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The Ubyssey Nov 26, 2004

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Array V,' ■■
A global holiday from consumerism. See centre insert.
AgSci name change passes.
Pases 4-5.
Babylon looks great, but the film just
doesn't have what it takes. Page 3.
UBC Field Hockey team member wins
CIS player of the year. Page 8.
Corruption in the Ukraine. Page 6.
Volume 86 Issue 22
j     u
ED Oil
Friday, November 26, 2004
cMi%i 1% %mmm w0%M$ s^m^ss "d^Clf^s  iW4# %\\l\%m>  i?pi %f ssey masaiin
Friday, November 26,2004
Elections will be held m January 2DOS fbr the
following AMS Executive positions: President of
the AMS, Vic€sPte$icteru External, Vice-President
Internal, Vice-Presi
President Academic,
rinancre a
I: (actions- will be held simultaneously for student
representatives to the Board of'Governors of UBC
(2 positions) &mi for the Senate (B positions)*
Nominations lor candidates open November 29,
2004 and close at 4 pm on January 7, 20QS*
Nominations forms can be picked up front an
returned to SUB Room 236 and 218- Further
information is on Ihe nomination forms, Anv
questions beyond this can foe emailed to
etectiom<$ams*ubc*ca« For mom details on th<
Darrinv that term paper was 20 pages.,.
I stayed up all night to \AArite it...
Andnow I smell;ji:ke;adysteh
I haven't been but of the house in ^eeks...
And now exams are coming up.:.
The pioneers were surety^
as I at this very moment...
I wonder vvhy I began this degree,.,
so, thati^
satire issue is
i shall not rest until i read it
sirnpiy^ put, i clpridt vvait
loi"dy, it'll be^prgeoirs
Punk rock weekend
Festival of Guns brings alternative sound downtown
Festival of Guns
at the Lamplighter
Nov 19
by Jenn Cameron
It was a punk rock life this weekend!
From Nov 18 to 20, the Festival of
Guns had shows going on simultaneously at about four different downtown venues each night There were
about five different bands at each
venue from all over Canada and this
upper U.S. For those who bought a
wristband, you could run from The
Pic to The Brickyard and see them
all, or at least as many as your stamina would allow.
Arriving at the Lamplighter, I
must say that I was a little disappointed to see it was relatively
empty, and at least a quarter of the
people there were apparently quite
uninterested in seeing the show.
Those who were there for the show
were not of the trendy city indie-
scenester variety that I'm used too,
but instead, of a less imposing punk
rock crowd.
The Sound City Hooligans
opened the show, however, being
fashionably late as usual, I missed
their set Black Eyes and Neck Ties
were next, playing an exciting and
fast paced set They had energy and
presence, each of the five members
playing off each other in a playful
After the impressive energy of
Black Eyes and Neck Ties, I was disappointed with Ladies Night Their
sound was alright, but the intensity
and mischievious attitude wasn't
there. It's hard to get into the really
loud and screaming stuff if the band
itself isn't interesting. They seemed
to take themselves just a little too
seriously for my taste.
Raised By Wolves didn't get on
the stage until after one, and being
slightly drunk and quite exhausted, I
only watched the first few songs. I
know. I'm a wuss and a real punk fan
would've stayed.. I hang my head in
shame. From what I got of them, they
were pretty decent, a little more
melodic and methodical than the
first two bands, but still very quick
paced and heated.
For those who didn't get a chance
to check it out this year, I would recommend that you explore the
Festival of Guns next year. There
were lots of bands that I didn't get a
chance to see, some good, some bad
I'm sure, but few that you've probably heard of. This festival is a chance
to see something a little outside of
the ordinary in Vancouver. ♦
Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast
Salmon Farming
by David Suzuki
[Harbour Publishing!
by Ritu Kumar
The estuaries and tributaries of BC
have long teemed with the migration of the Pacific salmon: Chinook,
Coho, Chum, Pink, and Sockeye.
They wait in creeks and rivers
until, sometimes up to a year later,
they make their way into the vast
Pacific, traveling thousands of kilometers to Asia before returning to
their birthplace to spawn a new
This cycle has perpetuated throughout history—until now, when
the very existence of Pacific-salmon
is being questioned. Aquaculture,
or fish farming, has been edging its
way into the landscape of the BC
coast for over thirty years but has
only recendy been scrutinised. And
although many of us have heard
about the negative impacts of fish
farming, too few of us see this as
the real threat.
In his latest book, A Stain Upon
the Sea: West Coast Salmon
Farming, a thorough yet concise
collection of five essays, David
Suzuki tries to explain the environmental and societal impacts of
fish farms.
The book features contributions
by Stephen Hume, Betty C. Keller
and Rosella M. Leslie, Otto Langer,
Don Stamford and famed biologist
Alexandra Morton. A Stain Upon
the Sea acts as a guidebook to the
ins and outs of the aquaculture industry, while still remaining
enjoyable and educational. It demonstrates the key points of an
argument in protest of fish farming—or rather, the current method
of open-net fish farming which is
both destructive to habitat and
detrimental to all marine life.
The essays are aimed at the
average reader, and are not bogged
down with jargon,  which helps
make the message of protest all the
more concrete. Each essay exemplifies a different point in the argument against salmon farms. It
looks at the issue from a global
scale, focusing in on the five
largest farmed salmon-producing
places—Chile, Norway, Scotland,
Canada and the Faroe Islands-
while at the same time zooming
into the Broughton Archipelago in
BC as a focus. Whether you would
like to read a local history of aqua-
culture, find out what is wrong
with the Department of Fisheries
and Oceans and the Department
of Environment (there is always
something wrong), explain what it
is that is fed and injected into
farmed fish and therefore vicariously into oceans and consumers,
or read a heartfelt account about
the discovery of destruction—this
collection has it all.
The five pieces in this collection
combine to create a message of
action. As Suzuki writes in his preface, 'In the 3.8 billion years that
life has existed on earth, no other
species has acquired the power to
transform the physical, chemical,
and biological features of the planet as we do today.* A Stain Upon
the Sea is a step towards public
awareness but we the readers, as
citizens of this planet, need to take
the next step: putting the environment before profit. ♦
mi I:
Friday, November 26,2004
Alexander the abysmal Perfect
Now playing
by Greg Ursic
The latest film by director Oliver
Stone follows the life and triumphs
of one of histories great heroes,
Alexander the Great.
By the age of 19, Alexander was
king of Macedonia. Within the
ensuing 15 years he gained command of an empire that stretched
from Egypt to India. Undefeated in
battle, he proved to be a benevolent ruler who allowed those who
surrendered to remain as leaders, and was more interested in
spreading ideas than destruction.
He achieved all this by the age
of 33, thus garnering him the
moniker Alexander the Great and
The classic sign that a movie is
not going well is when the audience
keeps checking the time, and with
this film's 170-plus minute run
time, you could read the newspaper
from the collective watchlight
The thought dominant in my mind
was 'How in the hell did this movie
cost $150 million?' Sure, there
were some great costumes, there
were some nifty computer generat
ed images and the live battle scenes
were fairly exciting—Babylon never
looked so pretty—but for $150 million?. Unfortunately, it was clear
that, little of that cash went into the
Colin Farrell has pulled off some
stirring performances, but this
isn't one of them. When Alexander isn't looking horrified or angry,
he's looking around for the right
Yeah, he's cute, but he makes Paris
Hilton look like a Rhodes Scholar.
But there are a few bright moments. Val Kilmer is wonderfully
brutish as Phillip, the hard drinking, amoral, womanizing barbarian
king, California accent notwithstanding. Angelina Jolie also stands
out in her performance as Olympia,
and not just because of the braless
skintight toga she wears. While her
emotion to inject into the scene.
Worse still is Jared Leto as Alexander's trusty sidekick and life
partner, Hephaistion, whose purpose in the film is indiscernible.
vaguely Draculaesque accent is distracting, no one does crazy and evil
like her. We're talking some serious mother issues.
It would be challenging to create
dialogue that is more disjointed or
stilted than that on display here.
When the screenwriter isn't, oh for
lack of a better word, let's say stealing, from Gladiator or Braveheart,
the characters are forced to utter
inanities that boggle the mind.
Almost every intended dramatic
scene triggered snickers and outright guffaws. And while I'll accept
that Alexander's armies were a cultural melange, I don't think he
counted any Scots, Irish or English
among his ranks, yet there they are,
plain for all to hear. I would be
remiss if I failed to mention the
Jurassic Park style bouncing camera shots, 360 degree pans, painfid-
ly long slow motion sequences
and—most egregious of all—the horribly drawn-out infrared sequence
near the end of the film. Okay a
minute or two I could handle, but
ten minutes?
In spite of the attention the film,
has gathered for the engendered
for portraying Alexander as a—
ohmigod, are you ready for this—a
bisexual, word of mouth will kill
any buzz about this film after the
first weekend. If the only good that
comes of this film is the end of
bloated ego pieces from Oliver
Stone, then my pain will not have
been in vain. ♦
want to dance with
Breaking it down at the Harbour Dance Centre, watch out now
by Simon Underwood
"Levezf thundered the instructor
from across the room. Small
droplets of sweat begin to form a
noxious puddle around my feet,
and muscle sets only prior activated in compromising sexual accidents start to ache like a mo-fo.
Staring at my sport socks, desperately trying to self-reiki the encased appendages so they might
strike in synchronisation, I cursed
the little mirrored panopticon to
which I had willingly committed
myself, and the piano man providing the tinny soundtrack for good
measure. "Levez!" the drill-sergeant barked again, glancing from
my blotchy face to my twisted feet.
It was halfway through my debut in Beginner Ballet at the Harbour Dance Centre, and what had
seemed like a good start with the
plies had well deteriorated by the
rond dejambes. Gritting my teeth,
I tried to remind myself how much
character I was building, and as
any member of a sado-masochistic
relationship will attest, a little
humiliation never hurt anyone.
But as the class was corralled into
herds and instructed to perform a
series of leaps diagonally across
the studio, I crushed my eyelids
shut and sent a desperate message
to every A-list deity of which I could think: please kill me. Please kill
me now.
When I waddled back to the studio a few days later to ask Pamela
Rosa, the co-owner of Harbour
Dance, whether she honestly thought that everybody had the ability
to dance, her reply was instantaneous and genuine. "Absolutely,*
she answered, testifying that her
staff of professional dancers and
trained choreographers have witnessed countless zero-to-dance-
hero transformations. "Dancing
keeps you young," she added, and I
thought back to the middle-aged
women who had put me to shame
during the pas de bourres. In the
case of ballet, the demand for
grace and discipline can only benefit the type of people who thrive
under the fierce direction of the
French im-perative. And really, it's
more fun than it sounds.
For the last twenty years, Harbour Dance has offered drop-in
classes that cater to all ages and
levels of dance ability, from those
who can cut a rug to those who
merely soil it with excessive perspiration. Want to grace the grocery store floor with a little soft-
shoe? Smack down a little Napoleon Dynamite at Celebrities?
Harbour Dance can school you in
Jazz, Modern, Tap and Hip Hop
with an accommodating schedule
that offers a chance to bust a move
every day of the week. The cost is
reasonable, the instructors are passionate and helpful, the atmosphere is open and friendly, and
leotards are definitely optional.
