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The Ubyssey Feb 15, 2008

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February 15th, 2008
Vancouver Poetry SI
Time: Doors and sign up
show 9pm
Were: Cafe Deux Soleils (2
Cost: $5 Admission
Oker Chen
Canada could learn from US
presidential candidate
It is with some disappointment
that I have observed Canadian
politics in recentyears. This disappointment was only renewed
during Stephane Dion's recent
campus visit when he repeated
his ill-conceived "stay but don't
fight" plan for Afghanistan, a
country where security is the
primary concern.
On the two transcendent, defining issues of our time, each
of the two dominant political
parties in Canada is wrong on
one. The Liberals have failed to
rise to the existential challenge
posed to Western societies by
radical Islamic terrorism, and
the Conservatives have failed
likewise on the threat of climate
And so it is with envy that I
see that Americans in the next
election will have the chance
to elect John McCain as their
president. Best known as a consistent proponent of achieving
nothing short of victory in Iraq
and Afghanistan, he has also
co-sponsored meaningful cap-
and-trade carbon emissions
legislation in the Senate of the
kind we are unlikely to see in
Canada for some time. Canada
needs its own John McCain.
—Malcolm Lavoie
Economics 4
Games Night:Traditi.
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What: Night of debauchery to
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The Ubyssey
We want your ideas and input in your UBC paper.
2 Lett.
3 Editorial
Profile: UBC farms
4-5   A rose by any other
6-7   Ubyssey Rant spread
°      Journalism School: new
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ie Learned Ladies
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February 15th, 2008
Vol. LXXXIX N°40
Editorial Board
coordinating editor
Champagne Choquer
news editors brandon adams &
Boris Korby
sports euitor Jordan Chittley
features/national editor
Matthew Jewkes
production manager
Kellan Higgins
Levi Barnett
volunteer coordinator
Stephanie Findlay
cally run student organisation, and all students are encouraged to
Editorials are chosen and written bythe Ubyssey staff. They are
the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect
4.L..,: ijhe Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
bia. All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is
the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions,
' herein cannot be reproduced
  r , , ission of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
~ " lember of Canadian University Press
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lust be under 300 words. Please include
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.:..__» 300 words but under 750 words and
eestyles"areopinion pieces written by
ibers. Priority will be given to letters and perspectives overtreestyles unless the latter istimesensitive.Opinion pieces
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Ubyssey reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clar-
ust be received by 12 noon the day before intended
following issue unless then
matterdeemed relevant by
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 ' i the ad.The UPS shall not be respon-
 _, _, /rjgraphkal errors that do not lessen the
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Sinai, in the tabernacle
From twenty years old ar
the 12 tribes of Celestian
the son of Brandon Adam
lay the son of Paul Bucci.
son of Kellan Higgins./1:9
Tobin Garre tt the son ofM
Stutt the son of Freeman
but ifyou want them fillei
 _... Melanson in the wilderness of
if the congregation, on the first day of the
nd year aftertheywere come out ofthe land
i ve the sum of all the congregation of the
bythe house of their
June.. ndiiiei,eveiyiiiale by their polls;/1:3
dupward,all that are able to go forth to war
cNeilshall numberthem bytheirarmies./1:4
be a man of every tribe; every one head of
1:5 And these are the names ofthe men that
 . .,,„. .,,  U,ung"/Whatwere
Rince?/! :6 Of Marie Burgoyne; Boris Korby
is./1:7 Of Matthew Jewkes; Stephanie Find-
71:8 Of Jordan Chittley; Jordan Chittley the
1 Of Nadine Straka; Oker Chen the son of Joe
"~ lily Whittemore: of Peter Holmes;
aul Duke:of Matthew Hayles;Jake
lichael Bround./l :11 Of Tracy Fuller; Amanda
Poritz./! :12 And there are a few more too,
din,come volunteer. You Moabite,you.Spe-
Canadian   Canada Post Sales Agreement
University   Number 0o40878022
Kress February 15th, 2008
Gardens, Fields,
and Pasture
.    . . ,'M, .,i
The UBC Farm on a foggy day.
nee upon a time, UBC's Point Grey
endowment was largely agricultural. A
look around campus betrays these origins. South Campus is rilled with greenhouses,
agricultural warehouses, and even a converted
barn or two.
But today the UBC Farm covers only a
fraction of the abandoned agricultural land
of the area that the faculty of agriculture used
to tend, and the sheep mewing next door are
mostly but carryovers from the abandoned
dairy research program.
But UBC's relationship with farming is not
entirely historical. Here are some ofthe farming projects that can still be found at UBC.
Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens are often seen as a
tourist attractions. Their formal, intensively
tended landscaping and yearly apple festival, often exhibiting hundreds of varieties of
apples, add to this reputation. But don't let its
public facade fool you. The majority of time
and manpower spent amongst the garden's
collection of over 8000 different plants is on
research and education. As a part of the faculty of Land and Food Systems, the gardens
breeding adaptive study.
UBC Farm
While the Botanical Gardens focus on experimental biology and botany, the UBC Farm's
focus is on sustainable land use and organic
farming techniques. But you won't find UBC
Farm on any of the official UBC maps. That's
because the land it sits upon is formally a
"future housing reserve" which is to be developed over the next two decades. But with
hundreds of students and volunteers flocking
to the farm throughout the growing season,
not to mention the hundreds who buy from its
weekly summer market, the future ofthe farm
remains a highly contentious matter, to be
addressed when zoning plans are discussed
again in 2012.
Animal Care Facility
Just next door to the UBC Farm is the Animal
Care Facility. While the facility's primary purpose is breeding laboratory rodents, it also
maintains a small flock of sheep, both for
research and as a carryover from previous
university agricultural programs.
Dairy Farm
*T71~.!1„ -f_-          „r
While many are aware of the UBC Farm, far
fewer are aware of UBC's dairy farm, or, more
formally, the Dairy Education and Research
Centre. Located 130km east of UBC, just
north of the small town of Agassiz, the center
holds 125 cows and calves for use in dairy
And the pipes burst all over the place...
Have you walked through the
SUB lately?
Are you a person classified
as "male" by society?
Are you averse to going into the
women's washroom when you need
to pee?
Have you sauntered by the basement washroom in the SUB lately
desperately needing to drain your
main vein?
Well if you have, you are probably in for a show stopping end.
The SUB basement washroom has
been closed for the last few weeks
and we here at the Ubyssey are
starting to worry. According to the
SUB Renewal project, up to 6000
students per hour use the SUB, and
as there are only three large men's
washrooms in the SUB, the basement washroom probably serves
at least several hundred students
at peak hours. But now, as the
SUB basement washroom—here
after descibed as the basement
pooper—is closed to the public, perhaps 1000 men per hour have had
to search for alternatives.
The problem began nigh on the
start ofthe 2008 when, according
to reports, a water main burst like
a watermelon above the basement
pooper. Thus began a slow trickle
of a monumental amount of water
into the basement. One editor here
at the Ubyssey recalls walking in
to take a leak and seeing the water
drip into a mop bucket from above.
The editor assumed that it would
be fixed within a few days, but the
dripping ceiling got worst and suddenly, the basement pooper was
shut to the public.
So this is how it has been for
weeks. The water leak, we assume,
still remains. The pipes, we also
assume, have been shut off, thus
stemming the flow of putrid fluid
into the basement, but not alleviating any ofthe problems that male
student bladders endure.
And thus we are brought to the
bigger question of gender-neutral
leaky and unsafe pipes on campus.
While UBC continues to build newer
and more earthquake, fireproof,
leakproof, and studentproof buildings, we are left to ask ourselves,
why do we still drink from lead
Why is the water, attributed
as some of the best in the world,
undrinkable for at least a minute
by that happy-go-lucky-hey-shucks-
lest-you-die guy? Why can't we too
have great drinking water with only
a second to wait to drink?
What this signifies is an apparent lack of care for students by UBC.
Why can't UBC replace lead fittings,
which we believe went out during
the 18th century? Why do we have to
deal with a minute of draining the
toxic goo from our drinking water
simply because UBC is too cheap to
replace dangerous fittings?
The asbestos in the SUB was
only recently ripped asunder from
the guts of our public place in the
year of 2007. It took nearly 20
years from the banning of asbestos
bythe United States in 1989 before
the deadly rock was pulled under
the aegis of SUB renovations. What
do we as a student body have to do
before the slow poisoning of our
bodies stops?
