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Argosy March 26, 2009

Argosy March 26, 2009

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Published by Geoff Campbell
Argosy March 26, 2009
Argosy March 26, 2009

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March 26, 2009 Living in sin since 1875 Vol. 138 Iss. 20
     T     h   e
Independent Student Journal of Mount Allison University 
Edwards and
ornton will befeeling the pressure of a full housenext September. Housing servicesis projecting an increase of 40 morestudents living on campus next year,and in order to accommodate the largeincoming class, more lounges willbe converted into rooms. Althoughall residences except Campbell weredesigned to be expandable, Windsor,Edwards, and
ornton are the mosta
ected.Every lounge in Edwards, exceptfor the main basement lounge, willbe made into double rooms and thePresident’s room, a former lounge, will be converted.
ornton willalso see renovations, with a plannedconversion of six lounges into roomsfor next September. Second, thirdand fourth floor lounges are beingconverted in Windsor.However, many students areunhappy to be losing the commonareas.“Everyone’s going to be stuck intheir rooms because there’s nowhereelse to go,” said Justin Oake, SACScience Senator and Edwards alum,echoing the complaints of many SouthSide residents. “It’s such a small andsquat-up little house.”
e university is currently estimating 730 new students inSeptember 2009, ten more thanlast year. But, it’s very possible thatenrollment will actually exceed thatnumber as it’s a conservative estimateused for budget purposes, explainedVP International and Student A
Helena van Tol
 Argosy Staff 
Ron Byrne.“We know that in bad economictimes, traditionally, university andpost-secondary enrolment increases,”said Byrne, who is choosing to becautious, commenting that theeconomy hasn’t been this bad sincethe 1930’s.In addition to room conversions,an entire building will also betransformed into a residence thissummer.
e Anchorage will beopened for up to 16 “internationally-focused” students; the university’scommunications o
ce, currently housed in that building, will be movedto the first floor of Centennial Hall. With the opening of rooms inthe Anchorage, there will be amaximum capacity for 1,113 studentsin residence at Mount Allison.
is year, there were only 1,017 studentsin residence.Housing and Student A
airsmade sure to communicate the factthat more lounges were going to beconverted into rooms before the roomdraw this year because students wereupset by the lack of notification last year.“Students are asking about what will happen next year but once they hear the explanation they are littlemore understanding,” said MichelleStrain, Director of AdministrativeServices. “It sucks to lose space buteveryone agrees that the first yearexperience is so much better if youlive on campus.”Byrne agreed, noting that residencesalso serve as a “tremendous retentiontool.”“[Students] get connected and they get socialized [in residence],” he said.“A lot of your friends are in that circleof residence and the more studentsget connected, the quicker they getconnected, the better the retentionrate, and the overall student successrate.”Also, each residence will continueto have at least one main lounge,stressed Byrne.“[
at’s] very intentional, because we do want places where students cangather,” he explained.However, one concerned residentbelieves that having multiple loungesis a key part of social interactionsin residence, and hopes that theuniversity will leave more untouched.Russell Donohoe has presented acomplaint to the administration in theform of 30 responses from studentsliving in
ornton. At the beginningof the year, all but two lounges wereconverted into double rooms, and ittook a long time before the rooms were converted back to lounges oncethey were vacant.
e lounge conversion at thebeginning of the year left very littlecommon social space for students tointeract with each other,” explainedDonohoe. “It’s important to havecommon areas from the very beginningof the year so students can meet whenthey are not yet overburdened withschoolwork.”Oake agrees, noting that thelounges in Edwards were used “tothe fullest extent” during his stay in residence for studying, birthday parties, and floor crawls.“I don’t even know how you doa floor crawl when you have onelounge,” he said.Mt. A is one of the only universitiesto o
er a space in residence to every incoming student as well as roomsfor upper years. And, although it’s apain to have less space, students don’tappear to mind actually living in thelounges – at least not in Windsor.Mike Simpson, Windsor housepresident for 2009-10, lived in alounge with two roommates for hisfirst seven weeks of university becauseof overflow.“It certainly had its party andsocial advantages over regular roomsbecause of its size and set up,” saidSimpson. “
ere’s also a loophole with the lounge. Normally, you areonly allowed six people in your room with open liquor. But the lounge is25 people, I think, and is licensedbecause it’s a private room.”It was fun, but Simpson did notchoose to live in a lounge during hispresidency. Nevertheless, the loungesconverted on second, third, and fourthfloor were the first ones picked in theroom draw this year. While students understand theneed for rooms in residence, Donohoeis hoping that the university only converts three of the lounges in
ornton, leaving them with at leastone lounge per floor. He also suggestsmaking more use of the satelliteresidences and perhaps purchasingmore.