Even my ballet teacher, not
nearly the malicious taskmaster
represented here, kindly pulled me
aside as the class was ending and
offered to help me with myjettes.
Her militant guise turned matronly, and I felt ashamed that I had
refused to practise my mangled
leap sequence in full view of the
class minutes before. If anyone
was the surrender monkey, it was
big fat clumsy me. She invited me
to come back next week, and I
smiled in a non-committal sort of
But walking down the stairs to
Granville Street, I gradually began
to sense that the first time in years
that I might actually have an ass.
Pass the Advil kids; I'll see you in
class next week. Now, break it
down. ♦
FAME: I'm gonna live forever/ I'm gonna learn how to fly/ High/ I feel it coming together/ People will
see me and cry . simon underwood photo
UBC Players Club
at the Frederic Wood Theatre
Admission by donation
by Julie Pederson
This weekend, Frederic Wood
Theatre presents a production of
three plays by the UBC Players
Club, all of which proved to be
tremendously funny during the
Tuesday night dress rehearsal.
Although pouring rain outside that
evening, the storm was actually
inside the theatre as actors were
eagerly raced around before hitting the stage.
The UBC Players Club invites
everyone to come see three separate, highly entertaining plays
offered this weekend. One is about
a pirate and a court case, another
takes you back to a time where
keeping up appearances came
before anything else while the
final show captures what some
would classify the not-so-bright
present in a world of reality TV
and fame. The shows could not be
any more versatile though they do
have one thing in common: jokes.
The entire ensemble is a perfect
example of how easy it is to find
something humorous almost anywhere.
To   begin,   "Robert   and   the
Captain" takes you on a journey to
explore the world of pirates and
rice stealing, with a slightly contemporary twist.  Written by the
show's director, Vincent Gornall,
in   cooperation   with   Nathaniel
Miller, it is an experience you will
not get anywhere else. And remember to pay special attention to the
music accompanying the play and
the  silent antics of a captured
Robert. Naturally, the show also
offers a surprise ending which no
one will expect.
After a short intermission, the
stage is transformed into an
upper class home where.beautiful
women with old English accents
walk around feverishly in second
play, "Fourteen." Although the
play presents only three different
characters on a never-changing
set, the pace moves quickly and
the moods go up and down along
with their voices and movements.
The originality of this play is no
measure for "Robert and the
Captain" but it is still presented with class and sophistication and is bound to put a smile
on your face.
Finally, you reach the last
show, directed by the same team
that is responsible for "Fourteen," Eurassia Adamson and Jesse
Inocalla. This finale titled "My
Life is a Feature Film" is not a
period play. It doesn't offer weird
costumes and personalities, but it
retains a surreal vibe. In fact, this
is perhaps the play that gets your
brain going the most as it explores
aspects of the society in which
we live today. Slightly cynical and
dark, it is a morbid version of The
Truman Show, but also tremendously funny.
Come out and watch The UBC
Players Club's performances this
weekend at the Frederic Wood
Theatre. Tickets are by donations
and doors open at 6.50 pm. ♦ ^^H
Name change for AgSci
narrowly approved by Senate
by Dan McRoberts
The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
is dead. Long hve the Faculty of Land
and Food Systems.
A divided University Senate
approved the faculty name change
Wednesday evening, passing the
motion 33 to 20. Moments earlier, a
motion to refer the matter back to the
AgSci faculty for more consultation
had deadlocked the Senate at 26 for,
26 against, and failed for lack of
majority. The new name will come
into effect in February 2005.
"Basically it's done...It's unfortunate that we couldn't extend it and
have one more survey," said Matt
Edgar, the student senate representative from AgSci who had asked
Senate to refer the motion. "It's just
an overall disappointment to come
out of this as Land and Food
The motion to refer could conceivably have been decided by UBC
President Martha Piper, who also
chairs Senate, but Piper would not
vote. After the meeting, Edgar said
that he was "very disappointed" by
Piper's choice.
"I can imagine that he was disappointed and maybe the other people
were disappointed as well," Piper
told the Ubyssey. "I feel I'm an
impartial chair and that's the role I
should play."
The name change is an attempt
to deal with an image problem
surrounding the word agriculture,
according to Land and Food Systems
Dean Moura Quayle.
"Agriculture is too often misunderstood," she said. The word makes
it difficult to attract students, Quayle
said, adding that it no longer defines
the various fields of study that are
incorporated within the faculty.
One senator was critical of the marketing potential for Land and Food
Systems as well.
"It's very ambiguous and no one
outside UBC will know what it is," he
said during debate. "It's eveiything
and it's nothing...It's almost as useless as saying Arts."
While students feel that the name
has to change, there is resistance to
the new moniker, according to Edgar.
"Change is needed but Land and
Food Systems is not the best to represent all students," he said. "It definitely needs to happen but it's a question of what name and what's in the
name." Edgar said that students had
raised concerns over the removal of
any reference to science in the new
name, claiming that there were
credibility issues involved.
After extensive consultation in the
spring of 2004, a proposal emerged
to dub AgSci the "Faculty of Environmental and Food Sciences." The
AgSci Faculty Council, a body including faculty members and students,
voted 82 per cent in favour of the
change but resistance from other faculties such as Science and Forestry
prevented the pursuit of that name.
In response, the Land and Food
Systems title was proposed over the
summer and later endorsed by the
University administration. The Faculty
Council approved the new name with
69 per cent support on October 29,
but students were not consulted much
once the fall term began, according
to Edgar.
"There was just a drop off in consultation," he said.
But Quayle said that she felt the
level of discussion had been sufficient The Faculty came to the AgSci
student's society twice in October
and asked about commissioning
another survey, but there was a seeming lack of interest
"We have consulted the livin' daylights out of people and in fact I guess
we had thought that we had worn
people out," she said.
"I knew that we weren't going to
make everyone happy, ' Quayle said.
"There's a lot of passion and I love
our   students   because    of   their
passion." ♦
AgSci students have had more than
just a name change on their minds.
Questions are abound over possible
changes facing the faculty with the
development of UBC Okanagan.
Faculty Dean Moura Quayle, who
also serves as the associate vice president, programs at the new institution,
said that the situation is still unclear.
"We don't know at this point exactly what's going to happen," she said.
Tm not up there [at UBCO] just for
AgSci...but it's handy that I am
because there's a lot of potential for
the faculty to expand."
The faculty is already spread over
three campuses with labs in West
Vancouver and a dairy education centre in Agassiz.
Quayle said that the faculty could
potentially develop new agroecology
programs at the Summerland campus ofUBC-O.
Christine Boyle, student representative from AgSci on the AMS council,
reported earlier this month that
Quayle had recendy acknowledged
the potential existed for parts of the
faculty to be moved to UBC-O.
Keep reading the Ubyssey for further coverage of this story.
Friday, Novei
Disappearing council
The bi-monthly meeting of the AMS j
council ended suddenly Wednesday
in the middle ofa series of in camera I
sessions. The council had moved in;
camera to  discuss last Tuesday's!
issue of the Ubyssey, which included
two articles on VP Academic Brenda
Ogembo and a perspective opinion \
piece written by Ogembo herself.
Council was dissolved at approxi-1
mately 10:20 pm because quorum j
was no longer present, said speaker
Jason Loxton.
Council will reconvene next
Wednesday for a special meeting in
order to discuss suggestions being
made by the Ad-hoc Lobby Review
Committee, a group that is evaluating
the AMS' membership in the
Canadian Association of Student
Associations (CASA) a national student lobby group.
Wreck changes
UBC announced changes to the
height of one of the planned Marine
Drive residence towers. The changes
address concerns from members of
the Wreck Beach Preservation Society
(WBPS), a community group that do
not want the towers to be visible from
the beach.
Three 20-storey towers will now
be constructed along Lower Mall, farther back from Marine Drive than
was previously planned. A fourth
tower will be moved back from the
road and will be lowered in height to
17 storeys.
In addition, UBC released geo-
UBC prof takes policy advice to, national stage
Economist Angela Redish named to council of the CD. Howe Institute
1   *VJ^^&$#*
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LOOK, GRAPHS! UBC's Angela Redish was recently appointed to an influencial council that assesses the
monetary policy options for the Bank of Canada. Redish brings her concern about the disparity of wealth
between countries and her holistic view of economics to her new appointment with the CD. Howe
Institute council, nic fensom photo
by Eric Szeto
The possibility of a severe global
economic depression isn't something that keeps Angela Redish up
at night.
"I guess I see the economy as
pretty   self-equilibrating   in   the
sense that there is a whole lot of
safeguards," said Redish, a professor of economics at UBC. "I don't
think you would get into the
1930s...I guess if I was to be looking for trouble signs (in the global
economy], I'd be looking for them
coming out of political systems."
Redish, a leading expert on the
history of monetary systems was
recently appointed to the council of
the CjD. Howe Institute. The goal of
this independent council is to
assess.the types of monetary policy
the Bank of Canada should take.
The council aids the Bank of Canada by advising them to change
interest rates eight times through
out the year.
"The [Bank of Canada's] objective is to keep the inflation rate at
two per cent and when our council
is set up, we're not free to say that
monetary council should be such
that inflation is five per cent and
this is how we should go about it,"
said Redish.
"Our job is to say how is the
bank to behave given that the objective is two per cent inflation. So in
some sense the interest rate policy
does affect the economy. It does
drive it up and down but maybe the
biggest thing for Canadians over
the long run affects the rate of
Redish sees her seat on the
council as an opportunity to further
fulfill her lifelong fascination with
"I was very interested in why
some countries were rich and some
were poor," explained Redish. "Within a country, some people are
rich and some people are poor.
How does that work? What policies
can you implement to reduce
poverty? That was why it was interesting to me."
Economics is so fundamental to
everyday functioning, said Redish.
"How do we decide whether we
have common access to the fisheries and limit the number of people that go fishing...How to organise your health care system? How to
take care of dependence? These are
economic questions," explained
In the past 20 years there has
heavy.criticism given to the World
Bank and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] because of the
unfairness of its policies especially
towards developing nations. Redish
believes that we've got to work with
what we've got
"[The World Bank and IMF] both
made mistakes. I can point to
places where the IMF has imposed
tough conditions and that has
made things worse rather than better," said Redish. "But if you ask
me if the world didn't have those
institutions would the world be a
better place? Then I would probably say no. They may be flawed
institutions but their what we've
got and I'd be interested in making
reforms rather than abolishing
Brian Copeland, a professor of
economics at UBC who has been
working with Redish for almost 15
years believes that it is her passion
that drives her to excel.
"[Redish] can't become accomplished without passion in the
field," said Copeland. "She's not
afraid to make a tough decision."
