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USC Elections

Sandra Smeltzer


FIMS Future world

4 Politics Student

Academic Chair Aaron Zaltzman

12-13 of an The Ethical Costs

18 The Oversight that

Caused an Uproar 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

Professor Smeltzer



The Future of FIMS Jordan Coop, Kelly Mark, Genevieve LaCute

14 to Celebrity Subscribed
Emily Stewart

19 Primary Republican
Colours Emily Fister

8 Elections USC
Steven Wright, Paul Craig, Elizabeth Sarjeant, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood

15 a Community It Takes
Christine Tippet People Say Kevin Hurren

20 Over Substance
Showmanship Julian Uziellii


10 & The The Badge

Sarah Koopmans

16 Closer to Shit 21 Korea Post-Kim North Listening

Jong-il Annei Shim

11 One Vaccine 3 Audrey,

Hayley Siedel

17 Complex The CanCon

Kyle Morrison


Canadian Arctic Sovereignty

Kyla Garvey

23 Own Third Canadas

World Country Michelle Coutinho

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Another year is slipping through our fingers, but its an exciting time at Western U (yep, that happened) and the mitZine is thrilled to bring you the low-down on all that is February. Youll see the word everywhere in this issue, so Ill refrain from using it here and only spell it out: e-l-e-c-t-i-o-n-s. Its that time of year, and whether you love it or hate it, youre in FIMS and should care a little bit. But dont let me tell you what to care about, this issue has lots more to offer! A PEOM-er, a Profficer, and the Primaries isnt just a nice alliterationits the February Issue of the mitZine.

editors note. by jonathan forani

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a letter from the president

As February 1st struck at midnight there was an unusual buzz around campus. USC and faculty candidates hit Western to put up signs to promote themselves for the upcoming election. Two weeks filled with a crammed UCC, debates, and ultimately two weeks about you, the voting community. I hope each of you have time to read up on the candidates platforms and make an informed decision when you vote. Though these candidates futures as elected representatives of Western are yet to be decided, FIMS future is already secured. I am happy to announce a dynamic duo who will be representing FIMS next year. Jordan Coop has been acclaimed President and Kelly Mark has been acclaimed Vice-President External of the MITSC. I would like to take a moment to publicly congratulate them on their new positions! Both of these people are demonstrated leaders in our faculty and I look forward to seeing what they accomplish next year. One thing I would like to bring to everyones attention is that this is the third year in a row where FIMS has not had an election. Honestly, I wish I had the opportunity to be elected as President of this faculty council. I encourage future FIMS students to pick up a nomination form and run for an elected position. You do not have to be going into your last year in FIMS nor do you have to have council experience to be President or VP-External of the MITSC. What you need is passion, ideas, and a vision for where you want FIMS to go while you are in your position. Take a chance, and trust me, the experience will pay off whether or not you get the position. Once again, congratulations to Jordan and Kelly and please congratulate them if you see them around campus. If you want to be a part of next years MITSC there will be opportunity to do so later on in the semester. From your acclaimed MITSC President, Yours truly, Zachary Valliant

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Shes been named one of Canadas Top 25 Women of Influence, and won the Western Humanitarian Award for her research. FIMS associate Professor Sandra Smeltzer, once a Western student and USC member herself, provides a unique outlook on student life at Western. Ademofe Oye-Adeniran sat down with Smeltzer to see what role she feels student politics play in an age of supposed apathy.

being political is way beyond the voting booth

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How important is student politics?

Student politics is important at a number of different levels inside the university. You should have a body where people can go and talk about important issues that are going to affect students. I think the University Students Council is important for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is a large corporation. Its the largest students council in terms of its finances in North America. These are your representatives at the university level, at the administrative level, because Western as a university is a huge, corporatized public institution. So, the members of the USC are the conduit to the administration, to the faculty association, and to the staff association. You have to have a voice for students. I think undergraduate students are spending at least four years of their life here and this is a community for them. I think that there should be a place where people who want to get involved can get involved in the governance of it, for students. Also for me, its personal because I was a vice president of the USC many years ago, and I really enjoyed it. Its not always perfect, but they work hard to try and make the university better for students.

A lot of my work is about theory practise involving what can and should students do, and its hard to determine. But to just blanket it all in broad brush strokes and say that young people are politically apathetic, that is not fair. Do I think that young people should vote? Absolutely, because students have power in numbers. But being political is way beyond the voting booth.