Which brings us around once
again to how UBC treats its students. Badly. In the realm of plumbing, UBC treats its student with
contempt. There seems to be a large
disconnect with student issues, like
the lack of convenience with drinking water and lack of a basement
Ultimately, the real question
that we have is "when are we
getting back our sweet, sweet
bathroom?" Far too often, every one
of our editors (the males that is)
are forced to travel up one flight of
stairs and into the dirty, sometimes
completely sour and disgusting,
toilets. The horrors that our male
editors experience can be thought
of as a daily struggle.
We need our bathroom back—
and you do too. vl
Streeters is a twice-weekly column
in which students are asked a
question    pertinent    to    UBC.
See their full comments online at www.ubyssey.ca
What really grinds your gears?
'When I see         H
"Not being able
seople wasting     ^|
to get a ride to      ^|
food."                    H
Whistler; I hate    H
taking that 30       ^|
who cancel
elections basec
on nothing
and then
have us rerun
them during
'I don't like how
"Science courses
that require us
to do lots of lab
-Coordinated by Jordan Chittley and Champagne Choquer theubysseymagazine
February 15th, 2008
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by Nadine Straka
Over the years, roses have been
manufactured into symbols
of love, lust, and romance. To
receive a rose is to receive a reminder that someone is thinking
aboutyou. Rarely do we consider
that the majority of rose plantations are located in developing
nations employing young workers with minimal education.
Environmental and health standards are ignored and agrochem-
icals are utilized in abundance,
drastically affecting the health of
the workers and their families.
Ironically, our symbol of love
can inflict suffering among the
200,000 workers worldwide in
the cut flower industry.
I  recently visited  a flower
duction. Sophisticated infrastructure is required to ship flowers
to their international destinations. These changes have led to
the abandonment of traditional
farming methods, thus radically
affecting the lives of those living
in nearby communities.
Jaime Breihl is the dean of
public health at the Universidad
Andina and director ofthe Centro
de Estudios y Asesoria en Salud
(health research and advisory
centre) in Quito, Ecuador. He is
currently managing a large interdisciplinary study investigating
the impacts of agricultural chemicals on residences in Cayambe,
Ecuador. While the relative space
occupied by the flower farms is
small (4500 hectares out of a
9 million hectare agribusiness
frontier),  the  effects  from the
m  -
Assembly line flower production in Cayambe, Ecuador. Roses are refrigerated, trimmed, and grouped
into bouquets before being shipped off to their destination country.
Photo by Frederik Sagemuller.
farm, in Cayambe, about two
hours north of Quito, Ecuador. It
came as quite a shock to realize
the amount of work and chemicals that goes into producing
something as pleasing as a rose.
Soils are first drenched in
nematocides to create a sterile environment and are then
supplemented with fertilizers.
Greenhouse workers are responsible for ensuring the perfect
pest-free growth ofthe roses and
continuously spray them with
pesticides. Following a harvest,
the roses are hand-dipped in fungicides, trimmed, and grouped
into bouquets in an assembly
line fashion. Finally, the flowers
are refrigerated, transported by
truck to the nearest airport, and
then flown to their destination
Evidently, the rose industry
is highly dependent on modernization. Flower prototypes are
genetically engineered to meet
international expectations of the
"perfect flower". Agrochemicals
are employed to optimize pro-
farms do not go unnoticed.
"Flower farms penetrate the
economical, sociological, and environmental systems in the area;
these are the kinds of impacts
that we are worried about," says
The Ecuadorian rose industry has experienced tremendous
growth over the years. In 1991,
cut flower plantations occupied
about 250 hectares; now that
number is estimated to be over
4500. This growth has been
largely influenced by green revolution technology. The agrarian
reform ofthe 1960s stimulated
more "efficient" land use in Ecuador. Consequently, much of
this land was transformed into
monocultures of profitable and
exportable crops.
"Many old farms were
bought, or changed by economical agreements," Breihl explains.
"Farm owners sold their farms
to new national/international
enterprises or used their farms
see "Roses" | page 05 February 15th, 2008
our roses
Toxins and tribulations in third-world rose production
from "Roses" | page 04
as an investment." When asked
how this growth has affected
the communities of Cayambe,
Breihl adds, "The towns around
the plantations are now modern
places. Health patterns have
been changed. Relations with
community support organizations have been weakened. The
young people no longer pertain
to their communities."
The responsibility and initiative taken by flower farms to
produce socially and ecologically
just flowers is questionable. With
very few regulations in place, cut
flower farms use numerous pesticides, namelyorganophospates,
carbamates, and organochlo-
rides, which have been banned
in North America and Europe.
"Although there are important written legal norms in the
[Ecuadorian] legislature regarding pesticide use, these norms
are only stated and do not create
or reinforce their implementation nor guarantee their institutional and financial backing,"
says Breihl.
Also, as flowers are an agricultural export, they must be
pest free upon arriving to their
final destination; however, since
they are not an edible crop,
they are exempt from pesticide
residue regulations and are not
Chronic pesticide exposure
in agricultural workers has been
correlated with a broad range of
non-specific symptoms such as
memory impairment, fatigue,
anxiety, confusion, insomnia,
difficulty breathing, tremors,
and decreased motor skills. Neu-
robehavioural test results reveal
deficits in cognitive functioning,
genetic defects, neurodegenerative diseases, seizures, and
cancer. As education regarding
these health effects is lacking,
workers do often not recognize
that they are experiencing low
dose, chronic pesticide exposure
and rarely report these symptoms at work or seek medical
help. These debilitative effects
can leave many young workers at a loss when their chronic
health problems prohibit their
ability to find post-floriculture
Social standards in flower
farms are also neglected, as workers are predominantly young,
with basic educational levels.
Workers are willing to compromise their health at a minimum
wage without contracts, benefits,
or training and educational programs in these plantations. In
the past, when workers have coordinated to create unions, they
have been struck down, bribed,
or fired. Sexual harassment is
rampant and in many cases
women must provide proof of
sterility or absence of pregnancy
prior to employment at a flower
The monopolization and environmental contamination of
water systems by flower plantations is a persistent problem.
While small traditional farms
use approximately 1000 litres of
agricultural chemicals per hectare, per month, flower farms on
average use 1,000,000.
"Plantations intensively use
chemicals to produce the perfect flower' for the market, but
also they are using enormous
amounts of water which must
compete with food production,"
says Breihl. Heavy metals from
pesticides, such as chrome, manganese and zinc, seep into the
waterways. Nitrogen and sulfur
find their way into the surrounding rivers, originating from
the excessive use of industrial
chemical fertilizers. The majority
of flower plantations have inadequate filtering systems and these
contaminants can be detected
in the waterways surrounding
the farms, further affecting the
health of nearby communities.
There is some effort to create
healthy, environmentally and
socially sound rose plantations.
45 flower farms occupying 1000
hectares in Ecuador subscribe to
the Flower Label Program (FLP).
FLP ensures that flower plantations abide by standards that
guarantee fundamental labour
and environments rights. These
include freedom of association
and collective bargaining, equality of treatment, living wages,
working hours, health and
safety, appropriate use of pesticides and chemicals, security of
employment, protection of the
environment and protection
against child and forced labour.
All workers receive mandatory
educational programs about pesticide use, environmental and
health hazards, farm contracts,
and worker rights.
Arturo Campana, a medical
doctor andFLP inspector explains
how FLP rules are enforced. "FLP
farms must open their doors to
scheduled inspections at least
once per year, where the social,
health, environmental standards
are evaluated. Additionally,
unannounced spot checks are
conducted at random to guarantee compliance of FLP rules." If
a farm fails an inspection, they
must submit a plan of action to
improve the conditions on the
farm. Campana adds, "All farms
know that if they do not comply
by the rules, they will lose their
Frederik Sagemuller, an
agricultural student at the University of Gottingen, Germany,
is currently an intern at FLP and
is ensuring that floral workers
are educated on the impact and
proper use of pesticides and how
FLP operates. I asked Sagemuller
if the workers are aware of the
toxic chemicals they are exposed
to and their health effects.