David Green, an economics professor at UBC expresses the same
"As a researcher, she's an eco-,
nomic historian, she's one of thep
leading people in the world in mon-|
etary history which is an issue that is
centrally related to how economies
grow, and I think that any economist
would tell you it's an important
field," said Green
"She's truly a person who wants
to be part of and a solution tha1
works for  a lot of people,"  sai
Green. "Part of what ^drives her i
pure intellectual curiosity...and th
bigger picture of how to build better societies
w^y. A global holiday from consumerism and a celebration of sustainability
TT[fD@ fe
^ Megan Smyth
Buy Nothing Day (BND) traces its
origins back to numerous organisations and individuals. The first BND
originated right here in Canada with
the work of Kalle Lasn, an advertising executive turned anti-con-
sumerist activist
In 1989 he produced a 30-sec-
ond TV commerical about the disappearing old-growth forests of the
Pacific Northwest, but no TV station
would sell airtime for the promotion
of such a cause. In his autobiography Lasn states that this experience
made him realise that "there is no
democracy on the airwaves.* In
order to try and remedy this situation, Lasn became the founder of
Adbusters, a Vancouver based magazine promoting anti-consumerist
activities and sustainable development.
According to their official website, * Adbusters is a not-for-profit,
reader-supported magazine concerned about the erosion of our
physical and cultural environments
by commercial forces.* Founders of
Adbusters and other concerned indi-
SAVE THE PLANET This dumpster promotes environmentalism.
Irony I thevor silks photo
Sqo _@@ss feasor ©DO
By Sara Norman
Is it possible to buy nothing for a
day? Lastyear, I failed. I bought gas
for an empty tank (I guess I could've
rolled the car down the hill, but on
the way back...). This year, I fear, will
be no different Those shoes I'd
been eyeing for the last thirty days
are just slated to go on sale next
week. My gas tank is neaiing empty,
and I refuse to fill it at 94.5 cents
per litre. Okay, so maybe I can do
without the shoes, but wouldn't they
make a great impression for my job
interview tomorrow?
To be frank, I really can't afford
those shoes, yet I won't be able to
sleep until I buy them. Subliminally,
I am dressing the part ofa corporate
lackey, the eternal consumer. What
would happen if I went into an interview for a clothing store in a tacky
suit and stale shoes? I wouldn't get
the job. Are we consumers because
we are vain, and are we vain
because we have to be?
There is a never-ending pressure
to be the best of everything. One has
to look perfect to get a mate, to get
the best job and be revered in North
American society. And perfection
does not come cheap (or free).
Everyday, we are inundated with
images of perfection: movie stars,
models, athletes, all of whom "have
it all.* To be as beautiful, successful,
and revered, we have to buy cosmetics, update our wardrobes and buy
the latest and trendiest of products.
If we don't, we don't fit in, get the
good jobs and the coherent mates.
It is, indeed, a sticky web as to
what is over-consumption, but since
the foundation of our society is
based on the consumer, we need to
look beyond Buy Nothing Day and
work towards a world where models
are not considered perfection, athletes are not valued over scientists
and money is irrelevant But until
then, the unfortunate truth is that if
you want to be successful, you have
to consume. ©
Sara Norman is a Ubyssey staff
news writer
viduals decided to take action in the
hopes of raising public concern
about the effects of excessive,
unquestioned purchasing. Thus
BND was born with the intent to create a day of reflection on the consumption-based economy.
In 1992 BND, known then as "No
Shop Day/ was started in Vancouver
as a protest against the consumerism that had become a part of
daily life for most people living in
the Western hemisphere. Two years
later, on the other side of the globe a
similar independent project was
gaining force. In 1994 the project
"Consumer Holiday* arose in
Europe. The individuals promoting
"Consumer Holiday* did not know
about the similar BND project on the
West coast of North America.
Through networking, these two
groups found each other and banded as one to support the anti-consumerism movement. And despite
having no central office or CEO,
environmentally and consumer conscious individuals and groups
across the globe strove to promote
the original goals of the Adbusters
founders: "to make a small choice
not to shop," to "shrink our footprint
and gain some calm," while getting
the public to "rethink our unsustainable course" and think about what
we buy, and what relationship our
purchases have to our quality of life.
BND traditionally occurs on the
last Friday of November—or the last
Saturday in Australia and the UK.
This date falls just after American
Thanksgiving, when everyone
begins counting down the number
of days until Christmas.
Promotional advertising appears on
every television and radio station, as
well as every billboard, magazine
and newspaper. What's the message
of this advertising? BUY, BUY, BUY!
Retailers are gearing up for the holiday shopping season and consumerism rises to a yearly high during the weeks before Christmas.
BND has slightly different origins
and development processes in each
country, and therefore over the
years many countries have developed signature events in celebration
of BND. In 1999, activists in New
York performed a 45 minute dance
routine in the middle of Times
Square. Times Square continues to
be a hot location for BND celebrations. In Japan, on a popular shopping street in Kyoto, one single
Santa doing Zen meditation gained
the attention of the shoppers and
many more Zen Santas have
appeared each year. Wearing an
entirely gold outfit, "Mr.
Materialism" makes his yearly
appearance downtown, thanking
Vancouver consumers for their vigorous shopping. Despite low public
involvement during the early years
of BND celebrations, it appears as
though public involvement is steadily growing. Each year the Adbusters
website (www.adbusters.org) reports
back on BND events that occurred
all over the world.
Thirteen years after the original
"No Shop Day," the word has spread.
The old tide has disappeared, and
Buy Nothing Day is now an international event celebrated in over 65
countries worldwide. The collaboration of various independent groups
has prompted many other organisations and countries to question the
impact of consumerism oh the
future sustainability of the Earth. ©
Megan Smyth is a Ubyssey staff-
By Sarah Smith
I heard about Buy Nothing Day a
year ago at the first Student
Environment Centre meeting I
attended at UBC. I volunteered to
help organise a Stuff Swap event to
celebrate BND and my involvement
with the project had a profound
effect on the way I thought about my
consumption practices.
The reasons behind Buy Nothing
Day are complex. In its 13th year,
BND is a global initiative. It is a day
to not participate in the frenetic consumer-binge that has become central to our culture. But instead of
tackling the enormous economic,
social and political issues upon
which BND is based, the first step to
participating in Buy Nothing Day is
to start thinking about your consumption patterns.
Last year I began asking myself
some basic but important questions.
What or whom am I supporting by
buying my produce from Safeway?
From Capers? Why do I feel the need
to continually buy more for my
apartment, car or closet? On what
do I base my ideas of happiness?
Being honest with myself as I
answer these questions continues to
be difficult
We are socialised from infancy to
be consumers. Marketing companies target young television audiences, as we see in the documentary
"The Corporation," to enter into a
consumption relationship with the
many products in our fives and the
companies that produce them.
When we are stressed, unhappy or
bored we find comfort and meaning
in spending money. When the happiness gained from the purchase of
a new product wears off we are left
with the same emptiness as before,
which encourages us to continue
this consumption pattern.
This type of ever-expanding consumption has a profound effect on
our ecosystem. The earth and its
natural resources are limited and
yet we continue to destroy vast areas
of land and ocean to feed this addic
tion. Infinite growth is impossible in
a finite world.
I am not suggesting we stop consuming and run off to five in the
hills. Instead of shopping this Friday
the 26th, build meaningful relationships with people, smile at
strangers, create community, go for
a walk in the rain or learn a new
skill. Stop. Observe. Question.
Educate yourself. Buy Nothing Day
does not have to be a radical overthrowing of the structure of society.
Start by becoming an observer of
how you engage with our con-
sumerist society.
Come and join the Student
Environment Centre and the Social
Justice Centre celebrate BND this
year with a Stuff Swap and other festivities. Outside the South SUB
entrance on Friday November 26th
from 10am-4pm. Bring well-loved
quality items to swap for other useful or beautiful things. ©
Sarah Smith is the Chair of the
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10 Fun Facts about
Buy Nothing Day
10. North Americans discard 183
million razors & 350 million pressurised spray cans eveiy year.
(Source: Alan Duraing, Earthscan
, 9.20 per cent of the world's population consumes 86 pet cent of the
world's resources. (Source: UNDP
1998 Report)
8. Approximately , 6,900,000
Americans voluntarily left their
homes and paid $10 ta waste 115
minutes of their life watching
"White Chicks/ (Source; Internet
Movie Database)
7. The estimated annual income
per capita is $312 in Afghanistan,
$287 in Ethiopia, $113 in the
Democratic Republic of Congo,
$27,875 in Canada, and $43,825
in America; all amounts in
Canadian dollars. (Source;
TimCEF)      <
6. Via alcohol consumption, the
average North American consumes 2. 18 gallons of ethanol per
year (Source; National Institute on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
5, Approximately 45 per cent of
recyclable paper is ^actually recycled (Source; U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency)
4/ In 2001, U.S. residents, -businesses, and institutions produced
more than 229 million tons of
garbage, which is approximately
4.4 pounds of waste pes person
per day, which is 40 per cent higher than in 1960. Of this, 30 per
cent is recovered and recycled or
composted, 15 per cent is burned
at combustion facilities, and the
remaining 56 per cent is disposed
of in landfills. (Source: U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency)
3. Two-thirds of international trade
is accounted for by just 500 companies. The ten largest Trans
National Corporations have a total
income greater than that of 100 of
the world's poorest countries.
(Source: UNDP, Human Development Report, New York, 1997)
2. Nike workers in Vietnam factories receive an average of 22 cents
(USD) per hour, which is below the
legal minimum wage in Vietnam.
The total value of endorsements
given to Michael Jordan and Tiger
Woods by Nike and other sports
companies in 1996 (over US$55
million each), was three times
more than the combined income
of all Vietnamese workers producing Nike shoes and clothing.
(Source: Campaign for Labour
Rights, USA)
1. If the world were only 100 people, 57 would be Asian, 21 would
be European, 14 would be from
North and South America, 8 would
be African. Seventy would be non-
white While 30 Would be white. 59
per cent of the entire world's
wealth would belong to only six
people, and all six would be citi-
zens pi the United States. (Source:
Hassela Nordic Network)
Exhibit on Massive Change reflects
many important Buy Nothing Day issues
Massive Change: The Future of
Global Design, on display at the
Vancouver Art Gallery reveals a
rather unorthodox aspect to art, one
that focuses on the idea of conceptual design, rather than with pure aesthetics. The exhibit is divided into
nine subsections with many of the
ideas about ecological sustainability
overlapping throughout.
Bruce Mau, the curator and
designer of Massive Change sends a
message of optimism that has been
concealed within the growth of globalisation, technology and urbanisation over the past century. He suggests that as the population increases and as our natural resources
steadily decline there is a growing
sense of responsibility that we must
consciously accept as individuals in
a global society to create a sustainable environment that will resonate
for generations.
One of the initial statements in
the exhibit remarks, "We acknowledge the hubris and the inherent
paradox of the new situation namely
that we have dominion over nature,
but at the same time we are still sub
ject to its laws and powers." Mau's
hope here is that society will finally
realise this statement, then actualise
it by adopting a principle where it
will evolve to think of the welfare of
the whole human race as a practical
objective, thus letting go of the egocentric views that are so widespread.
Mau contends that the rapid
urbanisation of the population
throughout the world alleviates the
stress inhabitants put on the area of
land that is occupied by us.
Centralising the population will
increase the amount of agricultural
farm space required for sustenance
while simultaneously requiring us
to decrease our dependence on
methods of transportation (nonrenewable resources) that harm the
environment. He sees virtue in that.
