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scene from Danny Dunlops Entrada

Rebranding UWO



FIMS Makes Films



Occupy Wall Street world

4New Time, a New A

Technique Professor Tomasek

Kevin Hurren

12 Not Toilets Rainbows, 13 Under FIMS:

Construction Jessica Segal

16to Head: Occupy Head

Wall Street Julian Uzielli & Natalie Hunt

editor-in-chief Jonathan Forani managing editor Taylor Pearce graphics editor Jordan Coop world editor Julian Uzielli arts & entertainment editor Erika Fabian western life editor Elizabeth Sarjeant web editor Jordan Pearson promotions coordinator Marisa Dametto



17 Manufacturing Apathy
Paul Craig

FIMS Makes Films Stephanie Whitney, Zachary Lopez, Emily Fister, Sarah Koopmans



14 Hollywoods Rethinking
Awards Season Kevin Hurren

18 Responsible WikiLeaks:
Whistle Blower or information Thieves? Michelle Coutinho

10 Brand for UWO A New

Elizabeth Sarjeant


15 Trail: Dont Stop The MJ

til You Get Enough Stephanie Schoenhoff

19 Should Graphic Gadhafi:

Images Have Been Censored? Melanie Anderson

Why Do We Feel Safe on Campus?

Laura Panopoulos
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Editors Note

written by Jonathan Forani

ast year, during the stress of essay and exam season, section, Kevin Hurren asks you to rethink awards season as you escaped into the sounds of some of our facultys the grandest of promotional schemes. brightest musicians with the mitZine special feature your MIT Student series MIT Makes Music. This year, as you fine-tune your In our Western Life section, hear fromregarding the latest Council Faculty Liaison, Jessica Segal, academic turn-of-phrase and rework that antithesis, the in reconstruction debates in FIMS. Shes got the scoop on mitZine shifts gears to bring you the discussions surrounding the required ultimate medium of escapism: film. writing course and those ambiguous This year, as you fineIn our new special feature series, participation grades. tune your academic turnFIMS Makes Films, you can find the stories of four of the industrys As another group of FIMS students of-phrase and rework that biggest up-and-comers, right from prepare to embark on their Singapore antithesis, the mitZine Westerns own FIMS faculty. A exchange adventures, current MIT shifts gears to bring you special thanks to FIMS instructor, exchange student, Paul Craig, presents the ultimate medium of and practiced filmmaker, Keith an enlightening commentary on the state escapism: film. Tomasek, who offers up an inspiring of censorship in Singapore and offers up prelude to the student filmmaker some of the best reasons as to why FIMS profiles. students should participate in the mitZine. Also in this issue of the mitZine: Dont forget to check out the mitZine Online at for everything from Beginning each December, Hollywood is abuzz with awards additional commentary on at The Spoke lastentertainment, to politics, to what happened night. Stay tuned season fever. Who will wear what? Whose films will take home for information on how to get involved with the mitZine what prizes? What celebrity will feign the best laugh during Onlines second annual year-end roundup! Ricky Gervais monologue? In our Arts & Entertainment

Letter from the President

ustin Nozuka came to London on the 23rd of November, performing in front of hundreds of screaming Western students. We can thank the undergraduates in FIMS for that! Without the support of the Undergraduate Student Fund (USF) this concert, which also featured the talented Lindi Ortega, would not have been possible. This was the first time the MITSC has hosted a concert for FIMS students and the Western community! I hope this concert serves as an example of the kinds of events that students can organize with the help of the Undergraduate Student Fund (USF). The next deadline to receive applications is January 30. If this concert sparked a thought in you to run a particular event, know that if this concert was possible your event will be too! I hope those of you who attended the Nozuka gig enjoyed your night! As exams approach, keep your eyes and ears open for a special study break involving gingerbread houses brought to you by the MITSC on December 5! Yours truly, Zach Valliant MITSC President
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A New Time, a New Technique

written by Keith Tomasek
Keith Tomasek is a lecturer with the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Courses taught include: International Media and Social Change, ABC TV to YouTube: Broadcast in Transition and The Political Economy of Hollywood. As a producer and writer of a few films Tomasek has had the good fortune to be short listed for an Oscar nomination. He has also received the National Screen institute Drama Prize award and been nominated for a Genie award, the highest honor in the Canadian film industry. Projects Tomasek has worked on have been screened at Sundance, Berlin and TIFF, providing him with an opportunity to learn from internationally celebrated filmmakers.

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veryone Ive met, myself included, has the desire to connect with an audience. Is it any easier to do so now, compared to when I was studying film in university? It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. This best expresses my opinion about what it means to be an emerging filmmaker today. The best of times because access to the means of production, and certain audiences, has never been easier. The worst of times, for the same reasons. Making films used to be a very costly endeavor. Today digital recording equipment is, relatively speaking, inexpensive and accessible. Naturally this means more people are making films and competing for audiences. But with a multitude of film festivals, as well as online opportunities, it has never been easier to get your work in front of an audience. You never know who is watching.

What hasnt changed is the essence of a story. Story is the key to connecting with audiences. If you have any interest in film youve probably got some ideas about what constitutes a story. But I dont simply mean the narrative of your film. Your personal story as a film maker is also vital. So at the very initial stages of assembling the resources to make your film, as you discuss the film with friends, professors and potential revenue sources including arts agencies and competitions, its important to consider how youll share your inspiration in order to inspire others. Broadly speaking, consider how directors like Kevin Smith and Michael Moore, who both dont fit into the traditional model of a Hollywood director, produce not only films but an ongoing personal narrative about their lives. They do this through a variety of peripherals that not only generate revenue but provide them with opportunities to promote themselves as being relevant. In the end its all part of a professional meta-narrative. At these initial stages of your exploration into the arts and crafts of making films keep in mind that in order to succeed you must have something to say and you must be able to connect with people who want to listen. For some film makers winning a university, or Fringe Festival film competition can be a good start. For others

creating a viral YouTube video that acts as a catalyst for social change is more rewarding. Regardless of what you want to say UWOs Film Studies program is a natural place to learn. Of course MIT has a few relevant courses including one taught by Daniela Sneppova who recently curated an exhibition of underground publications, film, and music that explores how these pieces of art played a crucial role in resisting the totalitarian regime of Czechoslovakia. The people who made the films in the exhibition risked their lives for the benefit of others, and that is a true legacy whose relevance will endure, without the aid of media conglomerates. Samizdat: The Czech Art of Resistance, 1968-1989 runs through January 12, 2012 at the Czech Center New York, N.Y.

