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Array MARCH 21,2017| VOLUME XCVIII | ISSUE XXIV
FUCKING CONCUSSIONS SINCE 1918
P/05
P/06
P/12
P/13
P/14
//
//
//
//
//
NEWS
CULTURE
OPINION
SCIENCE
SPORTS
AMS voter turnout
increases to 20.7
percent
So, 1
had an
abortion...
Ask Natalie: He's
boring, I'm boring,
sex is boring
Math prof
wins national
award
Women's volleyball
are your national
champions
Which doctor:
Making the right choice in a crowded healthcare industry
PAGE 9 PAGE 2
YOUR GUIDE TO UBC EVENTS & PEOPLE
MARCH 21, 2017 TUESDAY
EVENTS
OUR CAMPUS
FRIDAY MARCH 31
////
CARNAVAL9 P.M. @ KOERNER'S PUB
Brought to you by BR ASA and Party Well, proceeds go to
Free the Children for water projects.
$5 EARLY BIRD / $8 TIER 1 / $10 TIER 2 / $15 TIER 3
SATURDAY APRIL 1
////
BUNNY HOP 7 P.M. @ GASTOWN
One of the largest bar crawls in Canada! Grab your friends,
make a team and get ready to party all night long.
STARTING AT$15
A ME* EVENTS
f   BPU
THE 10th ANNUAL AMS
ADVENTURE CLUB ^-)
La ; dIOUK keysnkratesirqywoodsC O
^^^  b     ^k ^bb    a WITH 5~ECIA_ GUEST
RARTY
SANTLDOR - LBS WIHNER(TSA) - TBA
THURSDAY APRIL 6
////
AMS BLOCK PARTY 2:30 A.M. @ THE NEST
Come celebrate the 10th anniversary of Block Party with
6,000 of your friends and seven hours of music.
$20 SUPER EARLY BIRD
ON THE COVER
COVER BY
Jerry Yin
.71
Want to see your events listed here?
Email your event listings to
printeditor@ubyssey.ca
% THE UBYSSEY
MARCH 21, 2017 | VOLUMEXCVIIII ISSUEXXIV
EDITORIAL
Photo Editor
Josh Medicoff
ah otos@ ubyssey.ca
Coordinating Editor
Jack Hauen
coordinating@ubyssey.ca  Our Campus
Coordinator
Design Editor LeoSoh
Business Manager
Ron Gorodetsky
business@u byssey.ca
Aiken Lao
o rinted itor@ u byssey.ca
News Editors
Sruthi Tadepalli &
Samantha McCabe
news@ubyssey.ca
Culture Editor
Samuel Du Bois
culture@ubyssey.ca
Sports + Rec Editor
Olamide Olaniyan
sports® ubyssey.ca
Video Producer
Kate Colenbra nder
video@ubyssey.ca
Opinion + Blog Editor
Bailey Ramsay
opinions® u byssey.ca
Science Editor
Koby Michaels
science® u byssey.ca
ourcampus® ubyssey.ca Peter Siemens
peter® ubyssey.ca
Copy Editor Office Administrator
Miguel Santa Maria      Olivia Law
copyeditor@ubyssey.ca  advertising ©ubyssey.ca
President
Sebastian Miskovic
president® ubyssey.ca
Operations Assistant
Aine Coombs
operations@u byssey.ca
STAFF
Natalie Morris, Matt
Langmuir, Bill Situ, Gabey
Luca':,. Julia Burnham,
Sophie Sutcliffe, Rachel
Ong, Lucy Fox, Emma
Hick-:.. Jeremy Johnson-
jliver;.. Diana Oproescu,
Stephanie Wu, Emmanue
Villamejor, Moira Wyton,
PatnekGillin.Mischa
Milne. Sebastian Mendo,
Isabelle Commerford,
KatharinaFriege, Hana
A: lightly. Lauren Kearns,
Oliver Zhang, Jerry Yin,
Shelby Rogers, Tristan
Wheeler, Arielle'iupino.
MonaAdibmoradi. Laura
PalombiJonasOrdrnan.
Samantha Searle, Helen
Zhou,Marcus Yun,
A.ijun Suigla, Barbara
Neto-Bradley, James Vogl,
Sarah Chay, Neha Sree
Tadepalli
LEGAL
The Ubyssey is the official student
newspaper of the University of British Columbia. It is published every
Tuesday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We a re a n autonomous,
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Editorialsarechosenandwritter
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do not necessarily reflect the views
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of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs
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CONTACT
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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
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ad. The UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the valueorthe impact of the ad.
David Speight decides what you eat
"We want to be challenged by it and byou
become better."
Leo Soh
Our Campus Coordinator
David Speight's job is to decide
what you eat on a day-to-day basis.
As the executive chef and culinary
director for all of UBC Food
Services, he oversees catering, food
trucks, residence dining and retail
outlets on campus.
CLIMBING THE FOOD CHAIN
Speight began his culinary career
as a dishwasher, but quickly fell
in love with the industry. He
eventually worked his way up the
ladder to become executive chef
at Vancouver seafood restaurant
Monk McQueens.
To better prepare for executive
roles, Speight earned his red seal
at Vancouver Community College,
and studied at the Culinary
Institute of America, where he
acquired his culinary degree.
In 2008, Speight took on the
role of executive chef at Rogers
Arena. It was a departure from
his comfort zone on the line, and
his first foray into multi-unit
management.
"When I heard about that job,
I wasn't interested. Hot dogs,
hamburgers — I thought that
was what it was. I went for the
interview anyways because I'm a
big Canucks fan... I learned that
they had full-service restaurants
and did food for the suites and
players," he said.
At Rogers, Speight oversaw over
a hundred employees and revenues
in excess of $26 million per year.
He also managed food for the Juno
Awards, the 2010 Winter Olympics
and the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
WOOED BY UBC
In 2014, he left the position
and came to UBC. Since being
promoted to his current role
in 2015, Speight has strived to
improve every facet of Food
Services.
"The challenges are many
because the business is so big
and diverse. There's been a great
change over the last three years at
UBC Food Services to improve our
services and improve how we're
doing business here on campus.
I'd like to say that we've absolutely
made some good headway on that,"
he said.
Speight pointed to the re-
branding of Westcadia Catering to
Scholar's Catering and the opening
of Open Kitchen as his most
notable accomplishments — and
DAVID SPEIGHT
rselves, staff, students [so that] we can
residence dining halls as his biggest
challenge.
"We know we have a long way
to go to improve residence dining.
Open Kitchen is an example of
where we're going. We're going to
take things that we learned that
were successful at Open Kitchen,
and translate those into Totem and
Vanier," he said.
Speight also said that the
residence meal plan is undergoing
significant changes, which
are expected to take effect in
September 2017.
"We understand that students
are, well, students and that they
don't have a lot of money at this
point in their life. It's going to
be an ongoing give-and-take
relationship where we try to
give them everything they're
looking for in a model that is
financially sustainable for us as an
organization," he said.
BETTER FOOD, HIGHER PRICES
To clarify its organizational
philosophy, Food Services recently
published an updated Vision &
Values document to inform the
public about its vision for the
future. Developed as a response
to lackluster reviews of residence
food and catering, the document
has goals of "high-quality,
nutritious, sustainable foods" and a
"commitment to transparency."
Speight explained that the
business currently fails to meet
many of these values and goals,
but significant changes are in the
works.
"Are we at 100 per cent?
Absolutely not. But we want to be
challenged by it and by ourselves,
staff, students [so that] we can
become better. We hear [UBC
students and staff] loud and
clear — they want fresh, healthy
ingredients and we're transitioning
to that," he said.
More specifically, Speight is
working to form partnerships with
local farms through Vancouver
Farmers Market Direct, decrease
the quantity of store-bought foods
sold, procure Ocean-Wise seafood
and increase training programs
for staff.
The desired end goal is to
offer sustainable and local food
palatable to all. There is one
drawback — Speight was not shy
about the possibility of these
changes driving up prices on his
end.
"At the end of the day, real
food costs real money. We also
pay our workers a living wage
with excellent benefits and we're
proud of that. Extra training is
not going to increase wages, [but]
the price of the food absolutely
will [go up]. It's up to us to better
manage that so that we don't
pass that on to the end user, the
customer," he said.
To this end, Speight believes
leveraging UBC's massive
purchasing power and increasing
waste efficiency will balance the
budget. In other words, Food
Services is going to pay more for
food, but find better value and
throw away less, ft
THE UBYSSEY IS GIVING
YOU AND A FRIEND
ADVANCED SCREENING
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ScotiabankTheatre 7pm March 29
CLAIM YOUR TICKET
MESSAGETHEUBYSSEYON FB-WHILEQUANTITIES LAST NEWS
EDITORS SRUTHI TADEPALLI + SAMANTHA MCCABE
MARCH 21, 2017 TUESDAY
GOVERNMENT //
AMS conducts survey
to help them lobby
for student interests
=ILEJACKHAUEN
The survey collected feedback on affordability and voting habits.
Moira Wyton
Senior Staff Writer
The AMS has released the results
of a Student Issues Survey (SIS)
which gathered feedback from
students on their voting habits,
post-secondary loans and housing
affordability. Although initiated
by the AMS, the survey was run
in concert with nine other post-
secondary institutions throughout
the Lower Mainland and Victoria
in order to help them direct
lobbying efforts.
The survey found that, on
average, students who take out
loans borrow $27,171.59 and that
of the 38 per cent who had taken
out student loans, 70 per cent
were worried about how they
would repay them. However,
AMS VP External Kathleen
Simpson emphasized that SIS
confirmed students are worried
about more than the cost of
education itself.
"Their concerns are not
necessarily just education-
related, but about their living-
expenses," said Simpson in an
interview with The Ubyssey.
"There are concerns over housing
prices and concerns over job
opportunities in the area as well."
Post-graduation costs have
emerged as a major area of
concern for many students with
the average rent for students
not living at home reported to
be $999.29 per month. Of the 49
per cent of students who stated
they would not likely stay in
Vancouver after graduation, 49
per cent cited the high costs of
living as the principal reason for
that decision.
The SIS also showed that 97
per cent of UBC students have a
U-Pass — a figure which will be
used to lobby TransLink and the
City of Vancouver to continue
the program through the U-Pass
student caucus. The referendum
to continue the U-Pass program at
UBC was passed with a 96 per cent
"yes" vote from students in 2016.
The results of the SIS have
been released now after being used
by the AMS in a major lobbying
trip to Victoria that they made in
partnership with the University of
Victoria Students' Society. Here,
they focused primarily on issues
such as addressing rising textbook
costs, strengthening student
housing rights and maintaining
the two per cent cap on tuition
increases upheld by the 2017 BC
budget.