Technologically, we have also
revolutionised our means of sending information, diminishing our
dependence on natural resources,
and vastly improving our ability to
mass collect, transfer and share
Consumerism was led by the
growth of the market economy and
subsequendy showed us the power
that a global market force can hold
in terms of wealth distribution
and branding. Corporations like
Microsoft, McDonalds, and Coca-
Cola have a staggering recognition
rate throughout the world, as it has
been estimated that over 94 per cent
of the world can identify the Coca-
Cola symbol.
A natural by-product of mass consumerism is the massive amount of
waste we create. In order to reduce
such levels of consumption we must
take initiative to recycle raw material, eliminate or reduce water waste
by technological innovation.
Those of us who are accustomed
to Adbusters will be familiar with the
themes that the Massive Change
exhibit touches upon. While Adbusters is known for displaying the
grinmess that the future holds if we
are not vigilante about the world
around us, Massive Change provides
a refreshing look at the magnitude of
our innovations and its successes.
Questions about corporate responsibility, the sanctity of our mental environment from constant advertising,
disparities in wealth distribution and
increasing environmental degradation still remain, but having a look at
the other side of the equation is
always a nice reminder that things
can be better.
Massive Change will not be
remembered for its artistic merit
or its aesthetic appeal, but because the artist chose to feature
the most prominent conceptual
creations developed over the past
century. There's a vision that Mau
is trying to endorse, and he this
does successfully.
By provoking.us to re-examine
ourselves and the environment we
hve in, Mau forces us to shift our
egocentric and superficial views of
the world to an ideal that is directed
towards wealth, prosperity, and sustainability by means of introspection and reinvention.
Everybody knows that bicycles are
cheap, environmentally friendly:
and a great way to stay in shape.
Riding a bike rejects car culture;
and gasoline consumption, making
them a good way to get to your next
Buy Nothing Day party. A large part
of what Buy Nothing Day stands for
is an individual identity combined
with a spirit of subverting the dominant consumer culture. And what
is the most nonconformist, Do-It-
Eri-C  Saato  JB  the Uk^SS^ SbcXb&rself thing happening today in
Vancouver? Chopper bicycles. One
can make their own bicycle through
PedalPlay, a local organisation dedicated to  celebrating the  creative
Buying this car will empty your wallet. But you'll feel so full inside
use of bicycles in Vancouver.
You need inspiration to "chop"
your own bicycle. At PedalPlay's
garage, there's eveiything from a
double-length recumbent touring
bike to a pedal-powered tank. A
man named Art got his bike customised from start to finish several
weeks ago. What began as a simple
frame ended up as a tricked-out,
enlarged black and chrome cruising
monster. He began with a basic
mountain bike frame, onto which
pieces were welded to lower the
centre of gravity needed due the
addition of a large, chrome motorcycle style fork. The large fork wasn't big enough for the bike's creator
however—he wanted to go real big
and flashy. Jim, PedalPlay's shop
manager, cut the fork in half and
welded more tubing in to make a
genuinely huge bicycle.
Chopper bicycles first took off in
Vancouver three years ago as an art
project. Every summer since then,
people have been able to see the
bikes at the EastVan Chopper Fest.
About 30 choppers have shown up
at past events, with new people
every time. As Jim puts it, "There's a
performance aspect to cycling—people can't help but notice you."
PedalPlay hopes that when people
see choppers in the open they are
encouraged to  ride  their regular
bikes instead of driving. Choppers
are also built in Toronto and Seattle,
though the creators each work
independently. A possible Pacific
Northwest chopper. convergence is
being planned for Vancouver this
You can do more than look
flashy on a chopped bike. Last summer, PedalPlay hosted a project
called VeloMutations, sponsored by
the Canada Council. Eight youth
artists were brought in to create
bikes which solve various problems: a pedal-powered sewing machine, a blender for smoothies, a
drum machine bike, and even a
bath tub bike. Next summer the
group plans to create a pedal-powered carousel, which they'll showcase at fairs and festivals across
British Columbia.
A chopper made through
PedalPlay will cost $100-400 for
their labor and as little or as much
you want to spend on custom parts.
A similar bike new, made from
Vancouver's famous Kona Bikes,
will set you back over a thousand
dollars. It pays to buy nothing and
build it yourself. After all, who
wants a bike that looks like everyone else's?
LeziBamettBaUb^s^^ staff
DW@ §
at? W@m
to guide you through
the upcoming year
ky Saaah. Baiidcn
It is easy to interpret what Buy
Nothing Day entails—it is a day during which you don't buy anything.
But it is also much more than just a
once-a-year event; it is a chance to
reflect on the choices we make
throughout the year. Choices can be
tricky, so here is a list of some of
the tools available to help you
become a conscious consumer:
www.mc8potlight.org: A website
constructed by the Mclnformation
Network, an organisation" dedicated to examining the workings, policies and practices of the
McDonald's Corporation. The website is a useful resource for finding
information about other transnational companies (click on the
"Beyond McD's" icon on the right
hand side of the page).
bnd/#: Check out the Adbusters
Action Pyramid and read through
lists of interesting Buy Nothing Day
events that are happening around
the world, such as a Victoria's
Secret spoof in New York City and a
food court potiuck happening in
Victoria, BC. Also, "check out
Adbusters' suggestions for a Buy
Nothing Christmas. It's not as difficult as you might think (check out
www.buynothingchristmas. org).
www. 12 3greetings.com/events/
buy nothing day/: Send a BND
greeting card! They're free (obviously) and are a good way of letting
others know about Buy Nothing
Culture Jam: How to Reverse
America's Suicidal Consumer
Binge-And Why We Must, by Kalle
Lasm The man who organised the
very first Buy Nothing Day, and
publisher of Adbusters, describes
America's transformation into a
multi-million dollar brand.  Lasn
Nothing's changed. Ever since you got your first bike you've wanted something bigger, faster. You're just getting better at what you do. Hence VW's new car, the Spentyonne. It's loaded
with the lofty thinking of over 3000 marketers and pollsters with psychology degrees. The Spentyonne is uniquely designed and has a second engine and gastank which serve the sole
purpose of making wicked revving noises that are so awesomely effective it gets lower mileage than the engine that actually runs the car. And it's shipped all the way from an
impoverisehd country for your convenience. If all the workers who built this car combined their annual salaries, it wouldn't be enough to pay for the gas to start either one of the engines.
Go ahead—discover for yourself what this amazing car is about, with a test derive at your local dealer. The Spentyonne, from Volxwagen. Who wants one engine when you can have two?
For serious.
2004 Spenlyonne VI 6       699/month   j   36-month lease
' U.S. residents only. $14,995.99 non-refundable fee required on down payment lor international customers and U.S. customers suspecled of being internationalist sympathisers
" Buyer is obligated to pay monthly fee for 36 months or the buyer's demise, which ever comes second
Your money wanted
discusses the way information
flows; the way institutions wield
power; the way television stations
are run; and the way the food, fashion, automobile, sports, music, and
culture industries set agendas.
No Logo: Taking Aim at the
Brand Bullies, by Naomi Klein: An
outspoken activist and columnist
for the Globe and Mail, Klein dissects brand names and the ethical
issues surrounding them in this
lengthy but compelling book.
How Wal-Mart Is Destroying
America (and the World) and What
You Can Do About It, by Bill Quinn:
A scathing look at Wal-Mart's
destruction of small town businesses, its ruthless quest for dominance, its poor treatment of
employees, and its shameless promotion tactics. This book will definitely make you think twice about
shopping at Wal-Mart (and for that
matter, at almost any chain store).
Out Ecological Footprint-
Reducing Human Impact On the
Earth, by William Rees and Mathis
Wackernagel: In examining the
world's current environmental crisis, the authors offer the ecological
footprint analysis as a measure of
changing our lifestyles to better
care for the planet. It is somewhat
technical, but very interesting and
inspiring material.
Sweatshop USA: Ihe American
Sweatshop in Historical and Global
Perspective, edited by Richard E.
Bender and Richard A. Greenwald:
A very thorough anthology detailing the effects of sweatshops
around the world. The various
essays detail aspects of the overall
topic, such as the health concerns
associated with sweatshop working
conditions and the resistance
movement looking to bring an end
to sweatshop labour.
Saiah Boiidca is the Ukysa^
10 Fun &Free
Things to do on
Buy Nothing Day
By Ttbjoc Gi 3ss & M ^an Sny
10. Go to the top of a vexy tall
building and look at the view.
You'll be surprised How; different a city you thought yoti were
familiar with can look.:
9. Choreograph and memorise
an elaborate dance , routine,
preferably one that also acts out
a stoiy. Then perfdrni it on the
dance floor of a bar or club that
has no cover (the Pit for example). If you donft feel comfortable in clubs or none are available, a bus stop will suffice.
8. Think long and hard about
the last ten things that you
bought. How much did they cbst
you? Were they worth it? Do you
ever use thfem?>Do you oijly use
them to justify having spent all
of that money on: them?
7, Go to a music, store that has
"listening booths* and listen to
each and every record in: the
entire store that you're even
remotely interested in (if you
like it, listen to ii twice): Then
make up.' 'pretentious' :teasons '■'
that they all sucked to explain to
the incjreasizigly irAte staff
when they ask why you're not
6. Barter instead, of buying.
Start off by going to the 'Stuff
Swap* sale outside, the SUB,
used record, stores and used
video game stores, and then
work your way up to trying to
convince the clerk at Safeway to
take your dirty laundry in
exchange for your week's groceries.
5. Find the receipts and return
all of the things that you bought
last weekend.
4- Find a cause that you feel
very strongly about and volunteer. It's a way to contribute
positively to society while stilli
observing Buy Nothing Day.
And as an added bonus, fuzzy
warm feelings are 100% free!
3, Go to a. friend's house and
point *at every single object in
the house and say *Do you still
need that?* If they say rno* or
'maybe* offer to take it off their
hands.    • '';.'■'•"•,•  ;,-',;   ' ;\
2. Go to a movie theatrfe,;teU.thfe
usher you're looking f*>r your
friend at, a, movie that's Steady
started, then just go in, sit doytn .
and watch the movies. Then, if
you're in a multiplex:; walk into
the  next movie theatre.. and
- watch,,whatever's^
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by Sara Norman
November, and all the stores are decked out
in Christmas decorations. Sale signs, boasting
prices specially marked down for Christmas,
overwhelm the shoppers into buying too
much. Hallowe'en is barely dead, and here we
are running to get ready for Christmas. I do
admit, however, that I find it just lovely.
I wander aimlessly with my friend through
the rows of intricately decorated fake-pine-
trees at The Bay and finger delicate bobbles,
not quite hard enough to knock them off their
branch, but enough to admire their beauty.
The woman three trees down, carrying at least
four shopping bags on each arm, touched her
bobble a little too hard and now it is shattered
pieces of glittering Christmas dreams, all over
the store's ugly linoleum floor.
Society is obsessed with Christmas. Just
stating the obvious.
Off to jewelry store number one, where we
are completely ignored, mostiy because we're
only buying earrings or cheap pendants. The
rows of couples lined up at the jewelry counters picking out Christmas sale engagement
rings seem to get larger with the amount of
sale-percentage at each store. There are a few
lone men who pick out engagement rings on
their own. Silly buggers. They'll never get the
one she really wants.