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elcome to FIMS Makes Films, your escape into the world of filmmaking through the eyes of four burgeoning FIMS-related artists. Let MITs Aleco Gammal take you into the world of an aspiring Torontobased actor. Go with MITs Mitchell Sturm to the New York Film Academy. Take a postapocalyptic ride with MTPs multiple awardwinner Danny Dunlop. And see what MTP-grad Kara MacLean has to say about breaking into the industry post-degree. Watch and download their work to support your FIMS peers!

Aleco Gammal

written by Stephanie Whitney

Last year Gammal discussed his aspirations with indie film director Ingrid Veninger. She told him its hard to get an agent without experience, and its hard to get experience without an agent. Not allowing that to get in the way of pursuing his dreams, he auditioned for Veningers film MODRA. His mix of awkwardness, confidence, charisma, rawness, confusion, and certainty, as Gammal remembers, are Veningers reasons for awarding him the opportunity to travel to Slovakia and film as one of the films leads, Leco. MODRA, a feature film about two 17 year-olds on a summer trip to Slovakia who, in trying to understand each other, discover themselves, appeared in several Canadian film festivals and travelled worldwide. Promotion relied a lot on word of mouth, so those involved did their part to tell friends and family about each festival and screening. Getting people to see the film is very hard when you dont have a budget to spend on advertising, Gammal says. He also notes that although the media does play a huge role in your success, you can still achieve success through your hard work and the quality of your film. Fortunate enough to have MODRA featured in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto lexander Gammal doesnt know when his passion Star and on CBC Radio, to name a few, Gammal did achieve for film first ignited. As a child, he loved escaping success without huge media coverage as he won the award to a different world as someone he would never for Best Canadian Actor at the 2010 Vancouver International normally be by dressing up as Robin Hood or a Film Festival. fire fighter or a pilot. I still like to do that, he says jokingly. The success of MODRA fueled Gammals decision to grab Although he isnt able to pinpoint an instance when he first a once-in-a-lifetime chance, taking a year off of school wanted to act, Gammals long developed love for the art of waiting for auditions so that he can prove himself, he says. theaterv11.i2] He explains, I do know that it is very hard to wait. In the 6 [mitZine is evident in his attitude and his works.

Mitchell Sturm
written by Zachary Lopez

itchell Sturm is an aspiring film director in his fourth year of MIT. He calls himself an editor of sorts splicing ideas together and embracing the whole remix culture. This year he has had the pleasure of being the MIT Head Soph, Media Coordinator on the USC Charity Committee, and a representative on the MITSC. Hailing from the booming metropolis of Pickering, Ontario, Mitchell has always had an eye for film. After graduating from high school, he knew that directing was where he wanted to be. Although he hesitates to call what he has a talent, he acknowledges that he has a good eye and a creative mind that keeps him up at night. FIMS has definitely provided a positive change in Mitchells outlook on film. I find that FIMS in general expands the mind, he says. It offers a perfect starting point to understand how film works and how it can be used to convey some kind of meaning or feeling. By the same token, MIT can be rather theoryheavy, he notes, so in 2010 he decided to spend his summer at New York Film Academy. This experience allowed him to learn the practical aspects of filmmaking, while being fortunate enough to make a few short films throughout his time there. During the same summer, Mitchell had a chance to observe the differences between the American and Canadian film industries. It really depends on the type of films you want to make, he says. The National Film Board of Canada really supports our artists, and there

are ways to make a living here. After experiencing film first-hand, Mitchell believes there are some misconceptions of filmrelated careers. Most people undervalue the creative end and exaggerate the difficulty of the career side. He believes that being an artist in any capacity is tough, but still possible with the right mentality. Film school, which is Mitchells goal post-MIT, is more of a commitment, but hopefully opens more doors later on. Film can be pretty powerful, says Mitchell, when considering the influence of the industry. He feels that all art is inclusive and shouldnt come with a social responsibility. In his opinion, its more important for people to be educated and media literate to the extent where they can appropriately interpret the medium. Although Mitchell states hes hardly an accomplished film director, he is surely climbing his way to the top. His greatest triumph in film so far has been the critique of his first narrative film. Having someone watch your film is like having someone judge your baby you want them to see it, but you hope they dont find it ugly, he jokes. In the near future, Mitchell envisions moving to New York, working for

someone under his own vision, and having his fourth film underway. Of course, getting there isnt going to be a piece of cake, but there are ways to get a head start on the journey. If you want to direct, try and write, edit, produce, and star-in films. Its great practice and it forces you to envision the whole project. Keep a notepad next to your bed 80% of my best ideas come from dreams or thoughts before I sleep. Lastly, direct in your own style. Check out some of his work at or

meantime I have to stay busy by taking acting classes and working so that I can continue pursuing my passion. Being away from school, Gammal does miss Western and FIMS, but recognizes that hell be able to come back if things dont work out. With inspiration ranging from Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling to his happily married grandparents, Gammal is currently trying to do everything he can to become a better actor. He emphasizes the importance of identification, no matter how big or small, with the roles that he plays so that he can be natural and believable as that person. Aside from acting, Gammal enjoys writing and directing, all three of which help tell a story and allow him to express himself. He believes that it is essential that you are truly