Simpson stressed that making-
it clear that the SIS indicates that
74 per cent of domestic post-
secondary students vote regularly
in municipal, provincial and
federal elections will be essential
to ensuring that these promises are
kept.
"Post-secondary students are
actually quite dependable voters,
which I think is something that is
often [overlooked] because they
are lumped into the rest of their
age range in terms of whether or
not they are voting," said Simpson,
referring to the 68 per cent voter
turnout among 18 to 24-year-old
Canadians as a whole. "It shows
that students are voting and we can
count on them to vote again in the
future."
In addition to aiming to
increase voter turnout among UBC
students for the May 9 provincial
election, Simpson is hoping to
leverage the strength of the student
vote in order to increase student
voices in provincial decisions.
As it stands, 45 per cent of SIS
respondents feel represented by
the BC New Democratic Party
and 43 per cent feel they align
more closely with the BC Liberal
Party, which forms the current
government.
"The two major parties are the
NDP and Liberal, [and they] are
evenly split in terms of whether or
not students think that they best
represent their ideals," said Simpson.
"[The provincial election] represents
an opportunity for both parties to
try to win those votes by making-
commitments to students." ft
FOOD//
Due to hour changes in The
Pit, Sprouts is now a 19+ venue
Sophie Sutcliffe
Senior Staff Writer
Due to a decision from the AMS to
start opening The Pit at 11:30 a.m.
every day, Sprouts is now a space
for those aged 19 and over. Sprouts
is a volunteer-run cafe that does
not serve any alcohol and while it
previously had its own space in the
Old SUB, it has been using a part of
The Pit during the day while the Old
SUB is under construction.
"The Pit itself is licensed, and
so essentially when it's operational,
you have to be 19 to get in — that's
just the law," said Chris Scott, AMS
VP Administration, on the change.
"Volunteers that are not 19 — they're
permitted to be in the kitchen
because that space is not licensed."
Scott defended the decision
to start opening The Pit earlier
by stating that it was necessary
financially.
"The way our agreement works
with UBC is for any commercial
spaces we have, The Pit included,
we are charged per square foot
for utilities and for custodial.
That doesn't apply to noncommercial spaces in the Nest,"
said Scott. "Essentially, by closing
The Pit [during the day], we were
taking a financial loss and so at this
point, it was about time to open it."
According to Frances Jones,
the president of Sprouts, she was
emailed during reading week by the
food and beverage manager of the
AMS. As she was in Wyoming for
the week, she couldn't meet up until
Monday, at which point The Pit had
already been opened early.
Students can no longer get into Sprouts without an ID.
JOSHUAMEDICOFF
"We got no consultation at
all," said Jones. "I think they
basically were just like, this is
just how it's going to be from now
on and expected us to just kind
of bend to those rules — which
is understandable considering
that the AMS is a business and
needs to make money. We don't
make them any money, but it's a
little frustrating that they didn't
consult us at all for this process."
The decision did face some
criticism online as well, as many
students under the age of 19
frequently use Sprouts, which is
known for its affordable lunches.
"I'm 18. I'm broke like all of
you guys. I want to eat cheap food
at sprouts. I can't right now cus
the ams decides that people really
need alcohol at ll:30(wink wink
the pit is pretty empty rn)," wrote
Reddit user friendios.
Scott replied in the Reddit
thread with the same explanation
given to The Ubyssey, but faced
further criticism.
Sprouts' space-sharing
arrangement with the AMS is
unique in that it does not cost
them any money, but that it is still
ultimately not their space.
"Going into it, it's our every
intention to support Sprouts and
to uphold the mandate of their
club. But with the foresight that
a situation like this might arise,
we did ultimately say that it's the
AMS's space and that we can do
with it as we please," said Scott.
Jones said that while Sprouts
has seen a small decline in
customers, it hasn't been critical.
However, as they were told
that their new space would
not be ready to move into
until December 2017, she was
somewhat concerned as to where
they would be located until then.
"We're not angry at the AMS
for doing this," said Jones. "It is
frustrating, but they have been
really generous with us this year
about giving us this space ... so we
are very appreciative." ft
seeking Student Volunteer as
UBC Development Permit Board Member
We're seeking applications for the volunteer position of
Student Member on the Development Permit Board, which
has the responsibility to review and approve non-institutional
development proposals in UBC's Vancouver campus neighbourhoods.
If selected, you will be expected to serve on the Development Permit Board for a minimum
of one calendar year, starting May 2017. Members of the Development Permit Board are
appointed by the Board of Governors.
Candidates should be enrolled in a UBC planning, urban design, architecture, or landscape
architecture program and be knowledgeable about contemporary practices in sustainability
and land use planning. They should also support the development of UBC's on-campus
residential community.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Submit a current resume and cover letter to Campus and Community Planning
highlighting your qualifications and interest in this position by
Steven Lecocq,
steven.lecocq@ubc.ca
Campus and Community Planning
2210 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4
THE   UNIVERSITYOF   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
For more information, see planning.ubc.ca
campus+community planning NEWS   I   TUESDAY MARCH 21, 2017
GOVERNANCE //
Approval delayed for revised
policy concerning open and
closed BoG meetings
FILE JOSHUAMEDICOFF
"This isn't a bad thing."
Sruthi Tadepalli
News Editor
At the last Board of Governors
meeting in February, it was
decided that the approval of
a revised version of Policy
93 — concerning open and
closed meetings of the Board —
would be deferred to allow for
additional review by a governance
consultant group.
"This isn't a bad thing,"
said Veronica Knott, a student
member of the Board who also
sits on the governance committee.
"It's not about postponing
indefinitely, it's not about
uncertainty or anything like that.
This is Board doing extra due
diligence and being extra careful
about improving the transparency
of its governance."
The delay was approved with
the intention of allowing time
to implement feedback from
the Watson Group, governance
consultants recently hired by
the Board, in order to ensure
sufficient consideration of all
relevant best practice guidelines.
A timeline for the revised
policy's final approval had yet to
be added as of the end of February.
"I think the idea is as soon as
possible," said Knott. "We need
to make sure we're fitting within
their timeline and not rushing
Policy 93. We want to get this
policy right."
Policy 93 was first created in
2008, and has not been revised
since. After former UBC president
Arvind Gupta's sudden departure,
the Board of Governors faced
public scrutiny regarding the
reason for his departure and was
then observed having a secret
meeting. The revisal of Policy
93, which concerns open, and
closed meetings of the Board of
Governors, is happening as a result
of these events.
The first draft revisal of the
policy was released in September
2016, and provided further
guidance on the procedures
followed by the Board of
Governors, and more insight into
the timelines and rules the Board
will follow than the original did.
Some of the more significant
changes it proposed included
strict assignment of responsibility
for determining the agenda,
set requirements for minutes
and requiring the governance
committee to audit reasoning for
closed sessions and present an
open report.
This draft underwent
community consultation until
October 31, 2016. The results
of this consultation have been
implemented in the version of the
draft policy available online.
when asked about general
themes surrounding the feedback,
Knott recommended that people
read the comments in full online.
"Summarizing that... isn't a
good representation of the work
that people put in to give us that
feedback," she said. U
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EQUITY AND INCLUSION //
■
The $300,000 put into the fund this year will support the review process.
=ILESARAH NABILA
Diversity Fund put towards
student consultation
Sophie Sutcliffe
Senior Staff Writer
The "Commitment to Diversity
Fund" that was launched last
November is being used to
finance the review process that
will make recommendations
about the fund's future
designation. The $300,000
put into the fund this year will
support the review process.
The Equity and Inclusion office,
which is conducting the review, is
taking three main steps to inform
themselves — a literature review,
data analysis and consultation.
During the literature review,
they found that a strong mission
statement, leadership in the area
of diversity and a strategic plan
concerning diversity are particularly
important.
They have also placed a focus
on data from the Undergraduate
Experience Survey.
"There [was] demographic data
that was collected which we were
then able to look at in relation to
the questions that were asked in the
Undergraduate Experience Survey,"
said Sara-Jane Finlay, associate VP
Equity and Inclusion.
In particular, the survey found
less of a sense of belonging from
LGBT students, students with a
mental health condition, commuter
students, Korean students — both
international and domestic — and
students with significant debt. It also
found that these students, along with
Indigenous and African students,
had less satisfaction with their
academic experience.
Finlay said that while they
did gather information on
socioeconomic status, this was not
identified as a key finding of the
survey.
However, socioeconomic status
was one of the main things that the
AMS hoped the fund would focus
on, given it was launched in response
to their concern about the rise in
international tuition fees and the
impact it may have on diversity at
UBC.
'We recognize and acknowledge
that belonging on campus is a very
important aspect of enjoying and
feeling right here at UBC, but we
would still like to see a more even
focus on recruitment of students
of more diverse socioeconomic
backgrounds like we had asked
before," said Samantha So, AMS VP
Academic.
"That's not to say that we're
disappointed in it. We still do look
forward to working with the fund
in its current form and direction,
but we see room for it to focus on
recruitment of diverse students."
The university is currently
focusing on consulting with the
groups the survey identified as
feeling less satisfied with UBC.
"We really want to get their
reflections on their experience
at UBC, what barriers they've
encountered in terms of their
success, their well-being, their
sense of belonging, their sense of
support. We want to know what's
worked well for them, and what
hasn't worked well for them [and]
what suggestions they would have
about making any changes," said
Finlay.
The consultation is being-
spearheaded by Robert Daum,
who, according to his website, is a
researcher and practitioner with
a focus on transcultural dialogue
and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Consultation sessions are led,
however, by a diverse team of eight
UBC undergraduate students who
have been trained to facilitate
dialogue.
In terms of where the fund
will go, Finlay noted that given it
is still in the consultation phase,
conclusions cannot yet be drawn.
"I don't want to presuppose
what we'll be recommending
at the end of it," she said. "I
think the thing is where we hear
specific areas of concern, we're
going to make recommendations
surrounding that."
Currently, Finlay hopes that
the framework, guidelines and
priorities for the fund will go to
the Board of Governors in April.
However, this will not necessarily
mean these guidelines will be set in
stone.
"Really, we're only looking at the
next couple of years, and then at that
point, we would want to revisit [and]
make sure that they're still where we
want to be," said Finlay.
One million dollars will be put
towards the fund in 2017 to 2018,
and two million every year after. U MARCH 21, 2017 TUESDAY I   NEWS
MONEY//
Every financial award at UBC will be in one place this fall
Neha Sree Tadepalli & Allison Barn
StaffWriter & Contributor
The UBC financial awards database
is getting a facelift.
"The database has existed for
many years before, but hadn't been
professionally updated for quite
a while — so we wanted to revisit
refreshing it so that it can have
a more common look and feel,"
said Darran Fernandez, associate
registrar and director of Enrolment
Services.