e university’s long-term plansinclude construction of a large new North Side residence in place of theoctagonal house near the King St.parking lot. Currently, informationand feedback sessions are beingheld, and the plans should be ready by September. If all goes well,Byrne believes that building may becomplete by 2011.
e designs are going to be highly eco-conscious and might make thenew building one of the most energy e
cient residences in the country.And, even though the satelliteresidences are pretty antiquated when it comes to energy e
ciency,Anchorage renovations will includeconversion from oil to natural gas.
 This September, residences across campus had lounges convertedinto temporary rooms; residences were also expanded in theacademic year of 2001-02.
 Jessica EminChrissy LeBlanc 
On April 22, Earth Day, all Loblaw stores across Canada - including Superstores and Save Easys - will begin to charge 5 cents per plastic bag. The grocery chain piloted this chargein Toronto stores this past January with good response. The nominal fee could prove to be an incentive for shoppers to bring reusable bags, or buy the PC Green bags from thestore. The company expects to reduce plastic bag use by half and estimates 1 billion plastic bags will not end up in a landfill as a result.
Lounge conversions, opening of satellite house announced for upcoming year
Residence renovations
No boys in Psych?Featuresp. 15
 w w w . a r g o s y . c
      
Argosy Publications Inc.
• Zoe Williams, ChrisDurrantProduction Manager • Frances McGinnis
Managing Editor
• Louisa StrainEditorial
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• Stuart TownsendWriters
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General Assignment
• Kelly O’ConnorCirculationsVivi ReichPublication BoardFaculty • Dr. Michael Fox,Dr. Robert LappThe Argosy62A York Street, Sackville, NBE4L 1H3(506)364-2236
VPs appointed
After some quick reminders to councilors aboutthe upcoming elections the SAC went in-camera, and when it came out, it had selectedthe appointed executive members for next year.Ryan Sargent was appointed to be VP Financeand Operations, and Anna MacKinnon wasappointed VP Communications.
Club status
e SAC met with the heads of a club beingconsidered for SAC club status. Two membersof the Aphasia presented that they wish to startan organization where students could go topractice public speaking and rhetoric.
e meeting then returned to an in-cameradiscussion, meaning all non-SAC members hadto leave the room. After more than an hour,during which raised voices could occasionally being heard from the room, the meeting wasopened to the public. Without making referenceto the exact clubs they had been referring to in-camera, the debate continued on the way theSAC allocates money to clubs and societies.
Club funding 
VP External Mark Brister argued that fundingshould be based on the merit of the event beingfunded, with charitable and pedagogical eventsprioritized, and VP Academic Ryan Robskiechoed that funding should reflect the impacton the greater community. VP Finance andOperations Dan Wortman was put on thedefensive in a discussion of how funding hadbeen distributed during the year, commentingthat it is hard to quantify the value of events,so the funding committee had been treatingeveryone equally. Wortman also commentedthat it seemed like the SAC’s expectationschange with every funding deadline. Councileventually made a motion for new fundingguidelines to be drawn up with Brister’s ideasin mind.
Free compliments
Charlotte Edwards then gave a presentation to theSAC on behalf of Team Wellness. She requestedtheir help giving away free compliments duringthe exam period to relieve stress. IncomingSAC president Paul Rasbach commented thathe believed compliments should not be free, butearned, later clarifying that he was not kidding.Edwards responded to Rasbach’s commentsthat everyone has earned a compliment at thistime of the year. Generally, Council seemed insupport of assisting Edwards.