passionate. If you love doing it, then nothing should be able to stop you. Gammal advises those interested in acting to keep the mind and body sharp and take every chance you get [for practice] through student films, community theatre, or even reading your younger cousin a bedtime story. There is a reason you are interested in acting, so dont give it up if its something you truly love. Although he says that hed love some advice himself, Gammal is doing an excellent job representing FIMS in film. Released by Mongral Media, MODRA is available on DVD across Canada and on iTunes and Check out the films website at
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Danny Dunlop
written by Emily Fister
Are we riding high on technological success, or have we never actually left? lack Wave Films, the brainchild of fourth year MTP - Television Broadcasting student Danny Dunlop, has captivated audiences with its cutting edge Sci-Fi vision. Drawing inspiration from the classic Space Odyssey scheme of Stanley Kubrick, 21-year-old Dunlop created the post-apocalyptic Entrada. And its his most ambitious project yet. One of the things I like doing with my work is showing existing issues or topics in a different light. With so many young filmmakers shooting post-apocalyptic films, I thought this was the perfect challenge, he says. With previous works focusing on nuclear anxiety (see the gripping Untitled: a documentation of the end of the world) and exploding success with special effects, Entrada is Dunlops cumulative thematic creation. This award-winning short film is gripping viewers here in Canada, and gaining media attention south of the border as well. Entrada is filled with urgency and technological turmoil. Catherine, the lone survivor on the USS Santa Maria, wakes up after 235 years of uninterrupted sleep to find that her only companion is the ships computer. The year is 2042, and Catherine is no longer a person she is Patient 0337, metaphorically waiting to be healed by boarding the Santa Maria. The Earth was sick, Dunlop describes, placing human agency at the heart of the apocalypse. Americas dream of a Columbia 2.0 discovery mission had failed. Technology only aids our immaturity and recklessness. As for the origin of the illness, thats for the viewer to decide. Did Warren Steele just make a surprise cameo? Its still Dunlop Im interviewing, but his passion for FIMS is as strong as Steeles. Being in MIT has introduced me to new theories I have incorporated into my work, Dunlop states, namedropping Hans Moravec and Michel Foucault. [Their] ideas of going beyond what we define as human [] were definitely a major contributing factor to answering the question I had posed with the script: What happens when the human race cannot physically exist anymore? The accompanying score, an original Dunlop composition, is both tranquil and pressing, hinting at the unease evident in Catherines monologue.

The space-age craze and praise for Dunlop continues. Entrada recently received an Honorable Mention at the 2011 Independent Short Films & Animations Festival (ITSA) in Groveland and Sonora, California. The film was so well-received that ITSA decided to open a Science Fiction competition for its 2012 festival season. Dunlops project has also nabbed Best Drama and Best Film at the Ivey Film Fest, 3rd place at the UWO Undergrad Film Fest, and numerous other awards in London and beyond. For his next odyssey, Dunlop has set his sights on Toronto to refine his skills and break into the industry. With a new Halloween film in production, Dunlop hopes to abandon the labels of Horror or Science Fiction and tell a simple story. But that doesnt mean there wont be the signature epic Black Wave Films direction. In fact, Dunlop is an assured young filmmaker. I always write without any worry if I can or cant film what Im writing, he says. I push myself to find a way to do it no matter what because the story is the most important part. The USS Santa Maria may have never arrived at its destination, but Black Wave Films ship is right on course. Check out to get the lowdown on Dunlops work.

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scene from Entrada

Kara MacLean

I have loved film ever since I can remember, says recent MTP - Television Broadcasting graduate Kara MacLean. I love the art and the storytelling, and I really love the escapism of it. For MacLean, filmmaking is about creating an written by Sarah Koopmans enjoyable experience for viewers, not about delivering a message. Film should not always be taken as seriously as it often is, she says. Filmmaking is a tool of artistic expression and this should be left up to the filmmaker. The Toronto native is working hard at developing her own artistic talent: she placed first at the Ivey Film Festival (IFF) in 2009 with her short nostalgic film I Remember, second in 2010 with Keep in Touch, a film made of hundreds of photographs, and second in 2011 with the whimsical Sam. Her list of accomplishments has only grown exponentially from there. MacLeans IFF win led to jobs with Alliance Films and E1 Entertainment Canada, and later with the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), TEDxUWO, and Warner Bros. She also won two Television Broadcasting Awards during her time at Fanshawe College and a peoples choice award and award for best drama at UWO for her film Things I Like, Dislike, and Nothing in Between. Despite her extensive experience, the 22-year-old is not at all jaded by the industry, nor does she feel any burden to cater to the socially responsible ideals of some critics. I think that films can be analyzed to a point where assumptions are made about depictions of certain social choices or beliefs of filmmakers, when mostly these were just fast decisions made on set, not really considering social responsibility, says MacLean. She cites Sean Durkins Sundance Film Festival darling Martha Marcy May Marlene, a story about a woman who escapes from a cult, as an example of a film that incorporates controversial issues without trying to make a statement. There are many depictions of gender inequality, abuse, and multi-dimensional characters that arent defined as good or bad: these choices are part of the story arc that is integral to the film. MacLean, who graduated from UWO in June, is currently employed as a freelance editor and video consultant at TBK Creative, the Toronto and London digital marketing and social media agency. Her plans include studying film production at UCLA next year and working for the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January. Modestly unwilling to declare herself an up-and-comer, MacLean insists she merely loves the industry: I know that I will work in film for the rest of my life, because its my passion and I cant imagine doing something else. Watch MacLeans films on Vimeo:

are you a student filmmaker in FIMS who wants to be profiled? screenwriters/actors welcome! email

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Self-reflection, Story Telling, and Rebranding (Oh, my)
written by Elizabeth Sarjeant, illustrated by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood
review. The survey attached asked questions regarding how members of the Western community perceive the university and what it means to them. Involving the community in this exercise has so far meant involving them in market research rather than in the active production of a better story for Western. Of course, hiring Hahn Smith is not storytelling its re-branding. And whats more, hiring a branding agency is a characteristically corporate endeavour. The self-reflective story, our story, according to Chakma, should arguably be told by the school itself and not an outside firm. Though it will certainly be interesting to see what the end result of this project is, this type of exercise in public relations is nothing new. Generally, universities undergo a rebranding campaign about once every 5 years or so, says Lindsay Carrochi, who has an MA in Media Studies from Western. Carrochis thesis discusses the schools 2000 branding initiative, from which the now-pass University Tower logo resulted. The universitys logo is the first thing to go in Westerns current image purge, and were on the market for a new one. Carrochi reports that according to ranking surveys, the 2000 campaign was successful in shifting Westerns reputation as a second-rate party school, to that of a leading research-intensive university. But has the quality of the university itself changed to this effect? In Through the Looking Glass: The Promotional University 2.0, Associate FIMS Professor Alison Hearn quotes Andrew Wernick: Universities in the thrall of corporate capital and promotional logic lose sight of the universitys dual and paradoxical mission Rather than just evolving, each universitys collective identity becomes a matter of obsessive definition, becoming in the end a wholly artificial construct. Amidst all the PR lingo used by the school in its communications, Westerns raw identity is obscured.