"They know they are using
toxic chemicals, but the workers
are young and do not think about
the long-term effects," said Sagemuller. "They miss the idea that
every day matters, and that every
day, they have to take care of
themselves and use precautionary measures."
While programs such as
FLP have initiated the idea of
responsible rose production, the
demand for roses on Valentine's
Day persists. Sagemuller commented on the FLP rules around
Valentine's Day production: "This
year, there has been heavy rain.
Rain facilitates disease spread in
flowers. The farm supervisors
have to make exceptions in use
of chemicals and work hours to
meet V-Day quotas."
During Valentine's Day
season, plantation workers are
forced to work overtime with
infrequent breaks. Pesticide
regulations are neglected and
the most neurotoxic chemicals
shade grown, etc. This labeling
technique has been successful in
increasing consumer awareness.
When I ask Breihl about the
possibility of creating a similar
flower labeling system in North
America, he says, "This is already
a reality in Europe. In Germany
there was a national clean fair
flower campaign that combined
the concerns of unions and of
importers to create the FLP. We
are dreaming of the day this
will happen in North America."
Campana comments on the ef-
1. Following harvest, roses are
dipped in Fungicides to ensure
their pest-free shipment abroad.
2. Greenhouse rose plantations occupy 4500 hectares in
3. Roses are sprayed with pesticide combinations in order to
achieve a "perfect" look.
Photos by Frederik Sagemuller.
are employed in obscene doses.
Education about pesticide use
is forgotten and as workers are
rushed and pressed for time,.
Protective equipment during
chemical application is often inadequate. If these violations exist
in the 45 FLP certified farms, you
can imagine what might go on in
the other 3500 uncertified and
unregulated hectares of plantations in Ecuador.
It can be argued that these
farms are supplying impoverished communities with a source
of income and independence as
an increasing number of workers are employed each year. Conversely, these farms can also be
seen as exploitative of traditional
farming communities.
"High-tech flower farms do
not solve socio-economic problems, but rather take advantage
of cheap community labour
due to the ineffectiveness of the
agrarian reform," says Breihl.
Evidently, the adverse impacts
of pesticide exposure combined
with the other prevailing problems discussed demonstrate the
serious implications of the cut
flower industry.
The social, health, and environmental violations performed
by rose plantations are profound,
but are relatively unheard of in
North America. The ignorance of
the flower consumer is far-reaching; a rose is a rose, no labels
or strings attached. "Fair-trade"
flowers are not a common piece
to come by. However, we can sip
our lattes guilt free because we
know where our coffee comes
from. In Canada, our supermarkets are stocked with selections
of coffee, each label containing information indicating the
country of origin and whether
the beans are fair trade, organic,
fectiveness of the FLP: "FLP is
not only effective; it is improving
an extremely important agricultural sector. 25 per cent of Ecuadorian floriculture workers are
employed under comparatively
better working conditions under
FLP and the program expands
each year."
As Valentine's Day approaches in the height of our
Canadian winter, the florists are
stocked with roses. Do we ever
stop to think about where these
flowers come from? Try asking
your friends, your local florist
even. The answers you will get
are evidence of the ignorance
surrounding the cut flower industry. In 2007, roses accounted
for 25 per cent of Ecuadorian
exports to Canada. It is time to
consider the impact of each rose
we purchase.
We need to create awareness
and a demand for "fair trade"
flowers. We need to pressure the
floriculture industry and governments to enforce regulations and
create transparency in legal,
environmental, and health
"We need to show the
rose consumer of the
first   world   what   is
behind flower produc-   j
tion.  The  beauty  of   J
the flower has to be
coherent with ways
of  producing   that
flower that do not
obstruct nature or
human lives, nor
create social inequality. We need
to let the consumer
know that a rose is prod
uct of love, not of greed,"
concludes Breihl.
Maybe a label is a good place
to start. \i The Ubyssey
February 15th, 2008
Opinion Editorial Piece
Volume I, Issue 1
by Peter Holmes
Today's fascination with celebrities amazes and perplexes
me. These are people who will
never know/care about you, yet
somehow it's crucial to know
more about them than your
own mother.
To be sure, this fascination
with people you will never
meet goes back much further
than celebrity blogs and People
magazine. The ancient Greeks
idolized gods and gave them
human traits. Even going as far
as developing plot lines that
saw them fall from grace due to
some character flaw. A-ha! They
are not so perfect after all!
This style of "tragedy" has
been a recurrent theme
throughout history. Marie Antoinette had scandalous things
written about her in popular
flyers. The things were written
because they sold flyers. They
sold flyers because people have
a insatiable curiosity with the
From the Greek gods to the
"divine" kings and queens, we
loved to see popular figures
writhe and frolic in scandal.
But so much more we loved to
see them fall. Hamlet dies, the
French behead the royal family,
Chapman kills Lennon, Britney
gets preggers, and celebs get
fat and old. In today's post-religious consumer-culture celebrity worship is ancient Greek
polytheistic dogma, but worse.
This psuedo-polytheism is the
new opiate ofthe masses.
It is an opiate because it has
keenly and methodologically
attached itself to consumer
culture. It tells people what to
think, but more importantly,
what to buy. The ad to "news"
ratio in celebrity magazines
is appalling and more often
than not it is impossible to tell
whether what you are reading is
developed by the editorial board
or the ad department. They are
most likely one and the same.
The saddest part of this new
designer drug is the distortion
of perspective. We are fortunate
enough to live in one of the best
countries in the world, with very
low relative poverty per capita.
But by fixating all our attention
on the top .001 percentile we
lose this precious and important
Why? To be cool and cutting
edge? To be popular and accepted? To have something to
talk about? Self-esteem? Perhaps
buying all that crap is the same
rationale as buying a lottery ticket. Some producer just might "notice" you and need you in all your
a la mode glory in some new film.
This thought evokes a quote from
the movie Fight Club; "Advertising
and media's got us thinking we'll all
grow up to become movies stars and
celebrities. But we won't. And we are
slowly learning that fact"
Reader, dear reader, you will never
be a celebrity. Get over it You will be
much happier. Worry about your
upcoming midterm, or the federal
elections. Learn something about
the people close to you, get to know
them. Get to know yourself and your
own world and the things that affect
it, not whether some guy you have
never met overdosed, o^f that some
A-lister is still in rehab.
by Raeven Geist-Deschamps
I tore down pro-life propaganda
off the UBC walls.
Yes. I did it. It's not politically
correct. So sue me. I've heard
the pro-lifers have wicked
marches in Calgary, I just never
expected to find it on campus.
I have some objections to the
way in which Lifeline is trying
to promote their ideas. Ifyou're
trying to raise awareness, at
least claim it. The pamphlets
strewn around campus have
your logo on it, but one has to
search to actually link it to you.
Take credit. Ifyou're exposing
something controversial, don't
hide behind an image, write
your name down.
Furthermore, I'm slightly
confused: what's the point? Is
it strictly awareness raising? In
a university campus, I believe
in propaganda with a goal. Are
they putting on a debate? Who
knows? That would have some
intellectual validity, instead of
silently putting up sheets of
paper, in a seedling attempt
to influence the UBC student
community. If you're going to
step on toes, stand up and do
it—do it with purpose! I feel as
though it is shutting off debate
to approach intelligent thinking students in a way that is
simply one sided. They're not
asking for an answer, they're
imposing dogma. The aim of
a university, or at least this is
what my idealistic brain clings
on to, is to create open grounds
for debates about choices and
We celebrated the 3 5 years
of Roe v. Wade on January 22.
The Huffington Post marked the
event with a series of articles
proclaiming the right to choice,
criticizing the zealous pro-lifers
and pro-choicers and the lack of
sexual education in the United
States. It's easy to be frightened
by something you know little or
nothing about, which I believe
is the underhanded justification of abstinence campaigns.
If you have to promote pro-life
views, promote sex ed as well.
The specific sign I removed
referred to the "2,000,000
embryos killed in abortion
since all restrictive legislation
has been removed in Canada."
I'd like to reflect on the demographic consequences if those
children had been brought to
It would be a most delicious
cocktail of:
■ Child parents
■ Women having stalled their
education, a most likely consequence being a forestalled
professional career
• Mismatched couples and
probable split families, if the
man decides to stay involved
at all
■ Poorer families. Think of a
young woman having a child
and leaving home, as well as
if she were supported by her
own parents, a family with a
number of other children who
cannot afford another.