So when AMS VP Academic
Samantha So and her associate
VP Kevin Doering approached
Fernandez requesting a
modernized and updated
awards database that contained
information regarding the more
than 6,000 awards available
at UBC, a mutual goal was set
between them.
"[Darran] told us that expanding
the awards database to be a little
more transparent and exhaustive
was one of his priorities for this
year, so that was a really good
parallel in priorities between us,"
said So in an interview with The
Ubyssey.
So what is this "refreshed"
database going to look like?
Fernandez, So and Doering
all expressed the same hope for a
database with which students can
pursue everything from specific
faculty awards to simply inputting
general criteria in order to see
what awards they may or may not
qualify for.
"That would be the ideal
function of it — that a student can
feel empowered to be able to find
that information on their own.
It's not to say that the institution
doesn't have the onus of telling-
people about these things, but that
it's more seamless of a process,"
said Fernandez.
Another key focus of the awards
database was ensuring that the
information presented allowed
not only students, but also faculty
and even donors to easily navigate
through all the awards.
The hope is that a finished
database will go live around the
middle of the summer or early
September. The exact timeline
depends on how Fernandez and
his team will circumvent the
challenges that have slowed their
process down a bit.
According to Fernandez, some
of the awards information has
not been updated in a few years.
They have had to reword or write
better descriptions of an award
so that any member of the UBC
community would be able to
FILEMACKENZIEWALKER
Fernandez spoke about how diversity of awards has been more of a priority to help
support those who may be more marginalized.
understand the criteria "as opposed
to it being directed towards those
that simply would need to do the
back-end work in to pay the award
out."
Doering illustrated another
challenge in the vast amount of
data that must be sorted through.
"That's a lot of new information
that they have to find a new way to
pull because it's just not something
that they've been doing before and
have a set process for," he said.
On the other hand, So stressed
the importance of communicating
with the specific faculties and
departments, as there are many
awards that are adjudicated and
given internally.
Fernandez also touched on
the importance of keeping all
parties informed and involved
in this process, stating that they
must ensure "that staff and faculty
feel supported when we publish
a database that is pretty broad-
sweeping like this, as they may get
more questions about it."
When asked about the general
state of awards at UBC itself,
Fernandez spoke about how a
diversity of awards, scholarships
and bursaries has been more of
a priority to help support those
who may be more marginalized in
society.
"We shared a revised approach
that we wanted to take to student
financial support that focused our
scholarships and awards on four of
the traditionally underrepresented
student populations. So those
are Aboriginal students, those
that are lower or mid-level
income students who are coming
from rural communities and
first-generation learners," said
Fernandez.
He said that, hopefully, opening
this more straightforward way
to view the various forms of
endowment, and the information
and criteria surrounding them,
will help to give these students
— as well as the rest of the UBC
populace — better access to the
university.
Fernandez, Doering and So
all share the same sentiment
surrounding the database.
They hope that it will serve as
a transparent and easily usable
wealth of information for
whomever may require it. ^3
STUDENT GOVERNMENT //
AMS Elections passes voter goal, reaches almost 21 per cent turnout
=ILEJACKHAUEN
"If you can get a first-year to vote, you have someone who can hopefully vote for the next time."
Sruthi Tadepalli & Samantha McCabe
News Editors
When it was announced that the
AMS elections committee had a goal
of 20 per cent voter turnout during
the Council meeting preceding the
upcoming election, a few councillors
tittered. The goal seemed especially
lofty given that historically, voter
turnout has been apathetically low.
But this past election, 20.7 per
cent of students voted. This is a
marked increase from the past two
years, with last year hitting 12.5
per cent and 12.9 per cent the year
before. However, the AMS has seen
similar high turnout in years past.
In 2014, there was a 22.4 per cent
turnout, and in 2013, they hit 43.9 per
cent. The latter was a bit of an outlier
year because the U-Pass referendum
was at stake.
Max Holmes, this year's elections
administrator (EA), attributes
the increase mostly to a change
in the allocation of the elections'
committees' $3,500 advertising-
budget to be more focused on getting
people to vote rather than attend
events.
'We got to put 90 per cent of our
money into advertising aimed at
getting people to vote, as opposed to
past years where it was probably 50
per cent," said Holmes.
This was largely permitted by
the decision to have external parties
— The Ubyssey and the Debate
Society — run and promote debates
themselves.
"Having more advertising on
social media — and things that
people are more regularly [using]
and that they can just click to go to
the website and vote — definitely
helped with turnout this year," said
Holmes.
Approximately $3,000 of the
$3,500 budget went towards
advertising that reminded or
encouraged students to vote.
"It's not our job to necessarily
inform voters," said Holmes. "It's
our job to make sure that there are
fair elections and that we can get
people out to vote."
The polling stations were also
placed differently this year, with an
extra emphasis placed on first-year
residences.
"If you can get a first-year to
vote, you have someone who can
hopefully vote for the next time,"
said Holmes.
The majority of Canadian
student unions have something to
learn from this year's turnout. The
University of Toronto, for one, had
a 13 per cent voter turnout in 2015
and a 9.7 per cent turnout in 2016.
Some schools are far better off
though. In 2016, CBC reported
the University of Prince Edward
Island's 40 per cent turnout which
they attributed to increased student
outreach.
Moving forward, Holmes
emphasizes the importance of
keeping the same budget and
advertising focus.
"I hope that what this year can
start is a gradual trend upwards
where we have a little bit higher
turnout every single year," he said. U CULTURE
EDITORSAMUEL DUBOIS
MARCH 21,2017 TUESDAY
The website that aims to combat the stigma surrounding abortions.
Samuel Du Bois
Culture Editor
The website "So, I had an abortion..."
launched this January with the
intention of de-stigmatizing the
topic of, well, abortion, while also
providing a forum for people to
share their stories. The project is the
creation of Julia Santana Parrilla, a
UBC master of science student.
"I myself have had two abortions
and... after my first one, I was
with a friend and I was telling her
nonchalantly about my experience
because for me it was a very seamless
kind of no-nonsense experience —
which I recognize my privilege in
having had that kind of experience
... and she expressed gratitude to me
for speaking about it so openly and
candidly."
Seeking to explore why she and
countless others have experienced
guilt and stigma around what is,
for many, just a simple procedure,
Parrilla started to mull over the idea
of creating a platform that could
change this. Although it is still in its
infancy, with only four stories and
one photo published (as of the this
article's publication), "So, I had an
abortion..." has set itself up to be a
powerful forum for expression and
change.
"That's why I wanted to start
this platform — to get people talking
about it [abortion] and hopefully,
with more people talking about it,
it'll open more people to talking
about it without fear or stigma, as
well as open people's minds to the
multitude of abortion experiences,
truths and narratives."
In order to protect contributors,
she offers anonymity and uses
a secure email account based in
Switzerland to receive contributions
and communications. There is also
no comments section, preventing
any malicious users from turning the
website into a hostile environment.
To find out more, The Ubyssey
sat down with Parrilla, where she
talked about everything from pro-
life activism to connecting with
other activist groups across North
America.
Why do you think there is so much
stigma around the subject of
abortions?
I think that, in large part, it has
to do with the fact that church
and state are still not really all that
separate in a lot of people's minds. So
there's this skewed morality around
exercising one's bodily autonomy as
a woman or as a trans-man. I think
that a lot of people take issue with
the fact that an embryo will have the
potential to develop into a human
being. I think that that's where it
crosses a line for people. But I take
such issue with that because it seems
so short-sighted because to bring an
unplanned birth into this world just
doesn't make socioeconomic sense. If
it challenges socioeconomic stability
on a micro level and on a macro level,
it just doesn't compute with me. But
again, I think that it's just very much
imbued with this pro-life narration
of misinformation and ill-conceived
morality.
Has anyone from the pro-life
movement found your website?
Have you had any encounters with
them?
Yes I have, but for the most part,
I haven't really had any challenging
interactions. I've had a couple where
people just say that it's disgusting of
me, or that it's immoral or anything
like that, but I really just don't even
bother replying. I don't find it useful
to expend my energy on battling it
out with people that ultimately
are on a completely different
plain than I am. I have had a back
and forth with some people, but
generally I use very inclusive
language ... because really, if you
want to change a person's mind,
what you have to do is put it in
terms that are salient to them.
So if someone's talking to
me about how like, "Well men
don't get a choice when a woman
decides that she wants to do that
with her body," it's like, okay, if
the man is in a relationship with
a woman who is pregnant and she
doesn't want this pregnancy, then
there is a conversation about that.
But as a cisgendered man, just
saying that women aren't allowed
to make this decision, that's just
preposterous.
Have you reached out to
any reproductive rights
organizations to support your
endeavour?
I have. I have reached out to
Action Canada. I have reached
out to Feminist.com. I've reached
out to a bunch of them actually. I
feel bad that I'm not mentioning
a bunch of them. But I have
been. Also, because I'm a native
Spanish speaker, I've contacted a
couple of Hispanic organizations.
My project is in its infancy and
there are projects that are similar
to mine that are out there. I have
found [ones] such as Shout Your
Abortion, based out of NYC,
which is doing incredible things
— their slogan is "abortion is
freedom" — and Exhale. Exhale
is a super cool organization that
deems themselves pro-voice.
They do a lot of storytelling, kind
of like what my platform does
too, but I've reached out to them
and I've featured them on our
Instagram page and everything.
I'm all about exposure, so if
things like that already exist, then
I'm going to feature them. It's not
about the competition for me. It's
really just all about getting people
to talk about it.
What's your long-term goal?
Where would you like it to be,
ideally, in a year?
In a year, honestly, if it could
be running smoothly to a point
where I don't feel like I need to be
urging people to tell their stories
but people are very readily just
wanting to share because of the
diversity in the stories. That's
really what I want — for different
truths to be exposed and for that
to motivate other people to talk.
So in a year, if it was just running
smoothly and there was high traffic
to the site and people were talking
about it more readily, then I would
be happy. I don't know specifically
where it's going. I don't know
whether it will ever become a true
organization. I would like to have
resources available to people, but
like I said, it's in its infancy and at
this point, I would just like people
talking about abortions. ft
This interview has been edited for
clarity and length.
Below, we have included several of the stories submitted to the website "So, I had an abortion...." They have all been submitted anonymously.
Content warning: Some of these stories include self-harm, violence and other content which some readers might find disturbing.
I found out I was pregnant a week before taking a
trip to Hawaii. When I looked down at the pale blue
line, I was overcome by something best described
as calm distress. I wasn't ready to bring a child into
this world. I had been dating a guy for only a couple
months at the time and even though he said all the
right things, I had this urgent desire to become
un-pregnant. It was my body and it was my
choice.