ucked into an old stone office building at downtown Torontos Spadina and Adelaide is the office of Hahn Smith Design, a branding firm that has helped Queens, U of T, and Harvard freshen up their appearances. Why should we care? Because our university is next. On top of Hahn Smiths work with educational institutions, the self-proclaimed pre-eminent company has also done the branding, communications, and graphic design for corporations such as Cineplex Odeon, CIBC, and Mattel. Yes, the university is a corporation. Okay, fine, the students are its customers. But as a company in the education industry, Western has the unique opportunity to actively involve its students in the rebranding process. Many of the universitys operations are run by students. Projects for The Gazette, CHRW, and Big Purple Couch arent outsourced to distant corporate headquarters. Students clamour for jobs at the campus grocer, InPrint, and Western Pharmacy, not to mention at all of Westerns on-campus eateries. Why not, as Aaron Codner suggests in his Gazette letter, have Western students in related areas of study look at the re-design? Ivey and BMOS both offer marketing programs; FIMS students themselves happen to know a little bit about branding; and Multimedia students in MTP specifically have the hands-on skills for logo design.
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However, the project would become ever more transparent should students become involved in the process, and the universitys most commercial motives will be exposed. So far, President Amit Chakma is avoiding the use of corporate key-words when discussing the initiative. You can call it a rebranding, but I prefer calling this a communications exercise, he says, also referring to the process as a bit of self-reflection in Western News. We need to look at a better way to tell our story. This justification might remind an MIT student of the Rockefeller Foundations legitimization of propaganda as mass media research in the 50s. But this seems never to have occurred to Chakma. He goes on to say that its the members of our community who generate these stories. So how can we do it without their help? Chakma implores. We cannot. The official rebranding website (uwo. ca/uwocom/branding/index.html) suggests joining the conversation by tweeting using the hashtag #westernvisid (where visid stands for visual identity). Type this into your Twitter search bar, however, and youll see that no one has used the tag so far, aside from @westernu itself. #westernu is reviewing its visual identity and wants to hear from you! read the October 5 tweet, carefully explaining nothing whatsoever about the end goal of this

Why Do We Feel Safe on Campus?

written by Laura Panopoulos, illustrated by Warren Kong

estern is a safe campus, right? After making this comment to a friend, I was unsettled to hear that on October 12 around 6:30 AM there had been a sexual assault north of the TD Waterhouse Stadium. Friends and acquaintances I spoke with on campus hadnt heard about the attack, and although the USC-affiliated Gazette reported when a charge was laid for a sexual assault outside of Sears on Oxford Street West, the paper failed to acknowledge the incident that happened on our very own campus. Why were students left in the dark? Off-campus news sources including CTV, AM 980, Metro News, The London Free Press, and London Police featured reports on the assault; yet university-affiliated news sources failed to acknowledge it. AM 980 not only reported the assault but provided a description of the offender, and even interviewed female students who all expressed concerns about their safety. The Campus Community Police Service website explains that one of its duties is to notify students when an incident has occurred. The site states: Crime Alerts are issued when personal safety information is received by Campus Police and it would be advisable to alert specific areas of campus or all members of the campus community to the situation. Adding to the irony of Campus Polices neglect to issue an assault alert is the fact that Elgin Austen, director of Campus Police, reportedly declined to comment on the incident when contacted by AM 980, instead

directing inquiries to London Police. On my first attempt to contact the Campus Police about the assault, I was told to call back because the sergeant was busy. Calling for the second time, I asked to speak directly to the sergeant, who told me I would need to contact relations and community affairs. I decided my best bet would be to visit them in person. The sergeant I spoke with at the office told me the assault was a sensitive issue and advised me to speak to Elgin Austen, director of Campus Police. The intensive hunt for a comment and formal acknowledgement finally secured this statement from Austen: It was a London Police investigation, not a Campus Police investigation. We supported them in the investigation and had something on [the website] that day and for the next few days. Austen stated that The university website has more viewers than the Campus Police website so information was provided on the university website. However, he was not able to find a direct link to the universitys statement. How safe can we really feel at a school whose own police force avoids confrontation about what happens on campus? Moreover, the Womens Issues Network (WIN) at UWO was unable to provide any information on the incident. WIN Coordinator Lesley Campbell explained, UWO has a very strict policy on who receives information regarding emergency instances on campus, and until this situation, we were not on that list.

Campbell also informed me that USC President Andrew Forgione is working with Campus Police and UWO Communications to make sure this changes and that WIN is informed. In the midst of an investigation, Campus Police reserves the right to let us know what information we can and cannot share, she stated. On November 2, the campus Womens Caucus met to discuss a possible Sexual Assault Center on campus. The center would educate students about the services available for preventative measures, such as Foot Patrol, and support victims in the event of an assault. At this time, Westerns image as a safe campus creates a false sense of security, which may prevent students from taking extra precautions like calling Foot Patrol for a walk home or knowing how to use the emergency poles on campus. What is preventing us from hearing the truth about campus safety? Does this lack of information merely reflect the universitys structural problems with communication, as WIN suggests? Or is Western ultimately protecting their reputation as the best student experience, in which student safety plays a major role? With the many news outlets at the universitys disposal such as the university website, social media, and print news, I find it absurd that my best source of information on campus was word of mouth.
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Rainbows, Not Toilets