SAC budget 
Returning to in-camera for the third time of the night, Council discussed the preliminary SAC budget. Later in the meeting senator Erik  Johnson raised the question of why discussionsof the budget were not public. Ryan Robskireplied that the approval process for the budget will be a multi-week and public process.
Councillor concerns
Cejay Riley complained about raw meatapproaching other food products in the New Café. Rachael Betuik said it was not polite thatpeople smoke near the exits of buildings. VPStudent Life Pat Berry said that the Board of Regents was working on an o
cial smokingpolicy that should be out soon. Doug McLeancomplained that there were no blue garbagebags in the students centre.
VP reports
VP Communications Abigal McGillivary inher biweekly report outlined that Accessibility Awareness week this year would feature anintense poster campaign, and various physicalobstructions and demonstrations aroundcampus to get people thinking. Wortmanreported that the SAC microwave in the New Café was broken, but a replacement had already been found, and that Director of AdministrativeServices Michelle Strain would be visitingCouncil on April 1.
Chris Durrant
 Argosy Staff 
SAC it to me: what happened at council onMarch 18
Religion and queer sexuality - individuals from a variety of backgrounds came together on March17 to discuss these two unusual companions.
e evening was organized by Catalyst, MountAllison’s Queer/Straight Alliance, to providestudents with the rare opportunity to addressthese issues in an open and comfortableatmosphere.Around 30 people of all ages and diversebackgrounds gathered in the Manning Room of the Mt. A Chapel basement for the event, entitled“Religious Perspectives on Queer Sexuality:
e elephant in the chapel?” Representativesfrom the Jewish Students’ Association, EROS(Earth Religion Organisation of Students) andthe Muslim Student Association, as well asan individual representing Quakerism, madeshort presentations about the general viewsof queer sexuality held by their respectivefaiths. Participants from numerous Christiandenominations and others with no specific faithbackground were also present to share in thediscussion.Catalyst president Katie Saulnier feels theevent was a great success. “It felt like people werereally listening to each other, not just waiting with a comeback or argument,” she remarked.Reverend John Perkin, who moderated thediscussion, agreed that although the groupstayed at the surface of the issues, there wasa true “spirit of respectfulness” amongst theparticipants, many of whom seemed to be theresimply to listen.“It was not academic, [or] abstract,” heexplained. “What is going to move us isthe discussion we had, which was open andexperiential.”
e fact that the event was held in the Chapelbasement was also something that both Saulnierand Perkin felt was important. Catalyst has
 What elephant?
Queer/straight alliance and religious groups tackle ‘Religious Perspectives onQueer Sexuality’
come under fire in the past for holding their weekly meetings there – “not from the Christiancommunity,” clarified Saulnier, “but from queercommunity who felt it wasn’t a space they werecomfortable in. We wanted to bring everybody together for a discussion and break down someof those barriers.”Perkin also wants everyone to feel welcomein the Chapel, and believes it is indeed the place“to talk about the tough topics.” He hopes allstudents will view the Chapel as a “commonmeeting ground” and a “safe and comfortable
Rebecca Dixon
 Argosy Correspondent 
place” regardless of faith, background, orexperience.Saulnier believes that there “seemed to bea consensus that this was a discussion people wanted to be having more often,” and hopes thatthe people who attended will start conversations with their friends, families and residences.“One of [Catalyst’s] mandates is to make the whole university a really positive space wherepeople can feel safe and that what they say canbe heard and valued,” she said. “Mount A is aplace where you can have these discussions.”