Luckily for me, I have some amazing and
supportive friends who helped me figure out
what my options were. What I learned: there are
two ways to abort. Surgical and medical. Surgical
meant you can't swim and I wasn't planning
on cancelling my trip to Hawaii just because I
got pregnant. I ultimately went with medical
abortion which involved getting an injection in
my arm to terminate the pregnancy. The usual
method is to take some pills, insert them up your
vagina and miscarry the contents of your womb,
but I was stating my trip in a camper van and I
didn't want to deal with a lot of blood without
easy access to a bathroom, so I held off on taking
the pills.
The first week of my trip was a breeze, but on
the first day of week two, I started to feel intense
cramps and I realized I was miscarrying! By this
point, we were staying on a farm on the Big Island
which had a bathroom, which was helpful because
I bled for a couple days.
On the last day of bleeding, I found something
hard in my underwear. I inspected it and it looked
like a tiny kidney bean covered in blood. It was
then that I realized I had passed the embryo. I was
shocked and a little disturbed. Since I caught the
pregnancy early, I expected that I would just bleed
out an accumulation of cells. No one warned me
about the embryo. I didn't look at it for too long
before wrapping it in toilet paper and flushing it
down the toilet. I didn't know what else to do.
At the farm there were chickens and we had a
fridge full of eggs to use as we pleased. That same
morning that I found the embryo, I pulled out a
frying pan and cracked an egg. To my absolute
shock and horror, the egg was fertilized! I screamed
as though I was dying, and the farm owner and my
friend ran into the kitchen. I shrieked, "The egg
was fertilized!"
The little red kidney bean came back into mind
and stayed there for some time. I'm still not sure
exactly what the universe was trying to tell me, but
I don't believe it was a coincidence that I had that
experience with the egg the morning my abortion
completed, ft MARCH 21, 2017 TUESDAY I   CULTURE
Family Secrets
There are so many ways that reproductive rights
affect people. This is my family's story.
My grandma's cousin got pregnant as a teenager
and in desperation, her mother tried to give her a
coat hanger abortion at home. She died. Not knowing
what to do, her mother and boyfriend told the
community that she had ran away and buried her in
their basement. My family only learned about what
happened relatively recently when the boyfriend
came forward in old age and her remains were found
in the house where her mother had lived for the rest
of her life.
I wonder about one thing in particular — if my
grandma's cousin wanted to abort her baby. If she
did want her baby, the mother would live the rest
of her life knowing that she had killed her daughter
for something that this girl felt she needed. If she
didn't want the baby — had she been able to access
proper healthcare — she would have had advocates
in abortion services to protect her from having an
invasive medical procedure that she didn't consent to.
My family will never know which of these two
versions of events was truly the case. I'm not sure that
either is any less tragic, ft
Untitled
In early 2016, I found out I was pregnant. My
partner and I agreed to terminate the pregnancy
and within a week of our conversation, I had
an appointment. Every step of the way, I was
surprised by how seamless the procedures were
and how not freaked out I was. I'd thought
I'd be rife with conflicting emotions. I'd
mentally prepared for a hard day... turns out,
unnecessarily.
All I felt (apart from the cramps and bleeding)
was relief. I had to take a cut to my paycheck
that week and had to pay for the procedure, but
it was a heck of a lot easier and cheaper than
having a baby! If I'd kept it, I'd be a mother now,
trying to rush through my master's degree on a
part-time student salary with a partner whose
job takes them out of town every couple of
weeks for weeks at a time. No, thank you.
Instead, I spent the day on my couch, passively
miscarrying and "up and at 'em" the following-
day.
Months later, I found out I was pregnant
again. Time for abortion #2.
My second abortion sent my body through
a loop. My body did a full "NOPE" on the
misoprostol (the pills that make your uterus
contract and miscarry the embryo) and at my
follow-up ultrasound, I saw the little lumpy
bugger still hanging out in my uterus. So, I had
to do another round of misoprostol (not fun).
Through the two rounds, my emotional brain
kept taunting me with thoughts about how I
kept getting pregnant for a reason and the guilt
associated with such ruminations: I should have
known better, I'm old enough, etc. I had to keep
convincing myself it was the right decision.
After the second cycle of misoprostol, I met
the mini-liver-shaped lump on the toilet one
day. It was weird to see it there, chilling in my
undies. I washed it off and inspected it. There
was no humanness to it. Despite its amorphous
appearance, I felt weird disposing of it — I
wanted to honour what my body had made. So,
I buried it in the soil of my apple tree with the
promise to be the best mother I can be when
the time is right.
I am grateful for being able to defer
motherhood. I recognize the privilege in my
experience. If I lived elsewhere or didn't have
the money, I'd be a mother (based on pregnancy
#1). I don't know what I would have done...
Thankfully, I safely accessed a couple of
abortions and they were not the scary big deal I
had been misled to believe all abortions were, ft
Untitled
So I had an abortion. I don't feel proud and I don't
feel guilty. If I could go back, it would be nice to
think that I wouldn't make all the same mistakes
but I was so messed up at the time, I highly doubt it.
I was a student and suffering from the manic highs
and excruciating self inflicted lows of depression.
At one flat party, I was trying to find happiness in
empting glasses but feeling progressively more
hopeless. I locked myself in the bathroom scoring
my wrists with a razor blade contemplating what
pain I could release. A friend tried to look after me
and console me, but with the affection and alcohol
we just ended up having sex. Sex was one of my only
sources of "love" in my life at the time. It was a drug
for me — I was incredibly lonely. I let the need for
condoms be dismissed and the morning after pill
was enlisted. It didn't work. I remember the nurse
asking for my medical history. After letting them
know about my depression, she looked at me
sternly and said ,"Don't use this as an excuse
to make your depression worse." She was
right. I had punished myself enough through
depression. I had to make sure that an abortion
didn't add fuel to the fire of self-loathing.
The understanding and judgement-free care I
received made my experience less of an ordeal
and more empowered — an informed choice
about my life, body, dreams, potential. I finished
the final year of my degree, pulled myself
together and went on to do a PhD albeit with
depression often by my side. I had counselling
and good friends to help me help myself. Now
many years later, I have a job I love at a leading-
research institute studying infectious disease
genomics. I have people in my life that love me
and depression is something-1 used to have. I'm
stable and proud of the strength I've had to get
myself from there to here, a place that I'd be happy
to bring new life into, ft
ARTSAMUEL DUBOIS 8   I   CULTURE   I   TUESDAY MARCH 21, 2017
NIHILISM //
Gastronomic Masochism: The hunt
for Vancouver's worst slice of pizza
Tristan Wheeler
Staff Writer
This article is about my journey
to find Vancouver's worst slice of
pizza — to venture into the heart
of saucy darkness and find the
floppiest, blandest, cardboard-iest
slice of 'za around. I began my hunt
on Yelp. After hours of searching,
I found the most consistently
negative-reviewed restaurant in
the "pizza" category — A20 Pizza
with 1.5 stars.
My palette itched when I read
the reviews. "A dump. $2.50 for
cold, desiccated, lightly-topped
pizza slices in a dreary, dirty corner
of Main & Georgia ... wished I had
gone hungry instead," stated one of
the many displeased customers.
I had found Vancouver's pizza
hell. The bus ride into Chinatown,
the home of A20 Pizza, was how
I assume a US Navy Seal feels
before dropping into combat —
terror with a kernel of excitement.
But I was met with defeat, as the
place had already closed down
permanently.
I had to improvise. I walked
down Pender street towards
Granville in the hopes of meeting
my cheesy nightmare and I finally
found myself at a Vancouver
staple — Freshslice Pizza. Many
university students would agree
that you can stretch your dollar the
furthest at Freshslice. The crust
was surprisingly toothsome and
I finished the slice with not a lot
of reservation. After the quasi-
fresh pizza, I ventured down the
Granville strip. There had to be a
worse place along this street.
At Granville and Smithe lurks
Romano's Pizza, a dingy hole in the
wall that proudly advertises their
low prices. In the window, they
must have had up to seven pies,
all with spirals of ranch and piles
of mystery meat. Inside, the white
walls had yellowed from the greasy
steam and there wasn't a single
table untainted with dark crumbs
and smeared sauce.
Within the restaurant were the
massive mural images of Istanbul,
Mexico City and Vancouver, none
of which are particularly known
for pizza. In this restaurant, I
ate the worst slice of pizza I had
ever eaten in my entire life. In
describing the slice I ordered, I
can't help but think of styrofoam
in texture and taste. If Freshslice
is for the drunk, Romano's Pizza
is for the blacked-out or nearly
dead. There was hardly a thimble
of sauce present, just enough to
adhere the disks of pepperoni to
the puffy piece of tasteless plastic.
The cheese (my god, the cheese!)
was there only in essence. I recall a
few browned splats of mozzarella
on the charred slices of meat, but
this may have been a product of my
hopeful imagination.
I gave up when the toppings
detached themselves from the
slice on the second bite. I had
no morale to continue and the
remainder was thrown away. I
would like to emphasize that this
is the only piece of pizza I have
failed to finish my whole life. I do
feel guilty for my wastefulness,
mostly because I know it will be
a thousand years before the key
components decompose. As I left,
I saw a man eating a slice from
Romano's. It had a full, uncut
hotdog within the mess of toppings
— the cherry on the nauseating
cake.
My horror was multiplied
when I searched the Yelp page for
Romano's — people like this place!
There were glowing reviews for its
pizza. The same pizza I could not
even finish. For that to be possible,
one would have to be wasted when
they ate it and still fucked up
when they wrote the review. They
currently sit at an undeserved 3.5
stars on Yelp.
I bestow upon Romano's Pizza
the crown of worst pizza I've
SAMUEL DUBOIS
Brave Tristan ventured deep into the city's underbelly in search of a mangy slice to fill
his own belly.
ever had. When one ventures into
the abyss of the Vancouver pizza
scene, they come out changed. My
love of pizza will be forever tainted
with memories of Romano's. When
jovial friends call for Domino's, a
tinge of nausea will crawl up my
spine. As Nietzsche said, "When
you taste the abyss, the abyss tastes
also you." ft
BCIT grads work at the
DDB Canada office.
ACCELERATED CREDENTIALS
FOR A COMPLEX WORLD.
BCIT offers several pathways forthose who hold a university degree
or other post-secondary experience. Take your current education and
leverage it into a 9-month career-focused diploma. Learn more
at.bcit.ca/advancedplacement FEATURES
MARCH 21,2017TUESDAY
IVRETTATHATRA
RRYYIN 10   I   FEATURES   I   TUESDAY MARCH 21, 2017
Peak flu season is supposedly waning,
but your voice is scratchy, your back
hurts and your nose is runny.
Are your symptoms related? Where
should you go for help?
You know about Student Health
Services on campus, which employs
nurses and medically trained doctors.
Getting to campus has been a struggle
and you live really close to a naturopath.