written by Kevin Hurren, illustrated by Cameron Wilson

arlier this year, the University Students Council alerted attention to the need for more gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. I use the word attention loosely. Although the story graced the front page of The Gazette, it barely penetrated student consciousness. The initiative began in 2008 with the promise of an additional ten single-stall bathrooms per year, each with both male and female symbols together indicating a unisex bathroom. Since then, the Western campus has reached a total of 18 gender-neutral bathrooms. For those who cant do the mental math, this means were behind. According to vice-president of campus issues, Marissa Joffre, the aim of the gender-neutral bathroom movement is to support the diverse community that Western values so much. By pushing this project forward, the USC hopes to bolster Westerns reputation as a school that accepts diversity. The councils concern is legitimate. However, the concept of reputation implies a publicly recognizable quality. As FIMS students, we learn about how important public image can be. Information needs to be streamlined and presented in a certain way to create a certain image. But its difficult for the gender-neutral bathroom project to promote a diverse community at Western when the Western community itself either doesnt know or doesnt care. Dont get me wrong, if these bathrooms help any student feel more comfortable with issues of gender identity or privacy issues, their implementation is worthwhile. Campus should be a place for all students to feel comfortable, but the USCs effort to foster this feeling is misplaced. More single stall bathrooms dont directly support the diversity movement. Many students dont view gender-neutral bathrooms as a motion of acceptance. Take, for example, restaurants. Many restaurants and eateries have single-stall bathrooms, but most restaurant patrons dont give a second thought to the ethical intentions of the establishment. When was the last time you heard someone walk away from a meal saying, Wow, the bathrooms at that place create such a welcoming atmosphere thats really accepting of diversity... and the fries are great too! The lack of such reflection on the part of students will ensure that genderneutral bathrooms on campus remain a symbol for little more than a toilet and sink. The USC should instead focus on promoting the other steps Western has taken toward becoming an accepting place. For example, did you know that the Pride Western service is relatively new to campus? In Westerns history, the group has had many different names and a long struggle. After being renamed, de-ratified, and re-established, the group finally went from being a club to an official Western service. This transformation meant a free and available support system for students facing concerns with gender identity and orientation. What about the Pride Library? Did you know you could find this recently renovated section in Weldon? Established in 1997 as an official Western research site, the library hosts an impressive collection of books, periodicals, and other resources by and about gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals. The library is also the first of its kind at a Canadian university. It is these moments in Westerns history that we, as a community, have to be proud of. The work done by those at Pride Western and the Pride Library contributes to Westerns image as a safe, diverse community. Will more gender-neutral bathrooms help with this vision? Yes, but if students are ignorant of projects like Pride Western and the Pride Library, can a few gender-neutral bathrooms really change the schools reputation? If any flag of diversity is going to be raised on campus it should depict a rainbow, not a toilet stall.
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FIMS: Under Construction | A Call to Action

written by MITSC Faculty Liaison Jessica Segal, illustrated by Jordan Coop

n light of the recent Rogers Chair Events on October 19 and November 29 (open-forum, town hall discussions featuring representatives from the FIMS student body and faculty), people in our community are starting to question whether or not FIMS is working. The Rogers Chair discussions applauded FIMS, on the one hand, for being interdisciplinary, but condemned it for lacking focus and cohesion on the other. As media students, why not question the very institution we are a part of ? It could make all the difference in the future of this program. And if theyve taught us anything, isnt it to be critical? The truth is that these talks have been going on for as long as FIMS has been in existence. Issues are discussed formally in Faculty Council and the Undergraduate Affairs Committee. And these discussions go on in every faculty. Every few years, university programs go under review, meaning that they are comprehensively evaluated for quality control by the powers that be. FIMS is up for review in the next few years, which is why asking questions and proposing changes now is so very crucial. Current initiatives Ive undertaken this year have to do with improving the quality and structure of our program. For one, to reconfigure the second year writing course so to better suit the structure and

academic goals of MIT/MTP/MPI. The course, offered through the Faculty of Writing, Rhetoric and Professional Communication, is relevant in theory, but lacks focus and consistency with the rest of our program. In addition, the peer-editing component of this workshop-style course divides the first year MTP students from second year MIT students who may have different skill levels in writing. I am also interested in grade transparency, particularly the participation grades that account for upwards of ten percent of final grades, yet are assigned without written merit or feedback. In a media program so focused on communication, interacting with our professors and peers is valuable. But if students dont know how to improve, whats the point? These are just some of the issues in the grand scheme of FIMS, so I urge you, as a member of the undergraduate student body, to be patient. Many of the problems within FIMS are structural, meaning there is no quick-fix. Most importantly, I implore you to grab your hard hats and shovels with me (so to speak) and be active in the reconstruction of FIMS. Students can influence change, but it wont happen unless there are enough hands. So the next time you get an email inviting you to a Rogers Chair meeting or a student panel, do come out, either to listen, to form an opinion, or to speak about your experience as an undergraduate in FIMS.

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Rethinking Hollywoods Awards Season

written by Kevin Hurren, illustrated by Lauren McVittie
Just like the winter frost, Hollywoods awards season seems to encroach upon our lives in January and February. In these months alone there are more than ten major award shows, including the Critics Choice Awards, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Academy Awards. Television viewers enter a kind of award show hibernation, storing away snack foods and watching not only the award show but the before, after, and behind-the-scenes specials. Watching viewers fall headfirst into the primetime madness makes one wonder, why all the hype? The answer is clear when examining how the classic award show plays into a number of human desires. The first is the desire to be famous, or at the very least, emulate celebrity. We watch the red carpet to see who is wearing what, and we watch the award presentations so we can have something to say about the speech everyone will be talking about tomorrow. The universe has conveniently put our favourite celebrities under one roof and we love it. Award shows also feed into the desire to be right. Every time this season comes around, award predictions tend to pop up everywhere. Blogs are swamped with such outcome guesses, and there is a constant pursuit to be the one who called it right from the start. The fact, of course, is that most of these claims and guesses are biased. For example, if
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you have only seen two out of the ten Best Picture nominees, you cant claim the winner is going to be one of these two, Im sure. However, most seem to ignore their own ignorance and assume that the theatres theyve graced with their presence always show the best films. This need to be right has even reached a point where bets are placed on certain nominees, dragging prestigious award ceremonies down to the level of dog tracks and beer pong. Perhaps the saddest part of it all is that many in the industry dont want such obsession to change; in fact, they love it. Having the Best Picture label stamped on DVD covers is a guaranteed way to increase sales. Studios spend millions of dollars to promote their films during awards season, making many award shows prioritize marketing over quality. After all, if awards were based solely on merit then the fact that the Twilight Saga won five MTV Movie Awards, including Best Film and Best Male and Female Performances, would be cause for riot. It is even easier to view award ceremonies as a venue for marketing when considering the 2011 Academy Award decision to have Anne Hathaway and James Franco host. In an attempt to branch out to younger audiences, the two inexperienced presenters were given the honour. Whether such a marketing manoeuvre was successful is questionable. Perhaps Academy Award-