It's the grand opening of this houseware
store—you know, the one that took over the
other one—where there is a plethora of use-
lessness and extravagance, on sale, of course.
I follow my friend through the aisles of cheap
dishes and sixteen-dollar punch bowls and try
not to say, "look at this! It's only..." When 1
accidentally do, three people, including my
friend, push me out of the way and grab whatever item I have just gushed over. And those
are my plates, thirty dollars cheaper than I
paid for them, damn it. My friend buys
three sets.
Next to the Baby Gap and Old Navy to buy
Christmas presents for the wee people we
know. Everyone without little critters coos
and awws over the babies being wheeled in
strollers while their mothers pay sixteen dollars for doll-sized sweaters. I think the last
time I paid sixteen dollars for a woman-size
sweater was when I was sixteen, but then, I
am really cheap.
On the way out, I impulse buy three $3.00
stuffed bears adorned with bat wings and
fangs from the bin marked "Clearance.* The
same bin chalk full of boxer shorts with pumpkins on them and socks with skulls (which you
can buy for three dollars less if you get them
from Superstore). The same bin that every
other shopper has at least one item out of,
because it's on sale. The same bin brimming
with the stench of Halloween past bringing
back reality—it is only November.
The line-ups are ridiculous. Half-an-hour to
get ice cream, for God's sake. Ice cream that
isn't even on sale! November, and the
Christmas rush has started already?!?
The mall is closing, or so they threaten, so
we go to pick up the immense amount of dishes and presents my friend has bought from
the houseware store. She has seven bags that
I have to help her carry. In this entire holiday
busde, I've only managed to collect a bag of
vampire teddy bears, which I'll return next
week because they really were an impulse buy.
We walk to her car, complaining about the
cold, and watch as everyone else packs a pile
of Christmas-sale-goodies into their trunks,
too, and stop momentarily to watch their
breath hang in the cold.
My friend drives me to my car. I had to
park practically across the street I watch the
mall burst with holiday shoppers barely able
to carry their bags. I've been converted
because I find it lovely, this Christmas busde.
And I hope it snows soon, because that would
make it perfect—and wouldn't snow look
funny on all those rotting pumpkins?
Sara Norman is a Ubyssey staff member
by Paul Evans
Ah, the holidays. A time for relaxation, time
with family and friends, the occasional snowball fight—although not often in Vancouver—
and most importantiy, no school. The holiday
season is a well-deserved break. Then there is
that one special date right in the middle of the
holidays that is very sacred to Christians—as it
is the arbitrarily assigned birthday of Jesus—
and has more recendy, been appropriated by
almost everyone else.
I can clearly remember as a child waking
up extra early, walking down the stairs, my
mind burning with anticipation; I would find
my stocking stuffed, presents from Santa Uttered about the floor and then I would be hurriedly unwrapping the presents under the
tree. Yes, that day I'm talking about is Annual
Gift Exchange Day—or as it is commonly
referred to—Christmas. Let me state that my
qualm here isn't with gift-giving, which can be
a very thoughtful and sincere gesture, but
rather the horrible reality of what Christmas
has become: blatant peer-driven consumerism.
It is well documented that Canadians are
among the world's biggest consumers (even
more than Amercians per capita). But what is
the driving factor behind the Christmas buy-
fest that occurs every year?
It might be easy to blame the big bad, corporations. Every year, right after American
Thanksgiving—although this year it seemed to
have started right before Hallowe'en—all the
department stores and malls switch into
Christmas mode. Enormous numbers of
DVDs, video games, clothing lineups and pre-
wrapped Christmas goodies flood the market
And then there are the ads with the wonderful
undertones ("If you buy this action figure,
you're child will love you more") that are just
about everywhere. The corporations, however, aren't the main propagators of this consumerism, although they do exploit and capitalise on it enormously.
Forgive me for sounding like a broken
record, but the brunt of the blame should be
directed towards society. It is the moral obligation placed upon every individual that buying gifts for everyone you know, especially
those in your family, is an absolute necessity
The unspoken rule is that your generosity and
kindness are being measured by the value of
the presents) you are giving. Consider Japan
for instance. Everyone has heard stories of
melons costing $80. Why is this? The answer
is that they are marketed as gifts; the reason
they cost so much is so that the recipient
knows how much the gift cost the giver and
accordingly, they are that much more grateful
(despite the fact that all they actually received
was a melon). This is quite indicative of the
Christmas season. I can recall many occasions (generally on Dec. 24th at 9:30 pm)
when I was buying people generic gifts (i.e.
chocolate, gift certificates) just for the sake of
buying them a present, subconsciously thinking that if I didn't get them a present, people
would think I was selfish. If you want to give
someone a gift that's fine, but the societal obligation that you must buy someone a gift, no
matter what it is, should not exist
Then there is Boxing Day, which happens
the very next day. As if Christmas wasn't
enough, now you get to buy stuff for yourself.
Perhaps nothing better embodies all the
things wrong with Christmas than the sweet
old man with a beer gut, Santa Claus. In addition to providing a slew of suicide-inducing
songs, this north-pole resident has transformed the meaning of Christmas. Where
Jesus teaches compassion and kindness,
Santa teaches that more stuff makes people
more happy and that the richer your parents,
the more you get. Ironically enough, Saint
Nicholas, the man from whom Santa was
adopted, was a wealthy man who adhered to
Jesus' "sell what you own and give the money
to the poor" and used his inheritance to assist
the diseased, poverty stricken masses of
fourth-century Turkey.
Maybe Christmas should be about following in the example of Saint Nicholas rather
than Santa Claus. So this year, we should
think about Christmas in a different light
Instead of indulging ourselves in luxury, we
should be striving to make sure that everyone's basic needs are satisfied. The care of
Vancouver's addicted and homeless of the
immunisation and nutrition of children in the
developing world are surely much nobler
causes then buying a Malibu Stacey convertible.
As for giving gifts to those around you,
check out buynothingchristmas.org; they provide many thoughtful alternatives to buying a
Christmas present, like making one. This holiday season let the Christmas spirit work in
you, and let it work to create a better world
for all.
Vaul Evans is the Research and Letters
Coordinator of the Ubyssey
What do you think of Buy Nothing Day?
"I think Buy Nothing Day
is very ineffective and
doesn't really do anything
—Dave Claassen
Arts 4
"I think it's great I am a
shopaholic and that
would be very difficult for
me to do but I will try it"
—Sofia Hague
Commerce 2
"I'm for it, if one day will
make difference"
—Jonathan Lin
Commerce 3
"I guess it's a good idea,
because there's so much
to do with people buying
and getting so obsessed
about purchasing things
that it's probably a good
idea to have a Buy
Nothing Day"
—Danny Gruner
Agriculture 2
"I think that it's a bit of a quick fix
and usually it's kind of preaching to
the converted but if it does raise
awareness and it gets people to
think about what they're consuming
and what they are purchasing then
that's definitely something."
—Alison Atkinson
Arts 4 1FRIDAY
tmber 26, 2004
■>'jf:f~ '--> ^ £,/; ''- "%rf "'r ,-- "v yj-~>?i<y
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technical documents after the WBPS
filed a Freedom of Information
request The documents state that the
area is stable and they will now be
reviewed by the WBPS.
Watch for a full story in Tuesday's
issue of the Ubyssey.
AMS food bank in
the works
|Plans for an AMS food bank in the
JStudent Union Building will hopeful-
|ly become more concrete next week,
iaccording to Grant Wong, the soci-
lety's executive coordinator of student
:| Wong and his staff are currently
efdiscussing food bank funding models
land investigating space options.
'Wong will be approaching the
iStudent Activity Commission (SAC) to
t|apply for space in the SUB sometime
Inext week.
ft a
il     The AMS will be partnering with
the Ismaili Student's Association on
the project and are also likely to
receive support from UBC Red Cross.
The planned food bank is a small
pilot project intended to gage the
needs of the UBC community, Wong
said. More details will be available
once space is confirmed.
Many festive lights
and hopefully no rain
Lighting the holiday tree in front of
Main Library used to be a mere flip of
a switch, but no longer.
This afternoon from 4 to 6 pm the
AMS will host the "Festival of Lights*
to celebrate the lighting Qf the tree.
Taiko drummers will be featured
along with performers from the
Gilbert and Sullivan Society, UBC
Kung Fu and student fire spinners.
Hot chocolate will be served.
Translink wants to
hear you talk
Translink representatives will be at
UBC on Tuesday, November 30 in
the SUB South Side Lounge (next to
Pacific Spirit cafeteria) from 12 to
2 pm. They are aiming to gain feedback from students regarding
issues such as service and fare
changes. Members of the AMS will
also be present to gather student
The information gathered is to be
collected and considered in future
decision-making. Everyone is invited
to attend. ♦
pnternational court unable to
(fulfill promises: speaker
jLack of funding and support hamper efforts to
| provide justice and compensation to victims
by Rosanne Sia
|A lack of proper funding and officinal US support is preventing the
International Criminal Court (ICC)
>from fulfilling its considerable promise, said Robert Adamson, director of
|the Globaljustice Program at UBC on
| Adamson's presentation, entitled
fjust Old World Politics or New
gWorld Justice," addressed the challenges facing the newly established
H     Still in its beginning stages, one
||of the major challenges the court
faces is a lack of resources.
States are not responding with
eir own financial support and new
tates  are  not signing up,"  said
damson.  "Those who have are not
their duties.*
The ICC was established in 1998
hen the Rome Statute was signed
y   120  nation  states,  including
anada.  As  the  first permanent
reaty-based  international  court,
e organisation is independent of
e United Nations.
The court's mandate is to prose-
ute for genocide,  crimes  against
umanity  and  war  crim.es  when
ational courts are unable or unwill-
g to do so.  Currently, the prosecu-
on has launched its first investiga-
ons in Uganda and tbe Congo.
Without proper funding, the ICC
s unable to carry out its promises,
ost notably its new policy to.pro-
ide not only justice for victims but
so compensation.
An important factor is the United
States' refusal to join the ICC.
"The US is playing such a formidable role as opponent," said
Adamson. "They're preventing new
states from signing up and making
them reluctant to commit resources.*
The US objects to Article 98 of the
Rome Statute, which gives the ICC
authority to prosecute crimes if a
state is unwilling to do so.
"The purpose of the ICC is to
make criminals accountable,* said a
PhD student from the UBC Faculty of
Law. The US is arguing tihat it is not
accountable to others at the international level.*
But some audience members
were skeptical about the effectiveness of an international court
"The international court in Rwanda would be laughable if it wasn't
absolutely so tragic,* said Patricia
Marchak, a professor in the Liu
Centre of International Relations. "If
we're going to deal with these situations we have to think outside of the
box of Western law."
Still, Adamson maintained that
the ICC has a chance to be different
from other existing international
"Is the ICC going to be different?
I think so, but only if. the people
involved embrace the possibilities."