There are also massage therapists and
acupuncturists around the corner. A
family member offers you some herbal
products — which they swear by — to
cure your cold.
Healthcare is a daunting word and
has a daunting regulatory framework. It's
important to understand this complexity
in terms of personal, private decisions
contributing to a collective, public
system.
Let's examine who you can trust
with health-related questions, how
BC's healthcare regulations can help
or mislead you, who might try to
exploit you, what different healthcare
professionals can offer you and which
health products are effective and safe.
This examination will not only help your
personal decisions, but will also help you
understand how those around you make
healthcare choices.
THE REGULATORY
NIGHTMARE
Who is a healthcare professional?
British Columbia's list of regulated health
professions is a good place to start. This
list includes options like physicians,
nurses, dentists, pharmacists,
psychologists, naturopathic physicians
and traditional Chinese medicine
practitioners.
Each of the professions on this list
are regulated by their own colleges.
These colleges are not specific schools
which different professionals attend.
They are self-governed organizations
which ensure the ethical practices of its
members and respond to complaints
from the public. Nurses run the College
of Registered Nurses to make sure its
members are qualified, competent and
follow the clearly defined standards
of practice. Doctors regulate doctors,
masseuses regulate masseuses.
Dr. Bernie Garrett, an associate
professor in UBC's School of Nursing,
worries that patients often trust the
wrong people with their healthcare
decisions. The regulatory colleges can
be a source of confusion according
to Garrett, whose research focuses
on how consumers make healthcare
decisions. He blogs humorously about
critical scientific thinking in part to draw
attention to health issues in BC.
Garrett received his research training
in the UK. When he moved to Vancouver
in 2003, he was surprised with the
comparatively relaxed regulation of the
regulatory colleges. In BC, both scientific
and naturopathic training result in the
title   of   "doctor,"   leading   consumers
to believe naturopaths and medically
trained physicians have the same depth
of knowledge and qualifications.
In fact, naturopaths and medically
trained physicians receive vastly different
training.
"That is not something that would
happen in the UK, where they use the
titles in different ways," said Garrett.
Ideally, BC regulatory colleges would call
naturopaths "naturopathic doctors" with
the term "doctor" reserved for medically
trained physicians.
So what? A small element of
confusion in the regulation of healthcare,
especially in something so specific as
the regulation of professional titles,
seems like small potatoes. The problem
is that some practitioners build on
confusion to exploit the public such
as naturopathic doctors in Yaletown
who charge consumers $100 to inject
vitamins directly into their bloodstream.
"Humans are very easily deceived and
that's what people sometimes forget. It's
quite easy and well-documented to fool
the brain," said Garrett.
Still, BC's regulated colleges of
healthcare professionals are the most
trustworthy source for health-related
information.
THE UNREGULATED
PRACTITIONERS
Regulatory systems can be frustrating.
With different unregulated practitioners
so readily available — a quick jaunt on
Broadway takes you past crystal healers,
therapeutic touch clinics and reflexology
practitioners — alternatives outside of
the regulated colleges of healthcare
professionals are temptingly convenient.
But if you have not memorized the
list of regulated healthcare professions
in BC, it can be hard to remember
who doesn't make the cut, especially
if science-y jargon is thrown around.
Unregulated professions include
practitioners of therapeutic touch, faith
healing and homeopathic medicine,
as well as those who use seemingly
science-based terminology in their
titles such as "neurotherapy" and "bio-
energy."
When these alternatives outside
of the regulatory colleges present
themselves as comparable to scientific
medical treatment, Garrett believes
healthcare worsens for the average
person in BC. With more misinformation,
the public forgets the fact that scientific
and technical progress are painstakingly
built on ideas that have been tested over
time.
Scientifically based medicine tests
therapies, new and old, before critiquing
or endorsing them. Unregulated
practitioners, however, often use only the
negatives of modern medicine to justify
the existence of their own practices. Many
unregulated practitioners will mention
that prescription pain medications are
addictive, without mentioning how many
lives they have saved, to promote their
practices — like crystal healing — and
without having any evidence to show
that their therapies work.
"Criticizing the problems in medicine
is not a good way to justify that alternative
medicine works. It would be like stating a
plane crash justifies flying carpets," said
Garrett.
Regardless of the opinions of
researchers like Garrett, consumers
still utilize unregulated practices. The
Ubyssey attempted to speak with various
professionals who practice outside of
the regulatory colleges, but none were
willing to offer their perspective.
In response to a request for an
interview, Dr. Linda Turner, an instructor
of holistic health studies at Langara
College responded in an email, "we do
not conduct interviews with journalistic
students related to complementary
therapy. This is because we find that often
student journalists do not understand the
concepts well enough to write about the
subject with a balanced perspective."
Others who offer services like Christa
Lynn's crystal healing sessions are even
less open to conversation. "Christa does
not answer questions on crystals, crystal
healing properties, nor gives advice on
crystal healing. If you are interested in
learning more about crystal healing, then
consider registering in one of her crystal
healing classes," reads her website. We
attempted without success to contact her
anyway.
Steering clear of practitioners who
are not transparent is probably your best
bet. At the very least, research where
you are spending your time and money.
Numerous studies have disproved the
effectiveness of homeopathy, therapeutic
touch, crystal healing and faith healing.
MEETING THE ALTERNATIVE
Within the regulated structure, different
healthcare professions provide patients
with opportunities to find practices with
which they are most comfortable.
"I grew up with Chinese medicine more
than Western medicine in Japan," said
licensed Shiatsu massage therapist and
registered acupuncturist Masako Doi.
"This is something I say to my patients:
Western medicine is great. They can help
you especially with acute problems. But
what I do — Chinese medicine, alternative
medicine — is for prevention."
Doi's practice stands in contrast with
the unpleasant experience of modern
medicine, with all its injections, foul-
smelling hospitals and time-crunched
doctors. For some ailments such as pain
and anxiety, Doi is a great resource. Doi
herself knows she cannot help all patients
and often recommends they seea medical
doctor. Similarly, she knows doctors who
refer their patients to her massage clinic.
Research shows that acupuncture
does help in the management of pain,
but scientists have not yet adequately
explored its efficacy in treating other
conditions. Massage, for which there is
a considerable amount of research, has
consistently been shown to be effective
for relaxation and the reduction of anxiety.
There are differences in how she
consults with her patients when compared
to scientifically trained doctors.
"Normally I do a little bit of
counseling first — I take 15 to 20
minutes for the consultation. We talk
about their emotions, stress levels and
sleeping patterns to distinguish their
mental conditions. There is physical
health and there is mental health, and
we treat both," said Doi.
She places emphasis on talking with
her patients, and helps people realize
what could be going wrong. Massage,
for example, is not all about relaxation.
"With massage, [patients] may feel
more pain than they ever thought of
and they realize, 'Maybe I have to do
more exercise. Maybe I have to do more
stretches,'" she said. MARCH 21, 2017 TUESDAY I   FEATURES   I   11
With the inclusion of massage
therapy and traditional Chinese
medicine within the regulatory colleges,
BC legislators acknowledge the diversity
of the province's residents. When friends
and family choose a different healthcare
provider than you might — a massage
therapist over a  doctor, for example
— respect that decision, knowing that
different providers offer different spaces
to different communities.
EVEN "NATURAL" PRODUCTS
NEED REGULATION
Which healthcare products are safe
and effective? Similar to understanding
who to trust, regulations can help
us understand what products are
worthwhile. Prescriptions are strictly
regulated with clinical trials before
consumer use, while natural products
— including vitamins, treatments like
Echinacea and other herbal products —
are given more leeway.
In comparison to the US, Canadians
have a fairly progressive regulation in
place around natural products. The
Canadian regulatory system is more
proactive than reactive, according to
Lynda Eccott, a senior instructor in UBC's
faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. She
teaches future pharmacists an evidence-
based course about commonly used
herbs and supplements, their safety,
how effective they are and about existing
resources with information about natural
products.
Eccott thinks it's critical to educate
people about the misconceptions
of natural products. The biggest
misconception: a natural product is safe
simply because it's natural.
"What people need to know is that
your body doesn't know if something
is derived in the lab or comes from a
rainforest. Look at poison ivy — that's
natural, but it's not safe," said Eccott.
Health Canada regulates natural
products to ensure safety. All natural
products need a natural product number
signifying approval by Health Canada
before they make it to store shelves.
Importantly, these safety claims do
not take into account interactions natural
products may have with other products
used by patients. Natural products can
interact badly with prescriptions and
interactions can be missed because
natural products are often not listed in a
patient's medication history.
Eccott strongly recommends that all
students at UBC access the freely available
Natural Medicines database online before
using any natural product. The database
is curated by experts, with up-to-date
information about drug interactions,
adverse reactions, effectiveness and
nutrient content. Another database, the
Natural Standards, is provided for public
use by the BC Cancer Agency.
We should also pay attention to
safety alerts put out by Health Canada by
either accessing the website regularly
or subscribing to their email list. Do not
automatically assume that a product is
safe because it is natural.
When it comes to effectiveness,
Eccott said regulations of claims for
efficacy of natural products are limited.
Currently, as long as manufacturers can
cite any small studies or prove the product
has been in use for a few generations,
natural products receive approval. Health
Canada is in the process of updating these
regulations.
"One of the things I really talk to my
students about is the ethics of selling
these products," said Eccott. "How ethical
is it to sell products where there is no
evidence?"
Some natural products have
absolutely no evidence for effectiveness
— like shark cartilage as a treatment for
cancer — yet worryingly, they are still
found on store shelves.
Another worry for Eccott is that people
are self-treating serious conditions like
dementia and depression — which
should be treated by a medical doctor —
with natural products like ginkgo and
St. John's wort.
Allowing the public to purchase
natural products for their health boils
down to respecting people's autonomy.
You, your peers and other members of
your community all want the ability
to make choices for their health. In
choosing what natural products to use,
you should make sure to consult an
expert, by looking up these products in
expert-curated databases or by talking
to a licensed pharmacist.
HEALTH: WHOSE CHOICE
IS IT?
Define health. Is it something you feel
in our bodies or in our minds? Is it
something you and your family, peers,
cities and other communities feel
collectively?
These are tough questions — which
is why healthcare professionals and
policymakers take it upon themselves
to define health, what safe healthcare
products look like, who can provide
healthcare and how it should be
regulated.
Still, the healthcare system and
professionals do not exist in a vacuum.
Everyone in the Metro Vancouver
area is a participant. Whether you are
trying to decide how to treat your flulike symptoms or deciding how to vote
on healthcare legislation, we all make
health-related decisions.
Garrett advises that making health
decisions on a personal level is different
than making decisions when we vote at
the public level.