winning director and former producer of the ceremony William Friedkin had it right when he referred to the Academy Awards as the greatest promotion scheme that any industry ever devised for itself. It may not be possible to avoid falling for such a scheme, but as with all advertising, its effect on us depends on how we perceive it. This awards season, resist the urge to obsess over celebrities and make wild predictions about winners. Refuse to fall for marketing hype and stop yourself from dishing out the dollars for anything with a shiny statue label on it. Instead, perhaps, enjoy the shows as a way to recognize the hard work of those in the industry. As FIMS students, many of us will be working in the film, television, and music industries. Who knows, a few Western alumni (perhaps some of our FIMS Makes Films subjects) may even grace the stage of an award show, and when that happens Im sure wed all like them to receive the respect they deserve. We end this thought in typical award show fashion: the envelope is in, and the winner is... Well, maybe for once we wont focus on who wins, who loses, and who spends the most on advertising. Well just respect the dedication and the talent.

written by Stephanie Schoenhoff, illustrated by Bryan Gold Was there sufficient investigation into the death of Michael Jackson, or was Dr. Conrad Murray the only smooth criminal they could find?

Dont Stop til You Get Enough

Its been two and a half years since pop music legend Michael Jackson overdosed on the powerful anaesthetic Propofol. On November 7, 2011, after a six-week trial that included 49 witnesses and 300 pieces of presented evidence, Dr. Conrad Murray, Jacksons personal physician, was found guilty and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. According to the court decision, Murray was the sole person responsible for Jacksons death. In a CNN interview, however, Michael Jacksons brother Jermaine Jackson stated that Dr. Murray is a small finger on a larger hand that is responsible for the death of the pop icon. Should the media have taken a better look at the defense case? Maybe there is more to the story, or perhaps Dr. Conrad Murray was just too easy to villainize from the start. In a court system that uses the rule of precedence, its not surprising that yet another celebrity doctor is being persecuted by the media. Weve seen a similar decision before with the Marilyn Monroe trial, and, more recently, the Anna Nicole Smith trial, where her boyfriend-psychiatrist was blamed by the media for her accidental overdose and eventually convicted for providing Smith the drugs. Celebrity doctors are often put under the spotlight after drug-related deaths, despite the evidence of suicide or accidental death. This gives the impression that celebrity status exempts you from taking responsibility for drug use and abuse, that whoever gives them to you, or even legally administers them, is responsible. Despite the finality of the courts decision, its still worth looking at the defense case. They argued that Jackson was a drug addict who caused his own death by giving himself the Propofol despite the risks stated by Dr. Murray. Its risky and partly insensitive to put the blame on the victim, especially when hes a cultural icon, but there could be some validity to this point. Once the Propofol was prescribed to Jackson, he didnt have to take it. Although Dr. Conrad Murray was placed in the position to care for Jackson, he was not hired for constant surveillance. Should Jacksons family or friends have taken a more active interest in his mental health? He was clearly struggling with what appears to be little support from his family. The celebrity family only appeared to take an interest in their brother after it became a court case. Perhaps the larger hand Jermaine was talking about was his own.
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Since September, demonstrators have been occupying the heart of the American economy, New York Citys Wall Street, protesting a range of issues from government corruption to unemployment to corporate greed. Since then, the socalled Occupy protests have been popping up in financial districts around the world, sparking debate about their relevance, focus, and future.

Head to Head: The Occupy Wall Street Movement

Natalie Hunt
The careful financial planning of the Canadian government has ensured that Canadian students, sheltered by the 3-4 year bubble of academic life and interest-free loans, have long forgotten the 2008 global financial crisis. The majority of Americans have not been so lucky, considering millions of the formerly middle class have been hit hard by home foreclosures and job cuts. The occupation of Wall Street that began almost three months ago in New York Citys financial district, was largely a response to the action of the Obama Administration following the financial meltdown and its subsequent effects on the American people. It cannot be disputed that the lack of regulation in the US banking system, traceable back to the Clinton Administrations repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 (which separated investment and corporate banking the cause of the Great Depression), has had serious consequences for people around the world affected by the USs leading role in economic globalization. However, it seems that after saying everything the American voters wanted to hear about change and hope for the future, Obama has failed to heal Americas wounded ego. The now-global phenomenon of Occupy movements cannot be understood without reference to the lack of corporate responsibility in the US financial system. But even among the makeshift cardboard signs littering Zuccotti Park, this message is far from clear. Those claiming to represent the 99% seem to be protesting a feeling of powerlessness, rather than advancing any real political purpose. And while it is good to draw attention to the lack of consequences for those of the 1% who perpetrated mass fraud at a highly complex bureaucratized level, Occupys deliberate rejection of the traditional means of political expression and organization is destined to hinder the purpose of justice for the 99%. Occupying public space is fine for attracting intrigue, but eventually something concrete needs to be said about what this action is supposed to be promoting or protesting. The main problem is that in trying to define the movement, it loses much of its worth as a pluralist, non-hierarchical representation of outside-politics. Many seeking to advertise the cause have run into this problem, whereby the traditional practice of condensing products into marketable messages misses the movements point completely. However, this does not detract from the fact that most people do not understand the movement, and are likely to dismiss its idealism or the socialist and anarchist symbols captured by the media. Additionally, the increasing media coverage of the clashes between the police and protesters does nothing to legitimize its cause. Occupy Wall Street needs to define its own political purpose before it gets beaten to the punch by the media, and the 99% miss their opportunity to right the wrongs that American irresponsibility has inflicted on citizens of a global world.
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Julian Uzielli
Critics of the Occupy movement claim that unlike traditional protests, the people occupying financial districts and public parks around the world have, for the most part, failed to make clear what it is they want. In the American case, at least, I feel this is an exaggeration. Occupiers want many things, but those things are not all unclear or unreasonable. Natalie says the demonstrators seem to be protesting a feeling of powerlessness, rather than advancing any real political purpose. But is powerlessness not an inherently political problem? Corporations hold an enormous amount of influence in American politics, a relationship that led to the deregulation that has helped land their economy where it is today. The people at Occupy Wall Street feel powerless because their government is beholden to the corporate interest, at the expense of regular citizens. Some might call this an oversimplification, and they wouldnt be wrong; this is an enormously complex issue that cant be easily boiled down to a few paragraphs. But by the same token, its even harder to squeeze it into a slogan that fits on a placard. Its not that protesters dont know why theyre angry; its that the people making that claim are looking for one reason, and being presented with dozens. The problem is that its difficult to stage a protest against intangible enemies corruption, greed, deregulation, tax distribution, and unemployment (all of which are themselves umbrella terms for more complex issues), to name a few without sounding like you lack focus. Occupiers are concerned with a vast, systemic set of interrelated injustices, and in order to convey that they need a movement of equally vast proportions. They have no power to change the state of affairs by voting, if no candidate represents their interests, so instead they have turned to mass civil disobedience to make their dissatisfaction known in a way that cannot be so easily ignored. That said, I do think the movement could benefit from some sort of manifesto and a leader. Regardless of whether there are real reasons to be angry (and there are), as Natalie pointed out, without them it makes the movement all too easy to dismiss. Its easy for those with a vested interest to characterize occupiers as idealistic hippies who dont know why theyre angry if they dont have a leader and a list of concerns to counter with (especially among an increasing number of clashes with police at various Occupations). At the risk of making a questionable comparison, the most successful social movements are those with clear leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi. Without a leader, the Occupy movement is vulnerable to criticism from its opponents. The movement has swept the globe and has the potential to create real, lasting change, but if it cant gain mainstream public support it is in danger of fizzling out.