The debate about tbe ICC will continue among government, court and
non-governmental United Nations
officials in the last of the three-part
Vancouver Dialogues, to be held
from December 9 to 12. ♦
One student to sit on University
Boulevard architectural jury
Students' voices will likely have little impact, says U-Town official
with Architectural Institute aiming to maintain integrity
by Darcy Wintonyk
There will be a single student joining 11 architects and UBC community members on the jury that
decides who will redesign University Boulevard, which includes a
new campus entrance.
But even that limited student
input was something the university
had to fight to get, according to
Linda Moore, associate director of
External Affairs for University
Town and a member on the architectural jury.
"We made it clear from the
beginning that we wanted this to be
a community event and not just a
professional competition,* said
Colleen Brown, the student chosen to represent the student body
on the panel, has no formal architecture training but is completing
her Masters of Regional Planning.
Brown is unsure about the level of
student input in the upcoming
roundtable discussions that will
inform the jury about the community opinion of the designs.
"The roundtables are just structured as an information giving ceremony,* said Brown. "It's simply a
There may be little time for student consultation because the finalist's interviews are likely to be on
the same day as the discussions,
she said.
The Architecture Institute of BC
(AIBC), which regulates the competition's technical decisions, doesn't
support input from the community
at large because their intention is
to protect the integrity of the
process, explained Moore.
"Architects get nervous when
you introduce laypeople, like students, because they worry that they
won't focus on the holistic scope of
the competition," she said.
Alma Mater Society (AMS) VP
Academic Brenda Ogembo said
that while she understands tbe reasons for the competition to be
judged by professionals, there is a
need for student input into the
"Our priorities in terms of what
we want to see are going to be very
different than the university's so I
think to make the process very
accountable to students we need to
be involved from the outset,"
she said.
Ogembo was asked to sit on the
jury but brought a motion to AMS
council asking that Brown be
named instead.
"I felt that it was necessary to
have a student with that technical
knowledge...It's only right that they
come to the table with that so it's
not an issue," she said.
Brown was a good choice as she
had been extensively engaged in
the University Boulevard planning
process, Ogembo said.
"I think she's well versed in
what the student priorities have
been," said Ogembo.
The AIBC has also announced
that students will not be allowed to
submit their own designs unless
they are part of a local BC architectural firm, something that is disappointing to Ogembo.
FLYING SOLO: As the only student on the University Boulevard
Architectural Competition jury, which will redesign the centre of
campus, Colleen Brown hopes to provide student input to the final
plan. Brown was recommended by the AMS council to represent students on the jury, where she will join UBC faculty and architectural
experts, nic fensom photo
"I think it was a lost opportunity and UBC is a great resource in
and of itself with architecture students and they should be included
in this process," she said.
AIBC's Colin Wong explains that
the rule applies to all entries, not
just students.
"Foreign [architects! need to go
through the same process, so that
they understand the local and technical building guidelines," he said.
Wong doubts that students have
what it takes to join a local architecture firm at this stage.
"A lot of the things we test for
[when issuing licenses] have to do
with education that goes beyond
things learned in university,* he
said, adding that he doubts that students understand the local building
and design codes. "Are the students
qualified to know these things?
Probably not."
The three semi-finalist's drawings and models will be on display
from March 21 to 31. During this
time, a student poll about the functionality of the design will be open
and available online.
The poll will be informative
only, according to Colleen Brown.
Student input will be welcomed
in community consultations at this
time, but it will have little impact
on the decision, she said.
"[The surveys] will inform the
jury about the influence of what the
student community thinks, but
really have no sway,* added Brown.
The Architecture Institute is
worried that if they allow students
to give their input the competition
would pe "more of a beauty contest
than a real architecture competi
tion,* stated Moore.
Colin Wong agreed: "Something
may look good, but not conform to
the laws and the building code.*
Still, Brown believes that the
design competition represents a
small victory for students hoping to
be included in campus development decisions.
"The fact tihat there is student
input is good,* she said, adding that
she hopes that community consultation will become higher on the
administration's agenda in the
Brown also believes that with
persistence, students can have
their voices heard.
"[The administration] have listened to the AMS and now there is
a student representative on the
jury. It can happen."
Ogembo echoed Brown's optimism, adding that UBC can still
improve on including students in
such projects.
"I think the general sentiment is
there to include students/ said
Ogembo. "I think the university has
been really big on consulting with
students and finding out what students think, but it needs to go to the
next level and include students in
decision-making processes." ♦
For more information on the
2004/2005 University Boulevard
Architectural Design Competition
visit the University Town Website at
with files from Dan McRoberts
Friday, November 26,2004
T-.J. ■
Jesse Marchand
Sarah Bourdon
Dan McRoberts
Ania Mafi
Eric Szeto
Alex Leslie
Nic Fensom
Paul Carr
Michelle Mayne
Carrie Robinson
Paul Evans
Trevor Gilks
Tha Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of
British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation,
and all students are encouraged to participate.
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 Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP'S guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The
Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and
artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the
expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your
phone number, student number and signature (not for publication)
as well as your year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be
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Ubyssey reserves the right to edit for length and style.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750
words and are run according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members.
Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles
unless the latter is time sensitive Opinion pieces will not be run
until the identity of the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey
reserves the right to edit submissions according to length and style.
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will
not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The UPS shall not be
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Fernie Pereira
Dave Gaertner
Shalene Takara
Twas a normal day at Uw Ubyssey when suddenly Trevor Gilks
anounces, " Levi Barnett has been kidnapped by the infamous
hypnotist named Eric Szeto. Paul Evans drops to the floor in
shock as Claudia Li laughs hysterically. Jesse Marchand burst
into the room and says, "Colleen Tang and I have found a ran
som not)* Alex Leslie grabs it and reads it with Paul Carr. Dan
McRoberts reads it aloud, "Levi will be returned with the purchase of 200 burgers from the PiL" Sarah Borudon dismisses
the note but Ania Mafi and Nic Fensom run to the Pit. Amanda
Baxter and Darcy Wyntonyk quickly follow suit Meanwhile
Roseanne Sia buys an Adbuster magazine; Malcolm Morgan
buys 10 Buy Nothing Day stickers and Jessica JiYoung Kim gets
a turtle tattoo. After five hours Simon Underwood. Greg Ursic,
and Julie Pedersonclucked like chickens and ate all the burgers
that were bought when Rob Terpstra accidently told them to
while under hypnosis.
Alex Leslie
Trevor Gilks
Paul Carr
Canada Pott Sal** Agreement Number 40878022
On Monday, the results of Ukraine's
Presidential election were announced and Viktor Yanukovich, a
Moscow-backed conservatist who
wishes to pursue closer ties with
Russia was declared the winner. But
exit polls suggested that Viktor
Yushchenko, a pro-Western progressive reformist who promised to pursue eventual membership in the
European Union, held a double-
digit lead.
On Tuesday, Yushchenko fired
back by accusing the authorities of
rigging election and taking a symbolic oath of office. The hundreds
of thousands who supported Yushchenko have gathered to pro-test
the results. This is not your garden-
variety protest
The discrepancy between exit
polls and "official* results is, to say
the least, noticeable. An exit poll
funded by Western countries suggested that Yushchenko captured
54 per cent of the vote, while the
Ukraine claims that he received
only 46.6 per cent Somewhere,
somehow, almost seven per cent of
the vote changed hands.
While the country's electoral
process has a history of controversy, this election has stirred an
unprecedented level of protest,
such that the capital city has shut
down and the international media
has suggested the possibility of
civil war. The riot police are out in
full force and the army is prepared
to mobilise.
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Leading up to Yushchenko's
purported defeat, foreign observers attentively chronicled electoral irregularities and questionable practices across the country.
In certain areas with strong support for Yanukovich, voter turnout
was reported to be a phenomenal
99 per cent, suspiciously reminiscent of the Iraq "free* elections
during Saddam Hussein's rule,
and the elections of North Korean
leader Kim Jong II. In other locations, witnesses reported chemical
sabotage of ballot boxes and the
use of pens that dispensed ink that
disappeared on the paper 15 minutes after application.
British MP Bruce George, the
head of the international Short-
Term Observation Committee in
Ukraine said that prisoners were
forced to vote for Yanukovich under
the threat of revoked privileges.
Suggestions have also arisen
that if the Ukraine refuses to cooperate in an Open investigation of the
results, refusal of admittance into
NATO, loss of foreign aid and trade
restrictions with the EU may result.
The Canadian government has
also refused to recognise the
results. Deputy Prime Minister
Anne McLellan's decision to stand
up in the House of Commons and
call for a "full, open, transparent
review of the elections process* in
Ukraine is deserving of applause,
and certainly receives ours.
The   unexpected   results   and
reports of disappearing ink, discarded ballot boxes and silenced
votes leads us to believe that the
promise of democracy has not been
filled. Rather, it has been used to
mask a conspiracy to override the
votes cast by tbe people irregardless
of their rights.
It is clear that if the Ukrainian
government allows this protest to
continue they will only divide the
country further. The voices of the
protestors must be acknowledged
by the government and a full internationally-run or at least supervised
investigation into the validity of the
results must be launched as soon as
possible in order to prevent an outcome that could prove violent and
tragic for the people of Ukraine. ♦
Honoured to be a ''bridge between worlds*'
by Mike Woif
After reading Shauna Lewis's "Rant
of a half-breed" {the Ubyssey, Nov.
19th), I recall thinking, "boy do I
ever know where she's coming
Like Shauna and, I suspect, a fair
number of other students out here,
I'm what she called "a reversed
apple—red on the inside, white on
the outside." A fair analogy for us so-
called Aboriginal mixed bloods, or
as some of us refer to ourselves,
Sometimes it can be a tough
place to be, in that space between
cultures that my grandfather used to
refer to as the "bridge between-
worlds.* Not only do we face challenges from the mainstream (white)
community, the Native community
and other cultural communities, but
from other persons of mixed heritage as well. Even amongst the
Canadian Metis communities there
is a battle going on about who is a
"real" Metis and who is not
It is really quite ridiculous when
you think about it At a time in our-
planet's history when more then
ever, humans should be coming
together as friends to save our
world, some of us seem to be drifting ever more apart As a Metis person I have seen my fair share of this
kind of ignorance and it is not pretty. Being Metis is about being proud
of the two strong bloodlines that
make you who you are and just as
importantly, of yourself. That the
spirit of two different cultures flow
within you is not a weakness: It is a
great strength. .
It is an honour to stand on the
"bridge • between worlds," not a
Not long ago an Elder told me
that it is time for Aboriginal people
to do their part and to teach the ways
of the Earth to those who would listen—to help our brothers and sisters
of the human family in a good way.
Some of us are Hstening to that land
of message, some are not
I agree with Shauna Lewis that
the university environment is one of
those things that might help us to
open our eyes wider to the world
around us and through knowledge,
help us to break apart the barriers of
ignorance and hate. As with Shauna,
the university experience has helped
me considerably in that regard.