"I've got no problem with people
believing whatever beliefs they wish
as individuals," said Garrett. "But the
difference is here, we're talking about
our public healthcare system. When you
start legislating on the basis of inclusivity
and diversity, it becomes problematic
because people can't make an informed
decision."
You might allow yourself to steal a
cookie from your roommate's stash,
but would you approve of laws giving
everyone the right to steal any cookie
whenever they want? Probably not.
This is the difference between personal
decisions and public ones — should you
make a decision about other people's
health? No. Should society regulate who
can work as a healthcare worker and
what they are allowed to do? Yes.
Preventing injustice is why legislation
on valuable resources like healthcare is
important. Visiting an unregulated, non-
evidence-based practice like a crystal
healer instead of a regulated, evidence-
based physician is a personal decision,
but legislation should be in place to
inform the consumer which is more
likely to cure their health concern.
At some point, even legislation
and evidence can't prevent people
from making bad decisions. We know
that faith-based healing doesn't work,
but people still use this practice
to treat their illnesses. Those who
are convinced by science-based
approaches have already moved on.
The remaining consumers may be loyal
to non-evidence based techniques
rather than ill-informed about scientific
studies of healthcare.
"You can't bash people over the
head with science and hope they'll
change their mind," said Garrett. "That
doesn't work. It becomes adversarial.
It's always a question of questioning
evidence and beliefs. You have to point
out that skepticism in all aspects of life is
a very healthy thing."
The key in making good healthcare
decisions is learning how to evaluate
evidence and allowing yourself to change
your mind if new evidence shows that a
practice does not work. Garrett adds to
the widespread call for better science
education in high schools, where people
first form their opinions on how to take in
and evaluate evidence.
He calls for more science education
as a result of a research project his
group conducted in the last year,
where they surveyed magical beliefs in
undergraduate students. According to
unpublished research from Garrett, 15
percent of students reported that they
believed in the existence of paranormal
phenomena such as ghosts and
werewolves.
"If that's the level in undergraduate
students, what's the level like in the
general population?" said Garrett.
To figure out what the general
population believes regarding their
healthcare, researchers and policy
writers come together to survey the
public. While these studies are important
first steps for changing existing
problems, survey your friends and family
with your health questions. Dig in your
medicine cabinets and ask if all those
products are effective, safe, worth their
costs and are recommended by trusted
professionals.
Healthcare-related decisions will
continue to be some of the most
important choices you make on a
personal level and for the public's
well-being. We will need to continually
re-examine our options. As these
conversations progress and differences
in opinion arise, we should try our best
to find accurate data, correct those who
are not properly educated and vote with
society's well-being in mind. *0 OPINION
ADVICE //
EDITOR BAILEY RAMSAY
MARCH 21,2017 TUESDAY
Ask Natalie: I feel like the spark
is gone from my relationship
STUDY ABROAD//
Their Campus: Football-mania in Austin, Texas
"Force your relationship to move."
Natalie Morris
Advice Columnist
"Dear Natalie,
I find myself juggling classes,
a ridiculous amount of clubs and
a part-time job to a near critical
point. Have any advice on how
to find some time to rest and
recharge?"
I'm guilty of that too. UBC
has this culture where if you're
not working 40 hours a week, on
top of a full course load, all while
holding multiple executive positions
in multiple clubs, you're doing-
something wrong.
But I'll let you in on a secret —
It's not true. I understand having
a part-time job because we have to
pay for things, live somewhere and
occasionally even eat something. I
understand taking as many classes as
you can because as much as we love
UBC, I can't wait to get out of here. I
understand being involved in clubs,
volunteering and trying to fill your
CV with as much as you can. But if
doing everything means you're burnt
out for everything, it's not good.
Since you're basically up to your
neck already, remember that for next
year. In the meantime, give yourself
some dedicated "you time." Make
sure that, at least for a few hours
once a week, you can lock your
door and do something that makes
you happy. Paint a landscape, go
hiking, take a walk — do something
that changes your surroundings
and makes it harder to think about
school and clubs. There's no point
taking time off if you're just going to
keep thinking about work.
The best thing I can recommend
for time management is scheduling.
I know it sounds basic and you
probably already do that but
seriously, schedule everything when
it becomes too stressful. Take the
power out of your hands and put
in on the page. One hour for class
readings, two hours for essay prep.
Do whatever you know works,
but also schedule time for breaks,
food and an hour or two for any
leftover work. If you can follow your
schedule, I find that it helps my
stress levels.
Take it easy when you can.
There's no reason to take on that
much responsibility if you'll burn out
halfway through.
"I feel like the spark is gone
from my relationship. We've
been together since last year,
but we've settled into this
pattern and I don't like it. Our
conversations are boring. Sex is
boring. He's boring. I'm boring.
Everything's just boring. I want
to break the cycle, but I don't
want to break up."
Ah, long-term relationships.
The tipping point between
"I want to know everything
about you" and "oh god, I know
everything about you" is so
gradual.
If you hate the pattern, break
it. Ask if they want to go on a date
doing something you've never
done before. Cooking class? Wine
and painting? Rent bikes and ride
around Stanley Park? Get out
there and get moving. Force your
relationship to move.
Relationships do settle down
after the first few months of
flirting, dates and re-reading
texts until the words don't sound
like words anymore. Once you
start being yourself (and I mean
really yourself, not "first date"
you), you get comfortable. That's
fine. That's normal. It's not new
anymore, but that doesn't mean it
shouldn't still be exciting.
"What can I do if my roommate
has turned out to be a total
annoying pain in my ass?"
How long is left in your lease?
If you're just holding out until the
summer, just grit your teeth and
go to your happy place when they
walk into the room. Don't react to
their nonsense. Don't give them
anything to feed off of.
If it's any longer, maybe have
a "come to Jesus" talk. Explain
what they're doing that pisses
you off so much and try to work
on a solution that doesn't end in
you yelling into your pillow at
night.
Shitty roommates are a part
of life, unfortunately. If we could
afford to live on our own in this
housing market, I don't think
we'd still be at UBC. One day. B
Need advice? Contact Natalie
anonymously at asknatalie@
ubyssey.ca or at ubyssey.ca/advice
and have your questions answered!
iinI
■rami!
"Handmade paper signs reading 'GUN FREE UT' [were] plastered in the windows of academic buildings.'
Eve O'Dea
Staff Writer
The University of Texas at Austin
is in the heart of the city. While
standing in the courtyard under the
main building's clock tower, one
can see the rose-coloured capitol
building dome in the distance at
the end of the street. Austin felt
like a conglomerate of different
cities I've traveled to — the weather
reminded me of Los Angeles,
the hipsterism reminded me of
Portland and the college-town/
state capitol aspects reminded me
of Washington D.C.
When my family decided to
go visit the university during our
stay in the Lone Star State, I was
apprehensive. The university
has a policy that allows guns on
campus, which I found particularly
off-putting. The real sentiments of
the student body, however, were
displayed when one of the first
things we saw on campus were
handmade paper signs reading
"GUN FREE UT" plastered in the
windows of academic buildings.
The idea of allowing guns on this
campus is especially controversial,
as the school was the scene of a
tragic mass shooting in 1966.
The university is home to the
Johnson Presidential Library,
which features hundreds of
thousands of artifacts and
documents relating to the
Johnson administration and the
36th US president's life. Perhaps
a little more in-your-face is the
overwhelmingly massive football
stadium. That was a key difference
present amongst our student
bodies. There was a constant
wave of students wearing their
burnt orange Longhorns t-shirts,
cementing the school's presence
as a sports giant. Their football
stadium can hold over 100,000
people, and has its own hall of
fame containing wall-to-wall cases
of different football trophies and
posters of iconic alumni.
The UT campus is massive.
I don't mean UBC massive — I
mean Texas massive. Its size is
further emphasized by its seamless
integration into the city. Its main
student commercial location is
on a street called Guadalupe,
nicknamed "The Drag." It's
technically off-campus, but serves
as a major student hub, lined with
restaurants, bookstores, clothing
stores and a Scientology centre.
I was surprised by how familiar
the university was. Its presence
in a completely alternate political
and cultural climate to my own was
soon forgotten. The only stereotype
present at the seventh-largest
university in the United States was
the shared love of football, ft
Notice of Development Permit Application - DP 17003
Public Open House
Sports Courts and Field - Totem Park Residence
Join us on Wednesday, March 29 to view and comment on a proposed new outdoor recreation area
for the Totem Park Residences at the southwest corner of Thunderbird Boulevard and West Mall.
Date:
Place:
nesday, March 29,2017
yer, Coquihalla Commons Bit
This event is wheelchair accessible.
5:00 - 6:30 PM
!5 West Mall
Plans will be displayed for a new 4,800m2 recreation
area that will include two tennis courts, one basketball court and a mini sports field.
Representatives from the project team and Campus +
Community Planning will be available to provide
information and respond to inquiries about this
project.
For further information:
Please direct questions to Karen Russell,
Manager, Development Services
karen.russell@ubc.ca   604-822-1586
Can't attend in person? Online feedback will be
accepted until April 5, 2017. To learn more or to
comment on this project, please visit:
planning.ubc.ca/vancouver/projects-consultations
This notice contains important information which may affect you. Please ask someone to translate it for you.
94!« £|8H 3. 3d* fl^shfe Afifa S-2|sfAp| Hf&n-|r4.
THE   UNIVERSITYOF   BRITISH   COLUMBIA
campus+community planning SCIENCE
EDITOR KOBY MICHAELS
MARCH 21,2017 TUESDAY
PROFILE //
Prof wins award for discovery of equation beyond its time
Koby Michaels
Science Editor
When Dr. Stephanie van
Willigenburg returned from teaching
her lecture last week, she sat down
to an inbox full of emails from fellow
mathematicians.
She thought she had done
something wrong.
Instead, she had been awarded
the 2017 CMS Krieger-Nelson Prize
for her "exceptional contributions to
mathematical research."
The Krieger-Nelson Prize is
given by the Canadian Mathematical
Society to a female mathematician
who has made outstanding-
contributions to the field. The
award has been given every year
since 1995, and is named after Dr.
Cecelia Krieger — the third woman
to be awarded a doctoral degree in
Canada — and Dr. Evelyn Nelson
— a Canadian mathematician
who worked in the application
of universal algebra to computer
science.
The prize was largely award to
van Willigenburg for her discovery
— along with Dr. James Haglund, Dr.
Kurt Luoto and Dr. Sarah Mason —
of quasisymmetric Schur functions.
If you have no idea what those
are, don't worry. They're right
on the cutting edge of theoretical
mathematics.
So let's dive right in.
Quasisymmetric Schur
functions, let's call them quasi
Schurs for short, are a tool to help
mathematicians solve problems.
The problem is that they are so
new and so theoretically ahead
of the curve, no one even knows
what problems to solve with them
yet.