Manufacturing Apathy: Perspectives on Singapores Media Censorship

written by MIT exchange student Paul Craig
Govt pledges better life for all, states the October 11 headline of Singapores most widely-read daily newspaper, The Straits Times. I would elaborate, but if youve read the headline, youve read the article. Other recent stories have been just as incisive: on November 7, it was More elderly-friendly sports centres ahead, and on the following day, National plan for palliative health care to come, says health minister. On November 12, it was about getting more dentists and just in time, too. All of that sugarcoating cant be good for our teeth. I dont mean to say that The Straits Times is a saccharine publication definitely not. It reports on plenty of problems, but generally theyre in other parts of the world. Europe is sinking in debt, Thailand is sinking literally, and the US is just generally stewing it its own juices. Singapore, on the other hand, just won 17 medals for swimming at the SEA games. It all seems a bit suspect, especially once you learn that every newspaper in the country bar one is the property of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), an arm of the Government-owned Temasek Holdings investment firm. Its not exactly the arms length policy were used to in Canada. Also, any changes in leadership at SPH must be approved by the Government. In fact, the former head of the Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Arts (MICA) is slated to replace the SPHs current chairman. Excuse me while I raise an eyebrow. Its no secret that the media in Singapore is censored or, as the MICA prefers to call it, regulated. As a 2010 press release explains, the intent of regulation is to make more choices available [...] as we continue to uphold societal values and to safeguard and protect our young. Essentially, the reasoning is that regulating content is instrumental in upholding the values of society. It doesnt say anything about upholding the Government of society at least not explicitly. When I volunteered to write for a small student-run magazine here in Singapore, I asked if I could write about media censorship, but was refused. I was told it was illegal to print anything like that. I dont know why I was surprised. I mean, it makes sense that Singapore censors articles about Singapore censoring articles. Considering the government has ruled virtually unchallenged for 52 years, its not really a surprise to find a few sneaky power-preserving mechanisms here and there. Its not that Singapore is a bad place to live its actually pretty good. The infrastructure is very modern, the weather is always some version of pleasant, and the food is cheap (not to mention good). Also, several neighbouring countries have many more restrictions on the opinions youre allowed to have, and news is regulated to a much greater extent. Take China or Burma, for instance, where everythings a bit more But still, as a Canadian, Ive found media censorship quite disorienting. To read nary a word of criticism about the everpresent ruling party might be unsurprising, but that doesnt mean it isnt surreal. I had always pictured media censorship to be something active: something you could see when it happened. I figured that, somehow, everyone would just know the truth so that its obfuscation would be
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obvious like big, black bars across the newspapers but its not. Its more like big, black holes. You just dont ever know. Whenever you pick up a newspaper, youre playing a game called What Are They Not Saying? and you can never win. What does it mean when all newspapers but one are indirectly owned by a government that has held power since 1959? Is it a coincidence that other political parties have heretofore had such a negligible impact? Is their so-called conservatism indigenous to Singaporeans, or is it related to five decades of conservative news reporting? What Im saying is you should love the mitZine. Unconditionally. It may not have the budget, the polish or the readership of a major newspaper or magazine (it isnt exactly The Gazette), and maybe they dont print that often, and they arent able to pay their contributors, and the quality of the articles can be inconsistent, and its not even stapled most of the time. But other than that, its perfect. Kidding aside, the mitZine is an oasis, because the mitZine is free. Its free of overarching ideological imperatives, and free from the pressures of the (free) market: of including infotainment to bolster readership, or advertorials at the behest of corporate sponsors. The Zine is your opportunity to say what you want to say. Theres even an article on the mitZine website right now questioning the value of the FIMS faculty. Can you get any more MIT? Im not saying that you should write for the Zine. Im just letting you know that you can, and thats not true everywhere you go. I asked on a couple of forums for opinions on journalism in Singapore, and here were some of the responses: [G]o to the fishmongers at the wet market and you will see what local newspapers are best used for. Journalism in Singapore? I think it would be a good idea. Its sad sometimes, but the lack of freedom of speech has already been ingrained into us. Singapores safety and the comfort of living here as a whole contributes a lot to this. Its almost as if citizens have accepted the lack of freedom of speech as a trade-off for safety and comfort. The most popular comment is a flippant denigration of The Straits Times, while another wryly disparages the lack of real journalism in Singapore. The Governments manipulation of the media has resulted in a culture of apathy; and of course it has. How could it be otherwise? Because its not a public debate when there are no dissenting opinions when its illegal to have dissenting opinions. Thats not right. A society is made up of more than just one person, and it is the responsibility of any healthy media to reflect that. Another commenter put it succinctly: when only one opinion is allowed, its no longer just censorship. Its control. So if you have something you want to say, keep in mind what a luxury it is to be able to do so. Because you cant everywhere; and certainly not in Singapore, where the Government wants you to sit down, shut up, tow the line, and not make a Zine.