- And that ever-lovely psychological factor... Resentment
Mentioning Freakonomics'
suggestion that Roe v. Wade
is a reason for the decrease
of crime in the United States
would also be appropriate at
this juncture.
I can understand criticism of
government-funded abortions.
I cannot understand objection
to choice.
Let women keep the child. Or
not. It's up to the woman. But
by all means. Go ahead. Keep
threatening us with breast cancer, post-abortion stress disorder, and the wrath of God. m
by Paul Duke
Hopefully by now every single
Canadian in the country has seen
the big headline. Sadly, I fear this
is probably not the case. We're
too busy with our hangovers,
our real estate deals, delivering
our twice-daily customized coffee monologues, playing video
games. So then, allow me to remind: "18-year old boy set on fire
with gasoline by four thugs he
didn't know."
Yes, that's right. Right here in
Vancouver. While news shows
and their lifestyle segments promote Vancouver as one of the
world's most livable cities, perfect
for tourism, with all manner of
recreation and cultural activities,
children are murdering other
children in acts of barbarism so
heinous, the inclination is toward
disbelief—but it's all true.
As headlines with increasing
regularity report gangland executions in our streets, another gun-
related murder, a serial killer, a
knifing, a home invasion, and
now this. One thing becomes
very clear to me: the safely in
our society is deteriorating, and
institutions like law enforcement
and parenting are failing us. Let
us not forget that these were four
youths, children of parents who
have either failed to raise their
child with respectful human values, or at the very least, failed to
keep watch over their young, self-
determined monsters. Either way,
someone wasn't paying attention
when these children decided to
bring their favorite violent video
game to life.
It is this sort of random violence
that the citizens of the United
States argue gives credence to
their belief in the right to bear
arms. Americans do not entrust
their safety and personal security
to law enforcement; they rely on
themselves to legally do so. While
we in Canada like to smugly
ridicule them for this seemingly
uncivilized attitude towards gun
(un)control, maybe they've got
something there. If four goons
jumped an 18 year old in an
American city and tried to set him
on fire, they might have found
themselves faced with a different
outcome. They might be the ones
in hospital with gunshot wounds,
or perhaps in the morgue, where
they belong, in my opinion, if
they are prepared to take another
person's life away from them. In
an American city, the would-be
violent assailant is just as at risk
as the innocent.
If I was attacked by four thugs
intent on burning me, I would
prefer to have a gun in my hand
so I could defend my own life
rather than a cell phone so that
I could call for police to attend
and maybe apprehend the thugs;
maybe get me to the hospital
in time to save my life. Given a
choice, I'd rather have my own
life, thank you very much. Here
is where the old adage, often ascribed to those crazed, gun-toting
Americans, seems apt: "I'd rather
be judged by twelve, than carried
by six."
Clearly, we have taught our children to value things like money,
drugs, cars, and shoes more than
human lives, and we're seeing the
results. More and more we read
about "swarmings" and "stampings" and random assaults and
home invasions. More guns are
filling our streets and causing
more violence. Law enforcement
and government, to their credit,
are actively pursuing means to
eliminate illegal weapons from
our country. Good, take the guns
Special Edition
out of the criminals' hands. But
where does this leave the average,
honest citizen and their safety?
Are we any safer? I fear that we
are not.
If we are going to continue to
become a country increasingly
guided by the principles of greed,
money-lust, and ends-justify-
the-means values, then perhaps
we need to decide how to truly
protect ourselves from those who
don't value or respect our lives.
Perhaps it is time the citizens
of Canada acquired the right to
bear arms. We'd certainly be in
a better position to provide ourselves with the sense of safety
and security we don't have at the
It is time to wake up. If parents
can't teach their children to value
my life; or at least prevent them
from violently intruding on it, and
if law enforcement doesn't have
the means to keep our streets safe
and prevent violent crimes, then
we need to rethink our laws and
change them so that we, like the
violent criminals with whom we
share our streets, have the means
to take life—their lives—in defense
of our own.
It's time we either give our police departments absolutely every
resource they require in order to
effectively protect us, or we give
citizens the rights and means to
protect ourselves from the barbarians who now seem to be defining
our society. Rights and means we
do not have at this moment.
What sort of country will we be
then? It
by Matthew Hayles
I had quite a weird moment two
years ago, when I realized I don't
really approve of the Dalai Lama's
practices. Which, I know, is a weird
thing to say cause he's all about love
and peace and good government
and such, but really, love and peace
are not ostensibly Buddhist
Well, not Buddhist in any historical sense anyway. Without fishing
too far back in history for examples,
I can think of one very poignant
one. Right around World War II
the established Zen Buddhist sects
in Japan, with three hundred-odd
years of correlation with the thriving warrior tradition, threw the
brunt of their energy and money behind military imperialism. Ifyou're
familiar with intense practices involved in attaining enlightenment
through self-denial—the long days
and nights of strict meditation, the
violence directed from master to
disciple, the repetitious daily routine—it's hard not to draw military
Not that this is unique to the Zen
tradition. Buddhist militarism, like
the militarism associated with all
of the classical religions, has been
ubiquitous. In the immediate postwar period, Canadians knew all
this. So how did we get to where we
are now? What happened after the
war that turned the overseas image
of Buddhism around?
Well, marketing happened. A veritable diaspora of monks from south
and east Asia traveled to Europe
and to the Americas, as the Jesuits
had done in their time but with
fewer cannons. They established
seminaries and lamaseries down
the West Coast, and a generation
of radicals flocked in with yin-yang
tattoos and incense cloying their
dreadlocks. The words on the lips
of these monks were the same as
those shouted against the Vietnam
War, make love not war, and after
that the Gulf War, and so on. This
wasn't even religious syncretism.
This was postwar revisionism of
the worst kind. This was abnegation for profit. This was selling out,
And to some extent it was just
plain lying. If you pick up one of
the Dalai Lama's little books, and
there are three or four of these in
the Eastern Religions section of
any Chapters, you will be holding
in your hands a Tony Robbins-
style self-help book wrapped in
the swaddling bands of religious
legitimacy. Packed full of pithy sayings, like, "Take into account that
great love and great achievements
involve great risk," "Be gentle with
the earth," and "Approach love and
cooking with reckless abandon."
All of which, I suppose, are worth
listening to, if lacking a little depth.
But there's a large disconnect here
between the things the Dalai Lama
says, and the rich and fulfilling
tradition the Dalai Lama represents. Which is, at heart, what I'm
ranting about. Insofar as each of
these books comes bound up with
the influence that mystical Eastern
traditions have in the West, the Tibetan commercial machine is misrepresenting itself, purposefully. As
if the Church of Scientology wasn't
enough. The Tibetan institution,
like Imperial Japan, is leveraging
religious authority into secular
power, in this case specifically into
market share. And that's...well, it's
weird. It's at best insincere.
Look, I'm not criticizing the Dalai
Lama. As the head of a government
in exile, he obviously has a lot on his
plate. The culture, the religion, and
the native traditions of the Tibetan
peoples were verging on extinction,
maybe still are. His books and his
activism have renewed global interest in the unique and ancient tradition he represents, have revived
what was once a dying theocracy.
Nor is it my aim to undercut his
substantial accomplishments, his
contributions to the human community. These are great, varied
and ongoing. Without his work the
world would be a worse place.
But the Tibetan commercial machine is not a Buddhist beast, and
the public face of the Dalai Lama
is not a religious one. He and his
advisors are excellent at what they
do, but what they do is more like
an advice column in the back of
The Vancouver Sun, more that than
anything bordering on a religious
There is a vibrant Tibetan tradition alive and well in the mountains
and caves ofthe Himalayan plateau.
If you're looking for something
spiritual from Tibet, look there. |t
When the dog bites, when the
bee sings
By Jake Tobin Garrett
Everyone loves these how can you not?