"Because it is so theory-based,
we tend not to know what the
impact is straight away. It could
happen decades down the line,"
said van Willigenburg. According
to her, the math has applications
to "various states in quantum
physics."
Quasi Schurs are a
combination of two different
types of functions — a
quasisymmetric function and a
Schur function.
(Quick side note: Function is just
a fancy math word for something
that for everything of value you put
in, a single output will come out.
If you put oranges in a juicer, you
get orange juice out. Put apples
in, you get apple juice. A juicer is
basically a function, granted a giant
mechanical one, and most math
functions are just numbers and
letters on a page.)
Schur functions are easy to
write down, but really hard to
manipulate. Imagine them as
batteries — easy to buy, hard to
use. You need to have a charger,
you need something to plug them
into, sometimes they explode
(don't worry — no mathematicians
were harmed in the creation of
this function). Quasisymmetric
functions, however, are easier
to work with. They're like a
screwdriver. As long as there is a
screw, the screwdriver will work.
What van Willgenburg and
her colleagues did was create an
electric screwdriver — they stuck
the two equations together and
made anew tool. But because the
work is so theoretical, the tool is
so new and high-tech (imagine an
electric screwdriver in like 1739)
that no one knows how to use it.
Mathematicians and physicists
don't yet have a problem that quasi
Schur functions can solve.
To make a quasi Schur
function, you first need to make
a quasisymmetric function and
for that you need a composition
— an ordered list of positive
integers. This allows you to make
a monomial quasisymmetric
function and then a fundamental
quasisymmetric function. Then
you need to create a tableau, a
sort of numerical scrabble that
follows specific rules about where
blocks can go and what number
can be in each block. The shape of
the tableau gives a fundamental
quasisymmetric function and
when you sum these up, you have a
quasisymmetric Schur function.
But enough math. Let's get back
to the prize.
"When you work on very
theoretical mathematics, it having
an impact can take decades — it
KOBY MICHAELS
"Very often society tells us the stereotypical mathematician doesn't look like me."
might even be beyond your lifetime.
To be recognized now is completely
amazing," said van Willigenburg.
While gaining recognition
for your work with any award
is rewarding, van Willigenburg
sees a special value in prizes like
the Krieger-Nelson that honour
women in math and science.
"It's very important to have
awards like this. Very often
society tells us the stereotypical
mathematician doesn't look like
me. To be recognized — and
the visibility that brings — is
completely amazing. Then young
woman can see that yes, they
can make an impact and this is
a career that is open to me. It's
amazing, it's a great thing," she
said.
She cites two math professors
at UBC - Dr. Rachel Kuske and
Dr. Leah Keshet — as inspirations
and role models to her.
She hopes to similarly serve
as a role model to all aspiring-
mathematicians, especially young-
women.
"The mentorship aspect of
being a mathematician is really
important to me. The teaching
aspect, having students and
getting to help them shape [and]
realize their futures," said van
Willigenburg.
And van Willigenburg's work is
all about the future, tl
PRODUCTIVITY //
Stop reading this article in class — multitasking doesn't work
Multiple studies found that higher engagement of media multitasking was associated with lower G PA.
JOSHUAMEDICOFFANDAIKENLAO
Kristine Ho
Contributor
Here's the problem — your
professor is lecturing and you
should be taking notes, but
you'd much rather be collecting
memes on Facebook or replying
to your friend's text. Your smart
solution? Do both at the same
time.
Except that might not be the
smartest thing to do.
Media multitasking in the
classroom involves using a media
device — like a phone or laptop —
while simultaneously attempting to
learn classroom material. A common
myth of multitasking is that it allows
people to kill two birds with one
stone, accomplishing more things in
the same or shorter amount of time.
Alessandra DiGiacomo, a PhD
candidate at UBC's Brain and
Attention (BAR) Lab, said that
working on multiple tasks at once
can actually be quite inefficient.
"If the first task is something that
requires a lot of thought or reflective
thinking, then you're pressing stop
on an energy-intensive process and
it's really inefficient to do that. Task-
switching requires a lot of energy
and so the idea, from an attention
standpoint, is that focusing on one
thing at a time is more efficient," said
DiGiacomo.
When you media multitask while
studying or attending lectures,
you divide your attention between
media devices and your learning-
environment. By focusing on two or
more tasks, you have less attention
devoted to each individual task and
your efficiency for each task drops
overall.
DiGiacomo added that media
multitasking often doesn't feel
any less efficient. "It feels good to
think that you're being efficient.
If we think that we can be equally
effective doing two or three things
at once, why not go for it?"
Some research has shown that
heavy media multitaskers are
actually worse at switching between
tasks than light media multitaskers
despite typically engaging in more
activities. Heavy multitaskers also
seem to be more easily distracted
by irrelevant noises and objects. In
a classroom, people who multitask
more on their devices may be more
easily distracted, while people who
multitask less maybe better able to
focus their attention on one thing-
such as a lecture.
Multiple studies have found
that higher engagement of media
multitasking was associated with
lower GPA. Another study found
that students who text messaged
while reading a passage took longer
to read the passage, but they did
not have worse test performance
than students who did not text
while reading. The majority of
studies so far have found that media
multitasking is related to poorer
academic outcomes, study-related
attitudes and perceived academic
learning.
There have also been links
relating media multitasking to
poorer social and emotional
functioning. Youth who reported
high levels of media multitasking-
showed poorer health and more
sleep problems. It's possible that
increased media use is associated
with lower emotional control and
displaces face-to-face interactions
with others, which may then impact
students' health negatively.
However, it's incorrect to assume
that media multitasking directly
results in lower grades or worse
functioning. The effect of media
multitasking on learning also varies
depending on the type of media
used. One study has actually found
evidence for some benefits of the
practice. The researchers argue that
people who media multitask may
have a bigger breadth of attention
and be better able to combine
multiple streams of sensory
information together.
"Having said that, in terms of
media multitasking specifically,
there's a lot of articles that have
looked at efficiency in [task
switching], but there's still a lot
more to learn about that, so we
really don't know very much about
how efficient we are at we having
two tabs open at a time compared
to trying to write a paper while we
have two tabs up," said DiGiacomo.
"There's a lot more that needs
to be done to tease out the deficits
with each specific type of task."
The verdict?
It's possible that watching that
cat video while taking notes could
impact your exam grades. But
what's more likely is that you'll have
difficulty focusing on both. Either
way, to get the best out of both
worlds, you might want to attend to
each task on its own. *Q SPORTS+REC
CHAMPIONS //
EDITOR OLAMIDE OLANIYAN
MARCH 21,2017TUESDAY
Women's volleyball strikes gold
The grand finale pitted the 'Birds against Alberta in an all-Canada West thriller.
CHRISTOPHER BLANCHETTE
Salomon Micko Benrimoh
Senior Staff Writer
The UBC Thunderbirds are
your 2016/17 U Sports National
Champions.
The 'Birds had trouble in
the regular season. Facing-
Canada West rivals and national
contenders like the Trinity
Western University Spartans
and the University of Alberta
Pandas proved to be their biggest
obstacle. The team finished their
season with a 20-4 conference
record, but they fell in their
first meeting against the Pandas
and their first three against the
Spartans.
Not to be deterred, the T-Birds
fought back to spoil the Panda's
perfect record in the final two
games of the regular season
before finally overcoming the
Spartans in the Canada West final
four to book their ticket to the
nationals.
The Thunderbirds had a
tough schedule — three games in
three nights. They kicked things
off with a 3-1 win against the
Western University Mustangs.
The game was highlighted by
outside hitter Danielle Brisebois'
22 kills and eight digs, left side
Juliana Kaufmanis' 13 digs and
11 kills, and setter Alessandra
Gentile's whopping 39 assists.
Next, the 'Birds were forced
to square-off against the
Spartans. With middle Ciara
Hanly's leading seven blocks and
You're too busy
to do your taxes.
So we will.
For free.
Brisebois' 16 kills, the 'Birds took
the game easily 3-0.
The grand finale pitted the
Thunderbirds against the Pandas
in an all-Canada West thriller.
The T-Birds won the first two sets
before falling in the third 25-13. But
the team rallied.
Led once again by Danielle
Brisebois — playing her final game
with the Thunderbirds — and an
inspiring 11-kill, four-ace and five-
block game by middle Maggie Li,
the 'Birds took the final set 25-20
and claimed their first national title
since their 2013/14 campaign.
Danielle Brisebois was named
finals MVP, and was named to the
all-star roster along with fellow
'Birds Maggie Li and Alessandra
Gentile. %
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WOMEN'S HOCKEY//
With the bronze medal win, the 'Birds have now captured two consecutive medals,
having won silver last season.
Thunderbirds
beat Concordia
2-0, win bronze
medal at nationals
Bill Situ
Senior Staff Writer
The UBC women's hockey team
came out with a bronze medal
at the U Sports championship in
Napanee, Ontario after a series
of gruelling matches against the
nation's best teams.
The team snagged its second
consecutive Canada West title
earlier this month.
The championship
tournament took place at the
Strathcona Paper Centre from
Thursday, March 16 to Sunday,
March 19.
Despite their
loss to the
McGill University
Martlets,
Amelia Boughn
had another
impressive
performance in
the net, stopping
28 of 29 shots.
In the first game on Thursday,
the Thunderbirds defeated the
tournament's hosts, the Queen's
University Gaels, by two goals.
Stephanie Schaupmeyer and
Nicole Saxvik had the goals
for UBC. The 'Birds' offensive
firepower was strong throughout
the game, as the team outshot the
Gaels 35-17.
After the win on Thursday,
UBC fell 1-0 in the semifinal game
on Saturday against the McGill
University Martlets. The game
was scoreless right until the
final three minutes of the third
period, where a goal by McGill's
Gabrielle Davidson carried
the Martlets to the gold medal
match. Despite the loss, Amelia
Boughn had another impressive
performance in the net, stopping
28 of 29 shots.
With the loss to the Martlets,
the 'Birds then headed to the
bronze medal match to face the
Concordia University Stingers.
This time, UBC earned their
redemption with a 2-0 shutout
win over Concordia to claim the
medal.
Towards the end of the first
frame, a tripping penalty on the
Stingers' Brigitte Laganiere gave
the T-Birds an edge. On UBC's
ensuing power play, Cassandra
Vilgrain — who had led the team
in points during the regular
season — caught a rebound at the
side of the net to put the 'Birds
up 1-0.
Despite a flurry of penalties
to UBC in the second frame, the
'Birds showed off strong penalty
kills and were able to successful
hold off against the Stingers.
As the game winded down to
the final three minutes of play,
UBC again capitalized on the
power play when Logan Boyd
found the top shelf of the net
from the slot, securing the team's
bronze medal victory.