Grandfather Creator is waiting
for us all to wake up. I think the university experience is helping some
of us to do just that
—Mike Wolf is a UBC graduate
and part of the Blue Mountain
Metis Nation
Article confirms entrenched institutional racism at UBC
by Veronica P. Fynn
I write regarding the article published on Tuesday, November 23,
2004, on the "Front Page" of the
Ubyssey entitled "Missing executive
report generates concern." My
instinctive reaction was one of disgust, annoyance, betrayal, and propagation of entrenched institutional
racism in our UBC community, with
our student society being the instrument of propagation. In our so-
called world-class university, UBC,
seldom do you see projects on Africa
or people of African descend on the
front page of the media. If you do, it
is derogative reinforcement of
unbalanced negative stereotypes,
intimidation, portrayal of failure or
questioning of their ability by mostly
dominant white males in a
Euro-centric society. Miss Brenda
Ogembo was short-listed for an
interview with one of the world's
most prestigious scholarship programs, the Rhodes Scholarship, in
the academic arena, yet not all AMS
Executives have openly recognized
that or even extended a word of
appreciation to her. Rather, (since
her term of office) she is the only
executive, of course being BLACK,
who has been back-lashed, insulted,
sidelined and marginalised, especially given the fact that she offers
hope to so many Africa students
who look up to her as a one-in-a-mil-
lion role-model.
Considering that we claim to be
advanced in this part of the world
and are more opportune than the
ordinary layperson, having read
this article, I see no apparent difference between some ignorant fools
and the supporters of this article.
When we talk about co-existing in a
global world, poverty reduction,
importance of Human Rights, closing the IT gap between developed
countries and under-developed
countries etc, I basically see the
UBC Student Society being dormant, ignorant and shallow-minded
in this dispensation.
Why are we continuously creating a bigger discrepancy between
the so-called "unintelligent race"
and the "blessed white race?" I often
wonder what the world would be
with all these subtle forms of ethnic
cleansing, racial discrimination
and continuous rule of people of
European descent
For the three years I have been
at UBC, I have been basically "kicking against the prick" by trying to
erase the "brain-washed and unbalanced" views people in North
America hold about Africa. Not the
slightest thought has crossed
Ubyssey's writers's and editors's
minds to publish a story on
the amazing success of Africa
Awareness despite the milestone
this project has achieved in our
community. But to be the first to
consistently present a totally negative, partial, and politically wrong
view of Miss Ogembo's role as an
AMS executive is of far greater
precedence than being critical,
objective and positive.
UBC would say, "Think about it"
I personally think Miss Ogembo's
opinion piece should be published
again on the front page of the
Ubyssey and whoever wrote this
article about her should be
ashamed of himself for letting himself be used by the biased media
— Veronica P. Fynn
is the founder and chair of
Africa Awareness
—Editor's Note: the Ubyssey ran
a story on Africa Awareness appearing in the Feb. 3rd, 2004 issue.
Friday, November 26,2004
AMS for Dummies
Perennial miscommunication yields
"disastrous results" again
by Jo McFetridge
As Brenda Ogembo has pointed out
so succinctly, the AMS's often strident cries for 'accountability' in its
operations with others are frequently hypocritical and one-sided.
Accountability, in my own experiences working with and for the
AMS, commonly extends in only
one direction: not in your favour.
It is inevitable, working in a
student government, that professionalism is often lacking.
Personalities grate, and opinions
regarding others's questionable
conduct are voiced. Whispers
behind closed doors, behind
backs, and even in the AMS hallways are prevalent. In the AMS,
when people are annoyed with
you, you'll vaguely sense it—but
getting someone to talk directly
about their concerns with you is
an exercise in futility. These are
the vicissitudes of signing up to
work at the AMS.
The problem here is the general AMS operating procedure, unofficial, of course (because an official policy seems to
be lacking), whereby when AMS officers have a problem with another's
conduct, communication with that
individual rarely occurs. Rather,
the problem is discussed without
notifying the person, and actions
are taken without any opportunity
for the damned for input, explanation, or even notification of
his/her disgrace. The individual is
invisibly reprimanded and her/his
reputation tarnished unbeknownst
to him/her, not only creating subtle working difficulties for
involved parties, but also denying
that person the opportunity to
learn from his/her mistake, if
even one has been made.
The rumour-mill backstabbing
atmosphere of the AMS community is notorious. The problems this
atmosphere creates are frequently
disturbing, sometimes disastrous.
The solution to this problem is
comically simple: learn to communicate effectively. This means
workshops for officers on conflict
resolution, negotiation, and
(gasp!) effective management.
Stomp on rumour-mongering, and
punish those who engage in this
inappropriate behaviour at work.
It seems clear to me that what
has happened to Brenda Ogembo
is that somewhere earlier in her
tenure, she pissed somebody off.
Somebody did not communicate
their dissatisfaction to her right
away, perhaps hoping to avoid
unpleasant conflict, or avoid hav-
ing to formulate their thoughts
and words into a cogent and
respectful whole. Now Brenda, like
so many before her, has to suffer
through a ridiculously immature
display of unprofessionalism
because her colleagues are grasping at a moment of apparent weakness to punish her for what they
perceive to be her past sins.
Brenda is angry and perplexed
about it—and why not? She doesn't
seem to have done anything wrong
in this case.
Let me share one personal
experience here. When I sought a
new term of appointment as AMS
Elections Administrator, it came
to my knowledge (perhaps erroneously), fourth-hand of course,
that I had been subtly blackballed
by the AMS administration due to
one long-past incident in which
they felt I had acted unprofession-
ally and I was told by an insider
that this would be the basis for not
re-appointing me. (I had left town
for two days during the referendum ballot counting, leaving my
Chief Returning Officer in charge
of counting ballots—which, incidentally, was his
job definition.) I
was never notified
or consulted about
this issue, and if I
had been, I could have explained
my rationale for my actions, which
I felt to be completely reasonable.
Whether I was wrong or right, I
was never told I had erred, and
never got a chance to say my piece.
This type of accused-and-con-
demned cloak and dagger has
driven many people away from the
AMS, in search for a place to work
where others let you err, let you
learn, let you speak, and don't
whisper insipidly behind your
back because their own lives are
too devoid of any meaningful substance whatsoever.
So here's a suggestion, AMS:
teach your officials how to communicate with each other and
express dissatisfaction in a
respectful manner. Do not leave
little conflicts to escalate into epic
proportion kerfuffl.es. When you
don't communicate, people, by
nature, seek reasons for apparently perplexing behaviours. Brenda
Ogembo thinks she's the victim of
racism. I can certainly see why she
would think that—how else to
explain your random attack on
her? You set yourselves up for this
situation, and you stand to lose yet
another excellent individual as a
—Jo McFetridge is a Graduate
Student in Classical Archaeology
Misguided AMS Executives
by Tim Louman-Gardiner
Your recent edition contained two separate articles outlining steps taken by AMS executives. Each contained a
dangerous example of an executive member inappropriately superimposing his or her personal feelings
onto a policy decision, a trend that should be avoided by
anybody in public service.
VP Administration Lyle McMahon (and the AMS
Safety Commission) ran a "safety booth" beside the
Genocide Awareness Project display. The ostensible
purpose was to ascertain students' safety concerns; in
reality, this was merely a smokescreen, .^iiiiiiiiiiiiii
a backdoor attempt to deny the GAP |
their rights to freedom of expression. |
McMahon is right to contend that SlK?ffsl?lffs
there's no place in our society for ll|||kf ijyiJt
speech that causes harm. The harm he ''::^Mmmm$®im.
points to is the use of genocide images in connection
with those of aborted foetuses, which could be "psychologically damaging.* But if a group were seeking to legitimately promote Holocaust or Rwandan genocide
awareness, nobody would question their use of images.
The images are horrifying and disgusting—that's the
whole point But they're no more intrinsically psychologically damaging in the context of an anti-abortion
display than they are in the context of a genuine genocide awareness project.
As such, it's clear that the AMS Safety Commission is
attacking the context of the display, and not the content.
And they are offended by the use of the images, not
actually psychologically damaged by the images themselves. The only excuse for restricting free speech is
actual harm; nobody has a right to not be offended.
Lifeline is making a point, an argument that I (and
every rational person) might find spurious and offensive but, absent actual harm, they have every right to
express it. If the AMS (or SAC) wants to attack the context of the display, they should just openly and honestly
express their opinions and de-constitute Lifeline.
VP Academic Brenda Ogembo wrote the Ubyssey in
defense of her trip back home to attend a Rhodes
Scholarship interview. This is a perfectly acceptable
reason to take a trip; UBC and the AMS should in fact
encourage anybody who is pursuing such a lofty aim.
However, she criticises those who would question her
negligence in not filing her quarterly report. In doing
so, though, she resorts to arguments that are specious
at best, and are based on conjecture and stereotypes
that are just as harmful as those she attacks.
Without a doubt there (unfortunately) still exist a
wide variety of racial prejudices (though certainly not
only targeting African students), and there are certainly
institutional barriers to international students who
ililllfilllllis,,     want to get more involved in campus
^^9H|fft  life* UBC and the AMS would do weU to
SiliiiiliiiSI  address each of these issues.   But Ms
yWW*mW^9 Ogembo does a disservice to each of
iliilSiiySSlJP these causes by asserting tihat they're
mmmmmmm?*' the same thing. I have no doubts that
had she been Czech and was returning to Prague to sit
her Rhodes interview, and still neglected to file her
report or properly handle the pay cut issue, the exact
same questions would have been raised. To confuse the
plight and challenges of international students with systemic racism hampers efforts to address them both.
And yes, there certainly is racism on campus. But it's
fallacious to assert that it's strictly replicating a North-
South power dynamic. Racial prejudices affect UBC students of every colour, not just those from Africa. And
while tokenism and head-counting is a dangerous practice, a cursory glance at the past few AMS executives
should soundly dispel the notion that the AMS systematically excludes people of colour, whatever that colour
may be.
These two examples show a dangerous trend—of
AMS executives inserting their own beliefs into their
jobs. Now of course personal beliefs can be the basis
for good policy. But in these cases, it is inappropriate
and ultimately doing a disservice to the campus as a
— Tim Louman-Gardiner
is a 1st year Law student
on race misleads
by Momoko Price
VP Academic Brenda Ogembo's
recent Perspectives piece on campus
racism brought to light the important
and largely unaddressed issue of
covert racism at UBC—a real problem
that demands earnest attention and
scrutiny from both faculty members
and students.
Unfortunately, the fact that she
brought it up purely
in response to investigations that found
her guilty of professional     negligence  .
eradicates any validity her viewpoint may
have had coming from a member of
a distinct racial minority at this
What kind of an elected representative responds to valid journalistic
inquiry by accusing the entire student body of 'subtle' racism, instead
of conceding graciously that she
screwed up? Had the two Ubyssey
news articles on the subject (which
hadn't even been released by the
time Brenda submitted her letter)
been slanderous or erroneous, I
would have considered Brenda's let-
ter appropriate and timely in its suggestion that racism could be playing a
role in student politics here at UBC.
But neither article made an attempt
to 'criminalise' Ogembo's actions
whatsoever. The story was about an
AMS executive's failure to communicate properly with her fellow councillors, a mistake that incited suspicion—as well it should in a politically
involved student body. The articles
made no attempt to
silence    or    warp
Ogembo's   explanation of the issue, nor
did they try to draw
attention away from
the fact that other
AMS executives didn't think it was a
big deal (although they did acknowledge that it was negligent and shouldn't have happened).