Girls, your hair doesn't look that
good anyway, and guys, with
the amount of gel in yours it
would take a monsoon to melt
that thing. And, for the love of
everything holy, would someone
please teach these people basic
umbrella etiquette. Maybe this is
something that our AMS should
invest in: umbrella classes. Lesson one: if you are short, you
must always be aware of the
spokes on your umbrella as your
vertical imperfection leaves
them at perfect heights to gouge
out the eyes of all the other
people on the planet. Lesson
two: if two people with umbrellas are approaching each other,
one must move the umbrella
up while the other must move it
down, thus avoiding a clash. Why
in hell do some people feel the
need to walk around underneath
giant beach umbrellas? These
things are meant to protect a
family of five from the sun during the height of summer, not so
you can have a mobile home to
move under as you go to class.
1) Stop & Chat:
There is maybe no other social
interaction that I hate more
than a stop & chat session. Many
times I don't want to stop and
chat. When I'm out walking
somewhere it's because I'm on
my way to a destination, a destination that doesn't include finding out whether you are still with
your current bedfriend or if you
have changed your major again
or, GASP, you are just starting a
new job! Life is short. Too short
to listen to people I don't like
chat about their lives. I don't
care about your life. I care about
my life. I care about the lives
of my close family and friends.
You could have died in the last
five years and I wouldn't have
known, so why must you stop
me and blather while my coffee
is getting cold and you're making me late for meeting up with
a friend whose life I actually do
care about. Can't you see that
I'm looking around, checking
my watch, shifting my feet, hoping, hoping that perhaps a plane
engine will fall from the sky and
crush you, leaving me to dance
freely away, birds singing, sun
2) Move to the back:
You there. Yeah, you standing in
the middle ofthe bus, looking innocent while we are all crammed
here at the front, one hand
jammed inside some dude's as-
scrack and the other wedged in
between a fat chick and a rank
old man. I hate you. I hate how
you congregate around the back
door as if it's the apocalypse and
you won't be able to get off if
somehow a freak fire breaks out
in the middle of the bus. See all
those people standing outside in
the rain? They can't get on the
bus because your lazy as is glued
to your spot. And don't pretend
to read your book or listen to
your iPod. We all know that you
are aware of a what a total dink
you are being.
5) Umbrellas:
Yeah, I'm talking about you
people. The ones who whip out
the umbrellas at the first sign
of a dark cloud, hoping to preempt any  raindrops  possible.
4) AMS Elections:
Give it up already. No one cares.
No one will ever care. You stand
out there with megaphones
blaring telling us all cool people
vote. No one is buying that. And
what a sad state our 'democracy'
is in when you are actually telling people (as I heard one such
loudmouth announcing over his
bullhorn this election year) that
it doesn't matter if you don't
know the policies, just vote for
the person with the funniest
name. Maybe this is the reason
that people don't take these elections seriously. I mean, I've seen
fire hydrants running in past
elections. Fire hydrants. And you
know what? I would vote for that
fire hydrant because at least I
know what fire hydrants do. I've
been at this confounded school
for five years and have yet to decipher exactly what the AMS does
with all those hard earned dollars I pump into them every year
in student fees. So, what the hell,
maybe we should vote in the fire
hydrant one year. At least that
way we could use it to fill up our
bisphenol A estrogen-mimicking
Nalgene water-bottles instead of
buying overpriced Coke water
from the vending machines that
litter the SUB with their anima-
tronic dispensing arms like discarded Star Wars drones. |t
Why so emasculating?
no more homophobia
by Trevor Melanson
Last weekend, while headed to the tanning salon,
I was stopped by a good friend of mine. He asked
where I was going. I hesitated before answering,
but I did, honestly—as I always do. "The tanning
salon," I said. A moment of silence followed, and
then he walked away without a word. He was, of
course, being ironically dramatic; nevertheless,
his disapproval was made clear.
But really, ought metrosexuality (and a general
consideration for aesthetics) to be considered so
emasculating? I don't think so, yet clearly many
men do hold this position. Why is it the case?
Partly, I think, the attitude roots in a lingering
homophobia. The gay culture embraced male
beauty on a whole new level, and metrosexuality
has been a culture of straight men following in
these footsteps—men who like the idea that we
can be beautiful too.
But there's more. Metrosexuals, such as yours
truly, have broken an unspoken male pact. Yes,
we had an agreement: none of us would try so
that none of us would have to. We let women
spends hours, daily, accentuating their beauty,
whilst we did nothing: a shower in the morning,
perhaps, and something more only when it was
an obligation.
And then some of us rebelled. Maybe we just
wanted an edge or maybe we wanted to make
a point. All the same, the contract was broken,
and we are resented for it. Now it's all going to
hell, guys; it was an all-or-nothing plan and we
fucked it up. Sorry.
Non-metrosexuals, you're losing the race. It's
time to catch up and compete.
Let's face the facts: women like metrosexual
men. Brad Pitt, he's as metrosexual as they
come. Johnny Depp, he wears eyeliner.
And it's not about femininity, it's not about
narcissism, it's not about idealizing and fashioning after celebrities. We don't make these
claims of women, so let's avoid the sexist presumptions. It's a realization that women, not
unlike men, appreciate beauty in their partners.
That's it. |t
by Michael Bround
Dear UBC cyclists,
You can fuck right off.
Sure you are all being
green and environmentally
conscious. Yes, you are
working out and firming up
those wonderful bottoms of
yours. Of course, bicycles
cause unborn children everywhere to leap with joy,
and become smarter and
slimmer. Bicycles are wonderful. This doesn't entitle
you to be an asshole.
Here's the thing, you are
all a bunch of inconsiderate
brain morons. Bicycling has
a number of rules and regulations that it has to follow,
which frankly, almost none
of you follow. Not to mention your complete lack of
courtesy to the hundreds of
pedestrians you encounter
every day.
The first thing you ought
to, but apparently don't,
know is that the sidewalk is
for pedestrians. A bicycle is
considered a vehicle and is
supposed to travel on roads.
You know, by law. Sure,
there are times when riding
on the sidewalk is safer or
you are nearing the building you are going to. This
doesn't make you the king
of the sidewalk. Slow down,
and be mindful of the pedestrians around you. They
own the sidewalk, not you.
Now that you know that you
are really legally obligated to
ride your bicycle on the road
there are a couple of other
things you should know. Like
the fact that you are to obey
street signs. In other words,
stop at stop signs. Don't
just blow through them. It's
asinine and dangerous and
a good way to fuck up a pedestrian. Also, if the cars in
front of you stop for said stop
sign, stop too. Queue up, and
wait your turn for the intersection. Do not blow past the
cars and take out the person
crossing the street that the
automobiles in front of you
stopped for.
As to your lack of general
road manners, here are a few
ideas to make you less of a
toolbox. Try travelling at the
campus speed limit, or not
three times it. So that you can
stop, maybe, when you need
to. Try braking a little, it's
great. Slow down at a crosswalk if people are in it, and
stop or maneuver around the
pedestrians in it. It'syour job
to avoid them, not the other
way round. In other words,
So next time you brag to
your friend about how you
can cross campus in like
three or four minutes flat on
your bike, pause, and consider what a fucking asshole
you are in the process.
P.S. To you cyclists that do
obey the street laws and have
a brain, ignore all that. This
letter is not for you. |t theubysseymagazine
February 15th, 2008
Love us? Hate us? Think we epitomize the
problems with the apathy rampant on
campus today? Then come! Change us!
The following positions will be up
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by Robin Fulford
Directed by Patrick McDonald
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Students Pay What You Can
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Photo: DaviD Cooper Photography
a- ES3 straight M M. vanSStion «&_
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available during regular business hours at The Vancouver Sun promotions counter located at 200 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. or at Festival Cinemas Theatre at 2110 Burrard Street.
Journalism School seeks
continued collaboration
with world's top newsmen
'Dan Rather was the first step': Professor Peter Klein
School of
by Boris Korby
The UBC Graduate School ofjournalism recently finished partnering with former CBS Evening
News anchor Dan Rather and
his investigative news magazine
program Dan Rather Reports on
a feature about Vancouver's safe
injection site.
The story, which airs next
Tuesday on HDNet at 5pm
(channel 221) and will be available at hd.net beginning next
Wednesday, is only the first step
in a transition which will see the
ten-year-old School ofjournalism
shift its focus towards producing
more collaborative projects between students and established
industry professionals.