With the bronze medal win,
the 'Birds have now captured two
consecutive medals, having won
silver last season. McGill went on
to lose 2-1 in overtime against the
University of Alberta Pandas in
the gold medal match. X& MARCH 21, 2017 TUESDAY I   SPORTS+REC   |   15
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS //
Meet Jason Dong, the reluctant king of UBC eSports
Jack Hauen
Coordinating Editor
Jason Dong will be the first to tell
you that he's "the new captain" of
the UBC eSports' League of Legends
team. He follows in the footsteps of
Wesley Lee (DaiJurJur in-game) —
the "captain captain."
"I don't see myself as much of a
leader [as Lee]," said Dong, who goes
by ProofOfPayment in-game. "I think
it might be better if someone else
could do it."
Like it or not, Dong is in charge of
the most successful university-level
eSports team in North America.
His squad took the top spot
back-to-back in the North American
Collegiate Championships (NACC)
in 2015 and 2016.
BEFORE THE STORM
UBC didn't even have a team when
Dong applied. He describes his
household as "pretty Asian" —
education is very important, so he
chose the school for the reason so
many others do: it's the best.
In Dong's family, it goes
"school first, and then pretty much
everything else."
If you thought this story would
be a classic showdown between
academic parents and a kid who
wants to do things his own way,
you'd be wrong. Dong says his
parents are proud of his eSports
career, as long his studies aren't
impacted.
"Everyone has their own hobbies.
Mine just happens to be video games.
It's not like I'm doing hard drugs or
something," he said.
His parents even make time to
watch his big games.
"They talk to me every time I
come back from my flights, like,
'Oh, wow, congratulations! I don't
know what you did, but I saw the
numbers and everything and you
guys won!'" he imitates his mother's
gesticulations like only a child of
excitable parents can.
A load off his parents' minds
might be the fact that Dong isn't
planning to go pro. For now, he's
focused on finishing school. He
might go for a master's.
"Depends if I get in any work
experience. If I do, then I might
branch off to something else. But I'm
not sure yet."
As a kid, Dong played "normal
sports" — soccer for almost 10 years,
basketball for five and volleyball for
a couple. He also played piano for a
decade.
"I guess video games kind of took
over those," he said.
Elementary-aged Dong would
head outside with his friends to
kick a ball around, but he found the
transition to high school facilitated
long Skype-and-video-game sessions.
Either way, he never wanted more for
a social life.
"You really are hanging out with
your friends almost all the time
online."
THE ROAD TO THE TOP
As soon as Dong got to UBC, he
tried out for the eSports team. There
weren't a lot of other recruits. Dong-
says he played a couple games with
the team and was casually offered a
spot. Simple.
"I guess it's because we didn't
have as much success back then.
eSports wasn't nearly as big and the
collegiate scene wasn't developed at
all, so people didn't know about the
tournaments," he said.
"When I was joining, it was kind
of like, we don't know what we're
playing for, but we just want to make
a team and be the best."
Right off the bat, they almost
were. The team's first competition
on the national stage came the year
before their championship win. They
ended up in fourth place. This is not
a bad finish for a ragtag group of
Canadians competing against dozens
of seasoned vets, but Dong still felt
the sting.
"It was disappointing for us," he
said. "You always strive to be number
one, and not reaching your goal when
you're pretty sure that you could've is
disappointing."
The team regrouped back in
Vancouver and added some new
talent for the upcoming year —people
who were "really motivated to
succeed."
Immediately, that motivation
turned into results. The team won
the championship the following year.
"It was pretty exciting. We
practiced for half a year for that exact
day, so to be able to go up, play your
hearts out and win — it's incredible,"
he said.
Winning brings expectations
and they're sky-high this season.
Everyone wants the three-peat.
But the UBC team won their
championships with the exact
same squad. This year, the team
has suffered a few losses — captain
Wesley Lee is focusing more on his
studies, attack-damage carry Sean
Wang changed universities, mid-
laner Bob Qin dropped out to go pro.
Dong isn't worried.
"Our team's actually pretty good
this year," he smirked. It was a rare
peek at the quiet bravado that comes
with winning two continent-wide
championships in two years. "We can
definitely win."
With a 5-0 record so far this year,
the team looks well on its way.
But Dong isn't getting cocky.
Anything can happen in eSports and
he's keenly aware that other schools
have upped their game since last year.
He names the University
of California, Irvine; Maryville
University and Robert Morris
University as the three to watch.
All three provide scholarships for
eSports — an attractive prospect for
high-level players.
"New age. Gaming scholarships,"
said Dong.
NOT THUNDERBIRDS—YET
On the other hand, UBC has
historically gone out of its way to
distance itself from the eSports
Association. The university
banned the team from using the
Thunderbird name — a decision that
makes less and less sense as the team
continues to dominate.
"Yeah, they've been a little bit
hostile towards us," said Dong.
The team finds support
elsewhere. Riot Games — the
company that makes League of
Legends — put up billboards around
Vancouver as a way to promote the
champs.
The team's gaming lounge was
funded by Intel, ASUS, Corsair,
NCIX and Wangyu Cyber Cafe. The
AMS provided a permanent space
for it in the Nest.
Dong said that the club has
spoken with UBC President Santa
Ono, who, according to Dong, was
"Everyone has their own hobbies. Mine just happens to be video games," said Dong.
"all for" promoting the club. So far,
that's translated to one tweet.
Len Catling, the media relations
director for UBC Athletics, is
working to change the relationship
between UBC and the eSports
Association. He's spoken with club
president Victor Ho about increasing
the competitive team's exposure.
Catling has provided them media
relations support since he began in
January, 2016. He points to a story
on CTV National News — his former
workplace — as one that he helped
coordinate and pitch.
"We recognize as an Athletics
department how successful they are,
and how many fans they have and
how popular eSports is," said Catling.
"There's all kinds of things we could
do to collaborate with them."
So in a perfect world, what would
Dong like to see from UBC? For the
captain of UBC's most successful
sports team in recent years, his
answer was surprisingly modest —
Dong just wants some recognition.
"It just seems like UBC doesn't
really care — they have their posters
where they show their basketball
players, and... we're national
champions and people don't even
know who we are," he said.
Although talks with the club are
in early stages, Catling has some
ideas about how to change that.
UBC Athletics has a lot of
facilities, for instance — the team
could potentially take advantage
of a larger viewing space. At
Homecoming, a giant screen
displayed the score — Catling wants
to explore bringing that inside, and
potentially screening big games on it.
The T-Bird logo — or "some kind
of UBC branding" — is also up for
discussion.
"As our relationship grows and
we're able to work on things that
are mutually beneficial, I think they
will continue to be recognized by the
greater university community," said
Catling.
"I'm here to support them any
way I can."
LET'S GET META
The media is still getting used to
treating eSports like any other sport.
ESPN made headlines when they
committed to covering it seriously,
but for the most part, it's still largely
relegated to streaming services like
Twitch (although some see that as a
good thing).
While they help raise the scene's
profile, documentaries like VICE'S
journey into the rockstar world of
high-level South Korean eSports
stars don't exactly help the image
of college-level athletes across the
Pacific.
But Dong said the stigma isn't as
bad as it used to be.
"Before, eSports was like, 'These
guys are rejects, what are they doing?
They're in university, they should
be studying.' But... we all have our
own lives outside of studies. This is
a hobby for us. It's not really like we
sit at home and play video games 20
hours a day. We're real people too,"
he said.
And as more and more people
tune in to watch people play video
games professionally, mainstream
acceptance of eSports doesn't look
to be far off — a fact reflected in the
amount of money that teams like
Dong's play for.
"The prize pool has gone up
four-fold. Every year, Riot Games is
giving out like $400,000 in USD for
scholarships. It's big money. First
place [is] $30,000 USD - for students
like us, that covers a lot," he said.
It should be noted: that's 30 grand
each (in scholarship money, but 30
grand is 30 grand). And with big
money comes viewership.
"When you hear that
[students] are playing for like
$100, it's kind of like... 'eh.'" He
gave a cartoonish shrug.
"When you hear that they're
playing for $180,000, everyone's
like, 'Really? These university
students? Okay, I guess I'll take a
look.'"
The money's this good at this
point for those on Dong's level
and it only gets better. Top-level
players can earn millions.
"I think the time for me has
passed. I've been playing for a
little bit too much time," he said.
Dong is 22 — but a lot of
players have to make a decision
around this point in their life
about what they can realistically
pursue. For Dong, that doesn't
include a professional eSports
career.
But as captain of the most
formidable eSports squad in
North America — and having
financed his entire degree by
doing what he loves — he's earned
the right to enjoy the ride. U
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CROSSWORD PUZZLE
ACROSS
1- Lady of Spain;
7- Where the truck driver rides;
10-
14-
15-
16-
17-
18-
19-
20-
23-
26-
27-
28-
29-
30-
31-
33-
34-
37-
38-
■ Mob boss;
■Tooth covering;
Pie-mode link;
Burnoose wearer;
■Observation;
■Choice: Abbr.;
Emit coherent light;
State of being tranquil;
■Sums owing;
Not in;
Some locks;
Suffix with concession;
Keats work;
Decade divs.;
Blind alley;
Hawaiian food;
Pro ;
Racket;
Bruce was a famous
kung-fu movie star;
39-Commercials;
40- Man-mouse connector;
41- 10th letter of the Hebrew
alphabet;
42-Cushion;
43- Strategic withdrawal;
45-Block;
46-Close friend;
47- Once, once;
48-Killer whales;
51- Brit, lexicon;
52- Rocky debris;
53-Cornucopia;
56-Jai ;
57-Snaky swimmer;
58- Pastille to sweeten the
breath;
62-Whistle blowers;
63- Exist;
64- Edmonton team;
65- Bk. before Job;
66-Tit for ;
67- Scoffs;
DOWN
1-Get the picture;
2- Nav. officer;
3- Doze;
4-Left out;
5- Brings up;
6- breve;
7-Armored headpiece;
8-Aboriginal Alaskan;
9- Indonesian holiday resort;
10- Operatic soprano;
11-Thin as ;
12-Stickum;
13- Follows orders;
21- Inclined head;
22-Ancient musician;
23- Father;
24- Refrain in a children's song;
25-Stigma;
29- Late bedtime;
30-Alpine song;
32- Sun Bowl site;
33- Procession;
34- is human;
35-Clear the boards;
36- Dull surface;
44- Adapt for new use;
45- Pertaining to Denmark;
46-Air rifle projectile;
48-Chicago hub;
49-Actor's parts;
50-Skill;
51-Wagner work;
52-Stigma;
54- Noteworthy achievement;
55-Sgts., e.g.;
59- Haw;
60- Bobby of hockey;
61- Battleship letters;
56- Not kosher;
59- Metal container used for
frying;
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play by Shakespeare;
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