thousands of dollars spent
on programs every year like Shinerama, Firstweek and the concerts at the
PIT? When these events have been successful (i.e. thisyear's Shinerama campaign being named the best in Canada),
it has been with a lack of support from
the AMS itself.
Or, if student politicians wanted to
address a major issue impacting the
daily lives of all students living at UBC,
how about dealing with the lack of study
space on campus? Certainly the AMS
could lobby the University to extend the
hours of the overused study spaces in
1KB and Koerner, and open up the spaces that bar students from outside faculties studying in them, like the Life Sciences and Computer Science buildings.
Seemingly lacking the political sex
appeal of their predecessors, my issues have the cachet of being actionable in the short term and appealing
to UBC students who aren't politically
minded. Yes, I want my AMS to be looking out for the long term interests of students on this campus. But too often student politicians try to create political
wedge issues that simply aren't there.
They try to turn this campus into a
laboratory for their attempts at Machiavellian and Karl Rovian-style political games. This simply doesn't resonate with the majority of students who
aren't looking to politicize their student
experience. Give me a candidate with a
platform that will lead to my life definitively improved over the next year, and
they'll have my vote—and engage with
the many other students dissociated
from main stream campus politics, va
The end of student unions (as we know them)
As we, the children ofthe Lost Generation, embark on our annual tradition
of student elections, candidates of all
political stripes will repeat the same
promises from lastyear about freezing tuition fees or fixing the student
loan program. Sure, little measures
can be achieved, but for those fundamental concerns, they're all talk and
no action. This is not just an AMS issue, but also the fundamental problem of a student union.
Ifyou weren't paying attention, last
year wasn't a good year to be a student
or a middle-classyoungperson. The political events in Europe systematically rendered their political vehicle, the
student union, obsolete. Last December in England, the national student
union failed to stop a 300 per cent rise
in the tuition limit ceiling. The union
failed due to its leadership and its political ties to the previous government
that introduced tuition fees.
But what's exactly wrong with student unions—in Canada?
The political success of a student union
is predicated on its legitimacy as a collective political power against its opposing institution or group. Without
this legitimacy student unions cannot
be effective in advancing their agenda through lobbying, which is the purpose of the AMS. In British Columbia,
our student unions are absent of any
unified political power.
Education is a provincial obligation
in Canada; therefore, the focus of the
AMS must be directed at Victoria and
not Ottawa. From my own experience,
the national unions in Ottawa routinely
devolve into AMS Council-like shenanigans over Palestinian aid. Our two national, opposing unions function only
to release research findings and press
releases, but there's no real power behind their emails, as they're politically irrelevant.
Unlike the Quebec student unions
which don't have an oral fixation with
Ottawa, English Canada continually
splinters into rival groups, weakening
our power and effectiveness. We divide;
the provincial government conquers;
students and young people lose out on
a future.
In the AMS, there are two political
factions and ideologies that drive the
union: the activist and the lobbyist. Each
group is after the same goal, but they
differ in tactics and provincial party
identification. The obsession with provincial politics has blinded both sides
to the reality of student politics: political identifications have no bearing or
purpose within the AMS—the government is the government; it doesn't care
ifyou share its political identification.
The failure of our political culture to
delineate "the government" from "political party A and B" is the great undoing of its purpose.
Tactically these two binaries together forget a truism of student politics:
you cannot successfully partake in
"lobbying and negotiations" without
the political clout and legitimacy created through constant political pressure
and activism. Remember Farm Trek? va 12/UBYSSEY.CA/OURCAMPUS/2011.01.20
Students in Astronomy 310 took a trip to the
Irving K Barber Learning Centre for a demonstration of "how fucking huge the solar
system is," according to one student. In this
scale model, Eris, our solar system's tenth
planet, nearly reached Koerner Library (picture not shown). "21
The Ubyssey wins two JHM awards
Last week, The Ubyssey attended the 73rd Annual National
Canadian University Press Conference, hosted by the McGill
Daily in the beautiful city of Montreal. There, we attended
dozens of seminars, defeated our rival paper The Gateway in a
dance-off and, most importantly, won two John H Macdonald
awards for outstanding student journalism, the highest honour
for a campus paper in Canada.
Photo editor Geoff Lister won in photography for his portrait of
three members of UBC's ski team, while news editor Arshy Mann
took home the award in Diversity Reporting for his piece entitled "The Most Important Haircut of My Life. This marked the
second consecutive year we have won more JHM Awards than
any other publication in Canada, and the fourth straight year
we have won at least one Johnny." As always, many thanks to
our readers for continuing to support us.


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