"One of the things we're trying to do, students have suggested they want, and I think a lot of
journalism schools are moving
towards is allowing students
to work on projects that will be
printed and that will air," said
UBC jounalism professor Peter
"If [a story] is only going to be
read by the professor, you'll get a
grade, but if your name goes on
a newspaper article or a TV piece
and you get it wrong—that's the
ultimate pressure to get it right,
and so we're trying to inject that
sort of level of journalistic reality
into the program."
Wayne Nelson, executive
producer of Dan Rather Reports,
said the collaboration with UBC
students has produced some of
the show's highest quality content yet since it hit the air two
years ago.
"This has been the first time
we've [worked with students],
and it's been a great experience
for us, and I would love to do it
Nelson added that he
wouldn't be surprised to see Dan
Rather Reports back working with
UBC students in the near future.
"If the story is there, and with
the Olympics coming up, I'm
sure there'll be other things that
we'd be interested in doing."
In addition to collaborations
at home, the School ofjournalism is also in the process of
establishing an international reporting class, in which students
would travel abroad for a certain
period of time to cover a major
story on location.
"We're trying to partner with
some broadcasters in Canada
and the United States who could
actually broadcast the piece as
well," said Klein.
Melanie Kuxdorf, a first year
UBCJournalism student, said the
prospect of international reporting appeals to her.
"I love to travel, period. You
get to learn from such diverse
viewpoints, and the work would
be completely different. Even
regardless of whether I want to
do international work, which
I'm not so sure I do, just having that experience would be so
"I think just doing work that's
real is fabulous. I think it helps
your portfolio, it makes what
you're doing have real value, and
I think it's a good experience; you
make connections with people
you may want to work with in the
Klein said there are a number of challenges that the school
must overcome in order to continue working on collaborative
efforts with established journalists, but added that finding willing professionals is not one of
"Funding is definitely an obstacle...Foreign reporting obviously costs a lot of money, so we
are in the process of [securing]
a donor who wants to support
a well-funded, long-term international development reporting
project at the school here. So if
that works out, we'll be set for
the next several years to do this
"But in general most working journalists know that people
doing a master's degree are
serious, and you're not going to
screw it up.
"They also know that there's
a safety net, that [students]
have experienced professional
journalists as instructors who
are there to make sure that they
don't screw it up. I'm not going
to let something go on HDNet
that I don't trust."
Klein said he hoped the
changes occurring within the
program will ultimately serve to
attract the broadest range and
highest calibre of students to the
Graduate School ofjournalism.
"Dan Rather was the first step,
and we'd like to develop more
relationships like that so we can
help contribute to the journalism
out there, and also contribute to
[our students'] education." \a February 15th, 2008
AMS: Tuition, fees to go up; CiTR finances questionable
by Freeman Poritz
UBC VP Students Brian Sullivan
presented the results of the student financial support survey
to AMS Council Wednesday. He
addressed the issue of student
debt, and commented on current
trends in the UBC community.
One ofthe major trends was
that UBC students are, on average, taking fewer credits currently than they did ten years
ago. In 1998 the average UBC
student was enrolled in 25.2
credits per year as opposed to
the 2007 figure of 23.4 credits
per year.
In response the student financial support survey proposes
that "12-15 new need-based
entrance awards valued at up to
$ 10,000 will be available for the
2008-2009 academic year," that
"the grant-loan ratio will be improved," and that there will be a
focus on encouraging students
who are "Aboriginals, hailjing]
from a low social-economic position, or are the first generation
attending university" through
financial incentives. Sullivan
also re-iterated that the "work-
study program is available to
Associate Director of UBC
Enrolment Services, Barbara
Crocker, also spoke to AMS
Council about proposed 2008-
09 tuition and related fees. Her
report concluded that there
would be a "two per cent cost of
living increase in tuition fees for
all domestic students," and that
international students would
be "subject to a 3.4 per cent
increase according to the Education Price Index." VP External
Matthew Naylor questioned the
intelligence of the international
student tuition increase. "Are we
not making university education
progressively more and more
unaffordable for international
While tuition fees are a
never-ending reality of university life, of special concern to
current students should be the
"increase in the Athletics and
Recreation fee by 31.5 per cent,"
and the "increase in the domestic application fee by 6 7 per cent
from $60 to $100."
"We're not looking to make
money on this. It is just to cover
costs," Crocker told Council. The
new fees will take effect as of
May 1st.
In addition to the presentations, CiTR, UBC's radio station,
was at the center of a scandal.
Apparently the financial statements that they had been giving
council were not the same as the
financial statements they had
been giving to their board of
directors. VP Finance Brittany
Tyson motioned for the AMS VP
Finance to permanently sit, or
appoint a representative to sit,
on the CiTR board of directors,
allowing the AMS to monitor
CiTR's activities. "O
Allegations fly over voting conduct of VP Academic-elect
by Boris Korby
The legitimacy of incoming
Alma Mater Society (AMS) VP
Academic Alex Lougheed's election victory last month is being
challenged after it was made
public that he cast multiple
paper ballots for himself on
January 24th.
AMSElections Administrator
Brendan Piovesan confirmed to
the Ubyssey that Lougheed was
one of several candidates who
voted more than once, but that
the VP Academic-elect was the
only victor among the group.
Nathan Crompton, who
lost the VP Academic race to
Lougheed by 28 votes, alleges
that Lougheed cast ballots
for himself approximately
12 times. Even though only a
single one of Lougheed's votes
was counted towards the final
election results, Crompton has
filed complaints with both the
Elections Appeals Committee
and the UBC Student Court to
determine whether Lougheed's
actions are grounds for
The AMS electoral code
does not include any punitive
measures against candidates
for   casting   multiple   ballots,
Questions remain over whether casting multiple ballots constitutes
violation of AMS electoral code.
however the 28-page document
gives discretion to the Elections
Committee and Student Court to
determine whether candidates
have broken campaign rules.
If Lougheed's actions are
deemed to be a "serious offence" by the Student Court,
the Elections Committee could
disqualify Lougheed, who along
with the other elections winners has yet to see his victory
ratified by the AMS.
"It's ambiguous because it's
a principled violation of the
democratic process more than
a specific intervention into
what the outcome of the election would be," Crompton said.
"At the very least the public
should be comfortable with the
fact that someone who might
be the VP-elect has attempted
to vote for themselves multiple
Lougheed refused multiple
requests by the Ubyssey to discuss the allegations.
Darren Peets, who ran "Fire
Hydrant Peets" as a joke candidate in the VP Academic race
finished in fourth place with
559 votes, 164 shy of Lougheed.
Peets said the current problem
has arisen from the fact that
the elections administrator decided to forgo the traditional secret ballot system for the 2008
election, instead
instituting a policy wherein voters had to write
their names on
the back of their
"In the past
when we did
have paper ballots that were
validated after
the fact, they
would be inside
envelopes with
only the student
number on the
outside, so the student number
could be validated and the ballot discarded if this person had
already voted," said Peets.
"In this case with the name
present as well, the elections administrator would have known
who voted multiple times."
He added, "I'm not aware of
Alex Lougheed
any part of the code that puts
the onus on the candidate not
to [cast multiple ballots], or on
anyone else who's not a candidate either. It puts the onus
on the elections administrator
to prevent these
ballots from being counted. I'm
not aware of any
section in code
that could be violated by this."
Peets suggested Lougheed's
decision to vote
at numerous
polling stations
could have been
in protest to the
lack of anonymous voting,
or against what
many have called a poorly run
"Someone voting multiple
times, I see that as somebody
just testing the system or being
funny or something. There are
several possible explanations
for that.
"If   [a   candidate]   believes
that the checks and balances in
place will work, and you have a
great deal of faith in that, then I
don't see too much wrong with
doing this," said Peets.
However Crompton suggested Lougheed might have
had different motivations.
"If his argument is essentially that the elections administrator had messed up the elections
so badly that it was up to him
in his own way to demonstrate
that, that only makes thing
worse," he said. "Because, what
are the conditions under which
he would attempt to cheat? It
would be under the conditions
in which you think the elections
are being run so bad you think
you'd get away with it.
"If he was doing this as a
protest, he would have done
it in coordination with a statement saying what was wrong
with the election."
For now, it is up to the UBC
Student Court to recommend
to the Elections Committee
whether Lougheed's actions
should change the outcome of
a race thought to be long over.