• 93 Tibetan monks are being held in custody by Chinese police after a crowdattacked the police station in La’gyab township, Qinghai province. Protestsbegan in the ethnically-Tibetan town after a monk who had been imprisonedfor speaking in favour of independence disappeared. Chinese authorities statethat he escaped and is still missing, while reports from Tibetan sources say that he jumped into a river and died.
is comes a week after the fiftiethanniversary of the unsuccessful uprising led by the Dalai Lama againstChinese rule.• Two female American reporters have been arrested and are being heldin North Korea after allegedly entering North Korean territory withoutpermission.
e reporters were investigating the status of Korean refugees inChina. It is unsure whether or not the women were indeed illegally in NorthKorea or still in China.• Two people were killed and over 18 others needed medical assistance after astampede in a crowd that gathered to see Pope Benedict VVI during his visitto Angola. Catholics account for 55 per cent of the population, and hundredsof thousands showed up the day after the tragedy.
e Pope is spending a week in Africa, and has denounced corruption in many of his speeches to thepeople.• 1,300 Palestinians were killed during Israel’s three week attack on Gaza,according to medical authorities. Recently, personal accounts from Israelisoldiers reveal the extent of the violence unleashed on civilians. IsraeliDefense Minister Ehud Barak rea
rmed the moral integrity of their forces,but states that the reports will be carefully examined on a case-by-case basis.Separately but subsequently, UN human rights investigator Richard Falk expressed concerns of the legality of the Israeli incursion.
is week in the world
A weekly miscellany compiled by Rebecca Dixon
• 24 crew members on board the Greek cargo ship
e Titan were seized by Somali pirates along with their vessel.Last month another Greek ship was captured. Piracy in the the Gulf of Aden has been an increasingly serious concernsince last summer, and now accounts for 40 per cent of 293 pirate attacks last year.• A 6.7 per cent budget cut from decreased government spending, and a 20 per cent rise in minimum wage are amongmeasures proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to counteract decreasing oil revenues. Oil accounts for 50per cent of the country’s national budget. He also plans to increase sales taxes and cut salaries of senior public o
cials.Opponents, however, have called these steps unconstitutional means of consolidating power in an already centralizedsystem.• 600 Spanish troops will be withdrawing from Kosovo by the end of the coming summer. Fellow NATO allies weredispleased, with the United States expressing its “deep disappointment” and claiming the Spanish had not notifiedits allies through the proper channels. Spain is one of only five European Union members that does not recognize theindependence of Kosovo, which made a unilateral decision to separate from Serbia in 2008.• Two crew members were killed in a plane crash at Tokyo’s Narita international airport.
e cargo plane attemptedto land amidst extremely strong winds and burst into flame after impact. Many flights have been canceled with onerunway has been closed.
is is the first fatal aircraft accident at Narita Airport since it opened in 1978.• One trillion dollars US worth of toxic assets that form the basis of the financial crisis will be bought up in a “Public-Private Investment Programme.”
e US Treasury and the private sector will both contribute to the plan. Investorsare feeling encouraged, with banks forecasted to be less anxious, and stocks already rising.• More than 50 essential medical items were delivered to the last remaining medical clinic in Sri Lanka’s rebel-heldterritory.
e Red Cross helped transport the supplies, the first to be received in over two weeks. Sri Lankan army forces have backed the Tamil Tiger rebels into their last stronghold, but civilians continue to su
e defenseministry claims that 1,000 people have fled the rebel-held region for government safety zones. You might have seen their posterson campus, and you might have evenripped one down. Over the past two weeks, a small group of “pro-life”students have been putting up signsadvertising their group. However,“the posters get torn down pretty fast,”said group member Abdon Cox.An anti-abortion, or pro-life,group has existed on campus in someincarnation since 2006, and hasalways been very small. Accordingto Cox, “Since pro-life is such aminority ideology, it’s useful to have agroup just so you know you have otherpro-life people around. Beyond that itdepends on what the new people feellike doing with it.”In the past, the group hasparticipated in a few “days of silence,” put ribbons on trees, andsent a members to an anti-abortionconference in Moncton last year.