Personally, as a pathologically
scatterbrained individual, I sympathise with Brenda. Everybody slips
up once in a while and I am quite certain that her failure to report the
nature of her two-week absence from
the AMS executive was little more
than a careless mistake. When the
story broke I was just damn grateful
that I didn't have a job that was so
high-profile that my professional
screw-ups become newsworthy. But it
never once crossed my mind that her
negligence was amplified because
she's black. I can honestly say that I
would have expected a newspaper to
investigate the story whether or not
she was African, Caucasian, male or
female. That's just good, vigilant student journalism.
Racism is indeed a problem
around the world and anyone with
their eyes open knows that being
politically correct doesn't help much
in getting rid of it It's still a serious
social epidemic that limits the freedom of many marginalised groups in
North America. But using this issue
to shift the blame when she is caught
in an embarrassing situation that has
absolutely nothing to do with racism
is self-serving and trivialises the magnitude of real racial injustices that
are still going unnoticed.
Suck it up Brenda. If you want to
address tlie issue of racism at UBC,
go for it but don't use it to cloud the
issue at stake here: you screwed up.
Deal with it
—Momoko Price is a
Ubyssey Staff Writer
Ogembo's concerns justified
Speaking out against racism, as Brenda
Ogembo has done in her letter in Tuesday's
Ubyssey, often sparks a backlash—I'm sure
many readers dismissed Ogembo as paranoid or ranting, or were offended by her
comments. However, considering that there
were two stories regarding trivial criticisms
of Ogembo's job performance on the front
page of the same paper, her "paranoia"
strikes me as reasonable. Why, in an era of
cut-backs to education, massive commercial
development on campus, and rising tuition.
does the Ubyssey consider Ogembo's late
report (we're all students—since when is a
missed deadline a sin?) and a grippingly
dramatic and hair-raising account of the
timeless "who talked to Henry Chen first?"
debate to be issues that students should be
paying attention to? If there are general
problems with accountability in the AMS,
fine—address them. But the only reasons I
can see that such useless and frankly boring
stories, both targeting the same individual,
would make it to the front page, let alone in
the newspaper, are those articulated by Ms
Ogembo: racist assumptions that underlie
not only Ubyssey editorial policy and the
culture of the AMS, but our society as a
—Susanna Quail
3rd year Arts
emic pressure
How does the Ubyssey think a measly
missed deadline is front page news that
deserves not one, but two articles? We are
all students here, we know what academic
pressure is like and we know how easy it is
to miss a deadline. Ms Ogembo's case is
rife with extenuating circumstances: if any
one of us had the choice to do well in an
interview for a prestigious scholarship or
hand in a quarterly report on time we know
what decision would be made. Of course, it
makes a difference that said interview is
thousands of miles awayl It sounds like the
AMS executive had the situation under control; was the Ubyssey really that short on
newsworthy items?
—Sasha Webb
4th Year Arts **
Birds prepare
for weekend
series against
Trinity Western
by Amanda Baxter
The UBC men's volleyball team
went from sixth to third in their
division by defeating the fourth-
ranked Calgary Dinos in three
straight sets twice last weekend.
War Memorial Gym was filled with
one of the biggest crowds of the
year and the Birds played to
please. UBC was running on all
cylinders as blocks were dead
on and their serves hit Calgary's
weak spots.
This weekend will mark the
halfway point of the season for
men's volleyball as they face Trinity
Western (3-3), who currently sit in
third in Canada West standings,
directly behind UBC (5-1).
The team has stayed positive but
not overconfident for the upcoming
matches but more importantly the
coach and the players are on the
same page.
After speaking with Coach
Schick and the team's captain Geoff Emslie, it was like hear-ing an
echo. Both reiterated the importance of confidence and how the
team needs to concern themselves
with their side of the court and
focus on being aggressive.
Emslie emphasised the power
of communication on the court.
"Vocalisation on the court promotes team confidence, and from
that confidence comes our aggression,* said Emslie. "It helped us
win last weekend and can do so
this upcoming weekend as well."
This weekend will be a tough
one for UBC. Trinity is bigger,
stronger, and quite a physical
team. Nonetheless, UBC is "deeper", according to Coach Schick.
They play as a team and for the
team, and it shows in their stats.
UBC ranks no lower than fourth in
any category in Canada West, and
individually many members of the
team rank in the top ten in digs,
kills, assists, blocks and service
Schick admits that if their opponents come in focused on giving
their attention to one player, they'll
likely get burned.
"When it comes to playing UBC,
opponents can't prepare for just
one guy. Where one guy is having a
bad match, another will be there to
pick it up," said Schick.
With last weekend's success
there may be a slight amount of
pressure on the men's volleyball
team, but they have no intention of
giving Trinity Western an edge.
This weekend's focus is playing
smarter, and mentally tougher volleyball. The Birds are going out to
prove for a second weekend in a
row that they are becoming the
team to beat.
Coach Schick knows that other
teams will be out for them.
"We are not surprising anybody
anymore, the team is being taken
seriously and it is a reflection of
how we are playing."
Each match is taken as if it was
the only one that mattered. In fact,
this weekend will also be the last
weekend for UBC men's volleyball
before the break and with the right
mindset this team is ready to end
on a high note. The Birds play
this Friday and Saturday at War
Memorial at 8pm
Friday, November 26,2004
By Jessica JiYoung Kim
Over the last couple of years,
Stephanie Jameson has been the
most valuable player on the UBC
field hockey team for both her
teammates and coaches. Her exemplary leadership and phenomenal play was finally recognised
when she was awarded the prestigious title of CIS women's field
hockey player of the year.
Hash Kanjee, head coach of the
women's field hockey team, admits
that Stephanie's growth over her
five years as a Thunderbird has
been exponential and her contributions will be sorely missed.
"I think [Jameson] has improved
considerably this year more than
any other year. That might be the
maturity and her exposure to international hockey...this particular
group of young ladies is a talented
group...and this helps Stephanie
stand out," said Kanjee.
Right before the T-Birds repeat
as CIS champions this year,
Jameson captured the title as CIS
player of the year, an award she's
delighted to receive.
"It's an amazing honour. There
are lots of fantastic players who
have won that award in the past,
so it's an honour to be put in the
same group as those players...it
was nice to win it but I am really
excited about how our team did as
a whole this year."
As the team captain, Jameson
leads by example, and her leadership skills arise from her
sparkling personality. Her teammate, fourth-year player Leigh
Sanderson, mentioned that aside
LETTING UP: Winning player of the year won't let you off the hook, nic fensom photo
from her exceptional field hockey
skills, she is always making the
team laugh.
"She is a really funny person.
She is really corky. The rest of us
will be tired wondering why we are
here [while] she will be making
jokes, trying to get people pumped."
She also has a knack for remembering people's feet, especially their
"Most people notice other people's eyes or something, but I
notice people's shoes and for
some reason I always remember
what kind of shoes people wear,"
said Jameson.
Stephanie's life has always
been sports-oriented, and this is
reflected in her studies.
"I'm taking Leisure and Sports
Management in the Faculty of
Human Kinetics, so eventually I
would like to work for the 2010
Olympics or professional sports
Despite her busy involvement
and high aspirations, she always
manages to set some time aside
for her friends.
"Sometimes during the season
we don't have a lot of free time. I
like to watch movies, go shopping,
just hang out. I have to say that
one of my addictions has to be
slurpees... of ten if we have an
hour, we will grab a slurpee and
chat a bit."
Jameson takes with her some
sadness as she prepares to move
onto her next chapter in life. Next
time you see Stephanie Jameson
she may once again be starring
as the cheery field hockey player
on the national stage, working
with the 2010 Olympics or recalling what shoes you wore last
week. ♦
Olympic impresario talks scandal at Brock
by Rob Terpstra
Olympic scandals and solutions
were the focus of an address delivered by Dick Pound at Brock
University earlier in the month.
The possessor of an impressive
resume, Dick Pound is the chair of
the World Anti-D oping Agency and
a member of the International
Olympic Committee (IOC). Pound
is also an established lawyer, a
leading authority on tax law, and
the IOC's chief television negotiator since the mid '80s.
The IOC, the organization he
sometimes refers to as "a college
of cardinals with knives," has been
carefully moulded to allow members to be free of caving to individual pressures made by their
government and country.
"Unlike almost every other
international organization,"
Pound said, "it does not take representatives from different countries, but instead it chooses its
own members, and those members represent the IOC*
The IOC was unfortunately first
set up as a club, a system by which
it would take care of itself, Pound
said. After the 2002 Salt Lake City
bribery debacle, measures were put
in place to avoid the same thing
from happening again. Pound was
asked to head up the investigation
that led to the ousting of eleven
Pound described the period as
difficult  and  full  of high-speed
"Everyone knew the rules and
everybody knew what was appropriate and not appropriate," Pound said. "We had members in
relation to the Salt Lake City bid
that behaved totally inappropriately. They had their hands out
and were looking for significant
A major concern of many is the
enormous size and complexity of
the Olympics, however, Pound
quickly suggested otherwise.
"A lot of the stuff is myth, the
games are not too big," Pound
said. "We've had two or three
games in a row, where the number
of athletes vary between 10,000
and 11,000, we've got 28 sports,
we have 300 events give or take, it
can be done quite easily."
Understandably, costs have
crept up and a games commission, with Pound as chair, was
formed to understand some of the
financial woes undertaken by the
host city.
Pound said that the Olympic
host city must be set in the right
direction from the time it is selected to when it hosts the greatest
two weeks in all of sport. "If you
get it right from the start, and you
have it scheduled properly, it's not
generally a problem," Pound said.
"It's getting it planned from the
beginning and knowing what you
have to do that is essential."
Pound also spoke of what he
believes is the IOC's leadership in
POUNDING l"ft The secrets of the IOC revealed, liam dynes photo
world issues such as South
Africa's apartheid, the equality of
women, the inclusion of the two
Koreas, and separate delegates for
both China and Chinese Taipei
(Taiwan). IOC has reacted to end
controversy more quickly than
many governments.
"I believe the Olympic movement and IOC did more to the
solution of apartheid than all the
actions by governments," Pound
said. "George Bush waited to see
what (South Africa's) reaction
would be of the IOC lifting the
sport boycott...the next day he lifted the U.S. sanctions."
Perhaps the biggest issue facing the Olympics today is the problem of doping. Pound has been
directly responsible for setting up
WAD A, which has a 50-50 makeup.
"Fifty per cent of the members
are actually governments divided
up on a continental basis," Pound
said. "The other 50 per cent are the
Olympic movement: members of
the IOC, Olympic athletes, international federations, national
Olympic committees...you have an
interesting balance."
Over the course of its existence,
WADA has tried to incorporate a
standard for all testing procedures
to try and catch the cheats. Pound
is convinced although the athlete
is often the scapegoat, without the
concerted effort of coaches and
doctors, there would not be a doping violation. Suggestions have
been made to include the name of
both the coaches and doctors on
samples sent to the lab.
Pound said the fight against
doping has not yet been won, but
WADA is very close to catching the
minority of cheats who believe
they can beat the system. ♦


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