Crompton, who filed his appeal
to the Student Court on Tuesday, has yet to hear if and when
it will be heard, vl theubysseymagazine
February 15th, 2008
A morceau of Moliere for comics and lovers
by Tracy Fuller
Presented by Theatre At UBC at
The Frederic Wood Playhouse until Feb. 16th
Theatre At UBC's lively production of Moliere's classic comedy
The Learned Ladies will come to a
close this Saturday. Flying under
the radar of on-campus activity,
the play is a petit four of French
elegance that has been brilliantly
translated and transformed so
that it can whet the appetite of a
2008 audience.
To enjoy this farcical French
masterpiece you need not be
a theatrical connoisseur. Even
those of you who think Ibsen is
a guitar and Bard on the Beach is
a nudist colony will understand
this lively translation by Richard
Wilbur. It may even make you
laugh out loud.
The Learned Ladies cuts a
fine line between reason and
ridicule. The women portrayed
devote themselves to higher
education, which is an early step
in the right direction, but since
their efforts are misdirected and
foolish, they end up looking idiotic and absurd.
Moliere provides enough
fodder for a great slapstick comedy, but does nothing to further
the Women's Lib movement. As
black and white as a Dalmatian,
the play posits that marriage and
higher learning are irreconcilable female pursuits. Leashed
to a lord or a library, women
are frenzied subjects who must
learn to heel to whomsoever
commands their lead.
Save for Walt Disney, no one
ever said Dalmatians were particularly brilliant or interesting
animals. The same could be said
for Moliere's "learned" ladies.
Fortunately for the contemporary crowd, Moliere's men
appear equally ridiculous and
deserve no more respect than
their fanatic female counterparts. Everyone in the audience
can laugh their way through this
production, comforted in knowing that all of the characters are
imbeciles, regardless of gender.
Despite Moliere's quoted
intention to "correct the vices
of men by entertaining them,"
you can rest assured knowing
that there is no heady moral to
be taken away from this play.
The program provides enough
historical and dramaturgical
info to satisfy the curious, but
for the average theater-goer,
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidate Patrick Gauthier's excellent
direction offers enough information, both verbally and visually,
to make this antiquated piece of
theatre comprehensible.
Even if you miss the gist of
the plot, watching the play is a
pleasure in and of itself, thanks
to MFA costume designer Carmen Alatorre. The cast of eleven
characters prance beneath the
proscenium arch in Technicolor
garbs that grab the eye and excite
the imagination.
Tailored to reflect the splen
dors that characterized the
French court of 1672, the bodices, blazers and bouffants are
elegant and vibrant. Alatorre has
added pizzazz to costumes that
might otherwise be a collection
of mundane meringues.
When we see the four main
actresses meet on stage, a beautiful bouquet of personified primary colours seems to bloom. When
all the play's characters appear,
it's as though a kindergartner's
colour palette has exploded on
As has been the case all
season for Theatre At UBC, the
actors for The Learned Ladies
do a great job, both individually and as an ensemble. On the
heels of The Rez Sisters, which
featured only female students,
The Learned Ladies actually gives
the male MFA and BFA actors a
chance to shine.
Gord Myren, cast as the father and husband Chrysale, plays
the whipped patriarch to perfection.  Both Nick Fontaine  and
Aslam Husain, as Trissotin and
Clitandre, respectively, portray
the right mix of arrogance with
enough ego, on the one hand,
and romance, on the other, to
make sparks fly when the two
exchange rhetorical blows on
Although the two-act play is
set in the late seventeenth-century and has been translated
from French into English rhyming prose, the plot moves swiftly
and the repartee remains lively
throughout. As the script itself
proclaims: "In short the quatrains are a great success!"
With a crowd-pleasing plot-
twist to close the play, The
Learned Ladies is delightful.
Like a good rainbow sherbet it's
colourful, sweet, tangy and tasty;
hours after you've indulged,
you'll innocently forget you ever
ate it.
If you fancy yourself witty
and wise, catch a couplet or two
with this weekend Moliere at the
Frederic Wood Playhouse, vl
Six reasons why I chose to quit smoking
by Amanda Stutt
On January 25th, the Ubyssey ran
an article entitled "Six reasons
why I choose to smoke." The article, which outlined the author's
personal motivations for continuing to smoke cigarettes despite
the barriers imposed by society,
provoked outraged reactions
on the Ubyssey's website reader
response forum. It appeared to
many that the writer's polemic
was advocating and promoting
cigarette smoking as a "lifestyle
choice". Perhaps he was simply
defending his right to live a lifestyle he chooses of his own volition. This is open to subjective
That said, the controversy
sparked by the article has inspired me, as a former, reformed
(recovering?), smoker of over ten
years, to respond to Melanson's
"Six reasons why I choose to
I smoked a pack a day by age
fifteen. As Melanson originally
conceded, smoking is bad for
you. I knew this, but it was an
abstract concept to my teenaged
mind. I was young, indestructible, and completely seduced
by the pseudo-erotic images of
powerful and attractive women
smoking in the media and movies. (Thanks, Sharon Stone.)
That, and my friends were doing it. The first drag felt awful,
the second, tolerable, the third,
enjoyable. Over a decade later, I
was still smoking a pack a day,
and I was pissed. I no longer felt
cool. I felt foolish and enslaved. I
was sick of it. I was ready.
Six reasons I quit:
1. Smoking was, I thought,
meditative. It was not. It was
sedative. When life stressed me
out, I lit up. Cigarettes are like
painkilling tranquilizer darts. I
eventually grew to resent this,
recognizing that I was leaning on
an illusory emotional crutch.
2. No, the break is not more
enjoyable. You are just so distracted by your frantic urge to
squeeze a cigarette into a short
space of time that you have time
to think of little else. The pleasure centers of your mind perceive the cigarette as enjoyable
because of complex nicotine-induced hormonal reactions in the
3. It was making me sick.
My skin looked awful and I had
deep, dark circles under my
eyes. I also felt tired all the time,
and chest pain was becoming a
part of daily life.
4. Everything smelled like
smoke: my apartment, my car,
my clothes, my hair. I was noticing it more and becoming disgusted by it.
5. Cigarettes cost $ 10 a pack.
If you're really addicted, you'll
smoke a pack a day. You do the
6. Cigarettes' main addictive element is nicotine, which
is of the same drug family as
heroine and cocaine. Nicotine
is as hard or harder to quit than
heroine or cocaine. I realized
that quitting was the only way
to rebel against this oppressive
and destructive force. Nicotine
withdrawal is one of the most
unpleasant experiences you will
ever have.
There are many more, butthe
scope of this article allows for
only six. And though I advocate
always for reader autonomy, let
me say just this: if you haven't
yet tried smoking cigarettes,
please realize what you are getting yourself into. And if you're
already addicted, well, good luck
to you, my friend. \a
Latest Turok a
by Celestian Rince
Last week, the Vancouver-based
video game developers, Propaganda Games, put on a studio
tour celebrating the launch of
their first game, Turok, a first-
person shooter for the Xbox 360
and Playstation 3 systems. The
Ubyssey received an invitation
to the event, which is why last
Monday morning I was inside a
high-rise office in the downtown
core rather than at UBC attending classes.
The first thing I saw was the
other reporters. I made some
small talk and discovered that
while most were local, some
were not—one lucky guy got flown
in from Alberta on Microsoft's
dime. We were ushered into a
relatively spacious room, with
a gigantic HDTV set up in front
of an equally large and inviting
After a while, the game producer, Joel Manners, walked in.
He told us about the origin of
Propaganda, how it was founded
in 2005 by ex-staffers of Electronic Arts, the same staffers responsible for the NBA Street and
Def Jam games, and how they
acquired the Turok license and
proceeded to develop the game.
Manners booted up Turok
and proceeded to show us the
start ofthe game. We quickly discovered that Turok bears almost
no relation to both the previous
Turok games, nor the comic series that spawned the games. The
only commonality is the name of
the game's protagonist, Joseph
Turok—and, oh yeah, you have to
fight dinosaurs. Lots of them.
As Manners played through
the start of the single-player
mode, I couldn't help but notice there were no subtitles for
spoken dialogue. I asked him if
there was a subtitle option, and
he replied that the game was
localized into eight different
languages by an expert team. His
smooth reply was impressive, if
a little evasive. When pressed, he
admitted there were no subtitles.