is past week, the group’s signshave been ripped down, and some
Zoe Williams
 Argosy Staff 
have been vandalized.“One of the things that’s been written on our posters is, ‘my body,my choice’ on one in the Fine Artsbuilding, which is a bit annoying, butit’s better than taking it down,” saidCox.Cox stated that the Mount Allisoncommunity is “generally unreceptive”to the group’s message, due in largepart, he believes, to student culture.“[Students] try to be free andexperimental and you always wantmore rather than fewer rights,”explained Cox. “And students aremore able to imagine themselvesin situations with an unwantedpregnancy then they are able toimagine themselves as an unbornfetus or even as a parent who would want the child.”However, Cox believes that if students were willing to engage withthe issue, then some minds could bechanged.“I think a lot of people avoidthinking about the abortion issueentirely,” he noted.Mt. A student Chris Rickettsdoes not agree with the vandalismof the signs, but feels the issue ismisrepresented by pro-life groups.“I think there is a problem with‘pro-life’ language. It makes it seemlike if you are pro-choice, you aren’tfor life. I am pro-quality of life whichhappens when children are wanted,”he explained. “If women need to havean abortion for whatever reason, itshould be legal, available, and safe.Nobody wants to have an abortion. Itis a very di
cult decision but people who choose to have one should berespected.”Cox said that religious values werenot the primary motivation for hisinvolvement with the group, but thatthey are for some members.“It’s a useful medium, it’s a good way to connect with other people,” hesaid. “
ere is a greater tendency to bepro-life if you are strongly religious.”
e group has held a few meetingsthis year, and is currently waiting foranother week or two to see the e
ectof the poster campaign.
Pro-life group advertised, vandalized
Zoe Williams
A pro-life group has been putting up signs around campus. However, these signs have been torn down orvandalized, including the poster pictured above.
“In the gallery, students were theonly ones smiling,” said Mark Brister,VP External of the SAC, describingreactions to the provincial budget.Brister and other New Brunswick Students Alliance (NBSA) o
cials were on hand in Fredericton on SaintPatrick’s Day to listen as the province’sLiberal government handed down thebudget, which among other things,cuts taxes by 143 million dollars inthe 2009-2010 year alone. What had the students smiling was that of the three main pointsthe NBSA has been lobbying thegovernment on, there was action onall.“It was a grand slam for students, we got everything we were asking for,and during a recession,” said Brister.He accredited the NBSA’s successas the outcome of the “persistentorganized criticism, activism, andconstant legitimizing negotiation”the NBSA has taken on this year.He even admitted that group had notexpected the result, and had spentover a hundred dollars on printingsigns with which they were going toprotest.
e individual features of thebudget a
ecting students includesthe creation of a pseudo ‘debt cap’ forstudents in post-secondary education.Named the Debt Reduction for Timely Completion Program, theprogram aims to cap student debt at26,000 dollars by forgiving studentsup to 14,000 of the provincialcontribution to a 40,000 student loan.
e stipulation involved is the timely completion; the loan is targetedat those who finish their program within its timeline (e.g. four years for
Chris Durrant
 Argosy Staff 
a university degree).In addition, NB’s debt repaymentprogram is now harmonized withthe federal governments, meaningthat New Brunswickers earning low incomes will never have to pay morethan 20 per cent of their salary in debtrepayment. Additionally, graduatesstill paying o
their debt after 15 years will have it forgiven by thegovernment.Rounding out the educationportions of the budget include the factthat tuition freeze will be continuednext year, and three million dollars will be invested in programs toincrease underrepresented groups’participation in post-secondary education.
e budget’s tax cuts have businessorganizations pleased as well.Businesses are expected to save 20million in taxes this year, and 40million in the 2012-2013 financial year.
e reductions will make NB’s2012 corporate tax rate the lowestin in the country at eight per cent.Personal income tax will be decreasedas well, with government promisingto introduce a two bracket tax systemby 2012.
ose frowning in the gallery included those representing organizedlabour.
e government has said it willimplement a two year wage-freeze onthe civil service, meaning all collectiveagreements up for re-negotiation will receive no wage increases, andthe government is encouragingmunicipalities, universities, and allCrown corporations to do the same.Seven hundred civil service jobs willalso be eliminated. Other notablecuts included the court social work program, free ambulance service,and river ferry services in Gagetown,Hampstead, and Belleisle.
Provincial budget favours NBSA points

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