WikiLeaks: Responsible Whistleblowers or Information Thieves?

written by Michelle Coutinho, illustrated by Martin Boustany

ecently, there has been an increasing trend to deliver sensationalized information to the masses. Biased content that is less willing to contradict public opinion. News that is more concerned with having handsome anchors dish the dirt on Kim Kardashians failed marriage than global injustices. What is the solution to this problem? WikiLeaks. Founded by Julian Assange in 2006, WikiLeaks is a not-for-profit media organization that is dedicated to delivering important but classified information to the public. Working in association with The Sunshine Press, WikiLeaks has single-handedly changed the meaning of freedom of speech by publishing an array of previously undisclosed information concerning governments, war, abuse and suppression. Though they are at the forefront of numerous legal and political attacks, Assange and his team feel that their role in delivering knowledge to the public far outweighs any lawsuit. You would think that mass criticism and torrential backlash would compel them to suspend publishing, but it hasnt. According to WikiLeaks, publishing honest information will create transparency, which in turn will create a more cohesive and healthy society for all. Writing instructor and freelance journalist Melanie Chambers agrees with WikiLeaks objectives: News stations and news outlets are more often biased and swayed by advertisers and sensationalism. I think its imperative to have news free of these strings, she says. However, Chambers also has some reservations. I sometimes question their ethics it sometimes appears [more] sensational than truly trying to get the information out there, she explains. She added that when a free press harms others, it should be limited. Unfortunately for Assange, it looks like the lawsuits are piling so high that it could be pushing the company to
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go under. In a recent press conference Assange admitted that WikiLeaks will be unable to continue into the new year if it is unable to remove the blockade of several corporations. Because the company is non-profit, it heavily relies on donations to sustain longevity. However, their unfettered disclosure of information has prompted major financial service corporations such as MasterCard, VISA, Western Union, PayPal and Bank of America to place them in an economic confine, effectively blocking 95% of donations. The blockade is costing WikiLeaks tens of millions of dollars. According to CBC News, Assange has determined that WikiLeaks will have to

accumulate at least $3.5 million in order to sustain vitality into 2013. In an effort to acquire financial assistance, CBC reports that the organization has begun hosting auctions so that WikiLeaks supporters can bid on lunches with Assange, among other things. Despite their best efforts, the company has an estimated income of only six to seven thousand euros monthly, figures that are severely crippling their ability to operate. A free press was created to give journalists the freedom to communicate ideas without the interference of others WikiLeaks is simply trying to adhere to this idea by reporting on significant facts.

Gadhafi: Should Graphic Images Have Been Censored?

Buy Nothing Day Worthwhile

written by Kyla Garvey

written by Melanie Anderson, illustrated by Sabrina Zavarise

hy is it that when we view a violent, gory, or gruesome image online we are disgusted, but cant seem to take our eyes away from it? Interestingly, people are naturally attracted to certain types of violence. Thats what FIMS professor David Spencer believes. By the afternoon of October 20, 2011, images of Muammar Gadhafis bruised and bloodied corpse were circulating on the Internet and news media outlets across the world. When I initially heard the story and saw the images, I recognized the importance of covering this event, but the repulsive graphic nature of the videos forced me to question the reporters and photographers ethical decisions. In the reporters defense, this headline story was live, which can create a challenge in censoring the images and often creates the opportunity for graphic content to explode in the media. The availability and repeated use of this type of content, especially when extremely violent, is the troublesome issue. This practice has become a media phenomenon, and is a sign of the sensationalism in Western society. Professor Spencer, however, says that the trend of depicting the violence of war is not new. Civil war photographer Matthew Brady took some really disgusting pictures of battles that happened in and around Washington D.C and Maryland they were pretty heavy duty. Nasty and tasteless, he says.

Fourth year student Katya Shabanova remembers looking online for more images of Gadhafi, after hearing the news. She says, Pictures can serve as a greater form of proof even if they may be disgusting. Spencer also highlights that the secretive nature of Gadhafis life and recent whereabouts creates a greater public intrigue and influenced widespread interest in the story. Its a story of mystery the rebellion, the revolution, the March on Misrata and the march on TripoliIt was a story as ghastly as it was it was a reality. The killing happened and every day people around the world turned on their TV to see who would win the next round. It was a game. Examining the series of images in more detail, it is startling to see various individuals posing in photos next to Gadhafis corpse. At first glance I was disgusted. However, after further consideration of why people would want to do this, I realized that I havent walked in Libyan shoes. Libyans are likely celebrating this death for good reason. Its important to recognize who the deceased was, his significance, and more so the positive impact this death represents for so many people. Several Libyans claimed that this was the end of a war, and photographers wanted to capture the intense emotions that emerged from so many affected by his reign. These images served as a form of confirmation, a way for Libyans to obtain a level of satisfaction that only they could grasp.

As the year comes to a close, North Americans unite through one simple act: shopping. In retaliation to this holiday season spending-spree and Americas Black Friday tradition, Ted Dave launched Buy Nothing Day. The motives behind BND, firstly, encourage people to oppose the seductive corporate media who produce passive consumers and instead shop responsibly for fair trade, local, ethical, and eco-friendly products. Secondly, BND is a boycott of the fundamental values of capitalism that breed inequality and dependency; in this capitalist system if you dont own or buy a lot of stuff you dont have value. And finally, BND is about appreciating that time is beyond monetary value, and devoting more time to the people with meaning in your life. There are many arguments from the critics of BND: It seems like a pointless gesture; people can just go out and buy twice as much the next day. Or stop shopping? Our economy will crash! However, BNDs goals reach further than its 24 celebrated hours. As citizens we have the responsibility to engage in our democracy and the power to facilitate change in our own daily lives. Participating in actions like BND also helps to spread these messages and show the powers that be that the 99% are unsatisfied. Now that you know, be creative and come up with your own alternative solutions for a Buy Nothing Christmas.
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Appl i Dead cations line

Inappropriate Office Party @ Club Lavish*

* location to be confirmed

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more events (dates TBA):

- Miss Representation: documentary screening & discussion - Mediations journal: essays to be accepted! - FIMS Student Panel - Meet Your Prof 2.0 - MTP Focus Group