I soon realized that these guys
are very good at dissembling
and double-speak, as one would
expect from a corporate exec.
After that, we were taken for
a walkabout of the studio. Propaganda Games inhabits three
floors of the building. We were
shown the offices where the artists, programmers, and sound
guys do their actual work. The offices are what you would expect:
cluttered, with odds and ends
everywhere, posters, equipment,
books, even some action figures.
The offices of the higher-ups, I
noticed, are considerably more
organized, and with less obvious
personal eccentricities.
Soon we were treated to a
smorgasboard of sandwiches,
wraps, salad, and cookies—free
lunch. And they say there's no
such thing.
Finally, we arrived atthe main
attraction—a multiplayer gaming
session with the development
team. It's the first time I've ever
played a game with its creators.
Unsurprisingly, I got "pwned".
However, I did rack up a few
kills with the missile launcher.
Word to the wise, that weapon is
seriously overpowered for multi-
player deathmatch. I was favourably impressed by Turok. It's not
the best shooter I've ever played,
but by no means a bad game, vl February 15th, 2008
Women's B-ball rolls into playoffs on winning streak
T-Birds begin playoffs against Vikes, but
real contest will come against SFU in
divisional final if they win this weekend
Fifth-year Cait Haggarty bounce passes the ball just in front of a Huskies
defender during their last home win against Saskatchewan Feb. 2.
Quick Rundown
CIS Ranking
21-2,2nd in Pacific Division
Key Cogs
Road to Nationals
Erica McGuinness (16.5 points, .847
FT percentage)
Leanne Evans (9.9 points, Canada
West leader in rebounds & blocks),
Cait Haggarty (10.6 points, .455
3pt. percentage), Julie Little (8.8
points, 3.9 rebounds)
Experience, defence
Bench; does "having trouble
beating SFU" count as a weakness?
Pacific Division Finalist, Top-3
by Jordan Chittley
The UBC women's basketball
team wrapped up their final regular season game with a 76-65
win over Fraser Valley Sunday.
The win was the ninth
straight for the T-Birds, giving
them a record of 21-2, good
enough for second place in the
Pacific Division of Canada West
behind cross-town rival Simon
Fraser, who only lost one game
all year.
"I think we've had a really
solid season," said head coach
Deb Huband. "I thought the year
would be one where we got better as the season progressed
and I think for the most part we
As four teams from each
division make the divisional
playoffs, UBC will play host to the
University of Victoria Vikes today
at 6pm and Saturday at 5pm. If a
third game is necessary, it will
be played Sunday at 5pm to determine the best two out of three.
The past three meetings between
the teams have yielded three victories for the T-Birds by no less
than seven points. But Huband is
not going to be taking the game
"We are going to have our
hands full this weekend with Victoria," Huband said. "We have a
lot of respect for their program."
The last time these two teams
tipped off was last month on the
island and the Vikes jumped out
to an early lead that they held
throughout most ofthe first half.
"Hopefully we will have a
better start," said Huband. "If we
can come out and be energized
from top to bottom through our
team and focus on our game
plan and what we need to do for
forty minutes, I think we'll put
ourselves in pretty good shape to
The winner will go on to face
the winner of the Simon Fraser
and Fraser Valley game for the
divisional championship.
All three divisional winners
from Canada West and a wild
card will play in the Canada West
final four beginning February 29
at the home ofthe high seed.
Even if UBC loses to SFU in
the Pacific Division finals, there
is a strong likelihood that they
will capture that wild card spot,
We are going to have
our hands full this
weekend with Victoria.
Deb Huband,
Head Coach
as they have the second best record in Canada West.
The CIS championships will
begin March 7th at the University
of Saskatchewan. The Thunderbirds won the national championship in 2006 and lastyear they
returned with the entire starting
lineup intact. That experience
showed as UBC cruised through
the Canada West conference for
months on end.
However, their hopes of
repeating were dashed on the
rocky shores of Newfoundland at
nationals, courtesy of a quarterfinal loss to Dalhousie.
They look this year to make it
three national championships in
five years and the key will be to
beat SFU inside where they have
a noticeable size advantage.
While Huband said she'd like
to be thinking toward SFU, she is
just thinking about Victoria this
weekend. \T
Up Next:
Men's Basketball
vs. Fraser Valley
Today @ 8pm
Feb. 16 @7pm
Feb. 17 @7pm
(if necessary)
Women's Basketball
vs. Victoria
Today @ 6pm
Feb. 16 @5pm
Feb. 17 @5pm
(if necessary)
Men's Volleyball
vs. Calgary
Feb. 16 @2pm
Feb. 17 @2pm
(if necessary)
Women's Volleyball
vs. Brandon
Feb. 16 @ noon
Feb. 17 @ noon
(if necessary)
Men's & Women's Swiming
Feb. 21-23 CIS
@ UBC Aquatic
All basketball and volleyball games can be
heard live on CiTR 101.9 FM
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.ca theubysseymagazine
February 15th, 2008
Men's B-ball tops division, hosts FraserValley in first round
Top-scorer Dyck may have to play
through knee pain to help team
win; coach will try to rest him more
by Jordan Chittley
The UBC men's basketball
team finished off their regular
season on the road with a win
over Thompson Rivers University 91-85 Saturday and a win
over the University College ofthe
Fraser Valley 81-62 on Sunday.
The wins up UBC's record to
18-5 for the regular season, eight
points ahead of Victoria in the
Pacific Division of Canada West.
"Obviously if you finish
first in a league you should be
happy and I still don't think
we've reached our peak," said
head coach Kevin Hanson, who
concedes that the team has a lot
of work to do. "We are still not
being as consistent as we need
to be. Friday we didn't play that
well and squeaked out a win on
the road. [We] played pretty well
Saturday, but we have to get more
consistent especially going into
the first round ofthe playoffs."
As expected this year, Chris
Dyck led the team in scoring for
most games, and despite a knee
injury coming out of the winter
break, he seems to be back on
form, scoring 34 points Friday.
"He is going to log a lot of
minutes down the stretch, so
that is something that we need
to be careful of," said Hanson.
He continued to mention that
Dyck doesn't say it bothers him,
but they will look at resting him
earlier on in games and saving
him for the fourth quarter.
However, Dyck played almost
the entire game the last time
UBC played the Vikes, scoring 25
points in a narrow three-point
So, if they meet the Vikes
in the divisional finals, Dyck's
knee may be tested more than
Hanson would like.
The T-Birds begin their run
for a national championship
this weekend against fourth-
place Fraser Valley in the divisional semi-finals at home in
a best of three series that will
begin Friday at 8pm at War
Memorial Gym. Game two will
be played Saturday at 7pm and
if a third game is necessary, it
will be played at the same time
on Sunday.
"Our guys will have to come
ready to play," said Hanson, as
it's do or die from now on. "We
are a pretty good basketball team
when we are motivated and the
guys are excited about playing.
At the same time, if they are not
ready to play we can be pretty
On the other side ofthe draw,
the Vikes will host SFU.
All three divisional winners
from Canada West and a wildcard will play in the Canada
West final four that begins
February 29 at the home of the
Central Division winner. From
there, the top eight teams in the
country will play for the national
The top two teams from
Canada West will automatically
make it, but even if UBC is not in
one of these spots there is still
Brett Leversage tries to dribble around the Huskies player during their last home game Feb. 2 at War Memorial.
a wild card spot for one team
from anywhere in Canada based
on rankings.
Last season the T-Birds had
a roller coaster ride, eventually
going into Brandon and defeating them in a thrilling game to
win the Canada West finals. But
they weren't riding that high for
long as they bowed out in the
national quarterfinals to the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
If UBC makes it again, they
will be heading to Carleton University in Ottawa March 14th for
the CIS national championship
And as Hanson said, its all
about bringing your A-game in
the playoffs. "If you can't get motivated for playoffs you shouldn't
be in competitive sports." vl
Quick Rundown
CIS Ranking
Key Cogs
18-5,1st in Pacific Division
Chris Dyck (18.8 points, 3.9
Brent Malish (10.5 points, 6.8
rebounds), Matt Rachar (10.1
points, .548 FG percentage), Brett
Leversage (1st in steals)
Depth, 3-point shooting
Size, free throws
Road to Nationals   Win Pacific Division, top-2 finish at
Canada West Final Four
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