I dont think it is student apathy, I think its more about students wanting to feel like what they are going to do is going to make a difference. They need to hear the message that they do matter, and they can shift politics. The sheer number and size of the student population here can change elections. You see countries around the world, countries that I have lived in, where an opportunity to vote brings out massive amounts of people because that is not something they have taken for granted. But again, politics is not just inside the voting booth, which What have you noticed about student is a key point to understand. I think the media use statistics apathy and media representations of our about student voting patterns as an illustration of youth apathy, which isnt fair, because politics happens outside of generation? Oftentimes in media representations, there is an idea that the the voting booth in so many different ways that the media vast majority of young people dont care, and that the few doesnt, or wont, capture for a wide variety of reasons. And who do care get involved in some sort of ultra-hippie-fringe I think the media representation is of a youth market and organization, which is absolutely not true. There are so many seeing youths as consumers with purchasing power, rather things now that students are political about that may not have than as citizens with political power. To me, this is the biggest happened so many decades ago. I think the difference now, problem. And I think that this narrative is reinforced among though, is a lot of students and young people want to be young people. politically involved but dont necessarily know where the right channels are to do it. I think at a university level the university institution encourages what you might call the sanitization of Western has a lot of school spirit. Do you political activitylike, join a club and wear a pin. That is not think any political interest at the university bad, but thats about it. It shows that you are involved, you level will be mirrored when students can put it on your resum or on your CV, but youre actually graduate, or is it just about school spirit? not shifting anything or rocking the boat because you cant School spirit here is unsurprisingly very strong, but I knew I afford to when thinking about your future. had found my place as an undergraduate student here when I The university institution has found a way, I think, over the found other people who were involved in the USC, who said, decades, to provide students with a little bubble so they Okay, I can make a difference, whatever it was. And those feel like they are being political, but in a way that can be so are some of my close friends today, 20 years later. These are contained that its safe and sanitized. I think there should be the years that students are really turning into adults, and when paths set out so that students feel like they can actually be they leave here, they leave as critical thinking citizens. I think political, outside of the sanitized little bubble. And you do see it is less about school spirit and more about people realizing it, too. For example, when people were pushing against the that there is something wrong here and doing something Caterpillar/Electro-Motive labour disputecutting workers about it because they have the power to do it. I think if wages by 50 percent, getting rid of pensionsthere was a you get young people to not only care, but feel like they can huge rally in Victoria Park. Many students from Western came make a difference, and that they have the power, that will be out to the rally. It was amazing. People want to be political, carried with them when they graduate. They are going to live but it is about being able to find the time to do it in a way in society and I want them to be people who feel that they that they feel like they are actually doing something. How to can make the society what they want to make it, instead of channel this desire to get involved is the struggle for young accepting what is there. people today.
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In the last USC election, only about 8,000 students voted. Doesnt that kind of a turnout point to student apathy?


Incoming MITSC President
1. What relevant experience do you have with FIMS? Thus far, Ive held two positions on the MITSC, including First Year Representative and MTP Representative. Ive been a faculty soph for the past two years, I assisted with the MITSC production committee last year, I am a current FIMS Ambassador, and Im also the current graphics editor for the mitZine. Moreover, I recently spoke at a FIMS panel discussion about some of the issues surrounding our facultys politics. 2. What are some goals you wish to achieve in this position? As an often-underrepresented minority in FIMS (MTP Student), a large part of what Id like to achieve as president revolves around inclusiveness. As such, it will be one of my primary goals to foster a more democratic involvement process within the faculty. That FIMS has had an acclaimed president for the past three years is in and of itself indicative of the facultys propensity for exclusivity. Of course, this trend hasnt been explicit nor intentional, but Im sure many students would agree when I say that there is a stark contrast between those involved and those not involved in FIMS. One of my goals, then, is to bridge this gap. How do I plan on doing so, you ask? I have a few ideas: holding more all-ages events throughout the year, especially near the beginning; opening council meetings to the public at least once a month; using the FIMS undergraduate student fund (affectionately the Levy) to hold events that enrich public intellectual life; running council endeavours less like guerrilla marketing teams and more like communities. With these initiatives, I hope to facilitate both engagement and involvement amongst FIMS undergraduate students. 3. What did the Rogers Chair discussions (Is FIMS Working?) mean to you? The discussions surrounding the current state of FIMS were, if nothing else, enlightening. Having attended all three panel discussions, I began to fully realize just how unique a faculty we have; the FIMS community is ripe with passionate, articulate, and engaged individuals, staff and students alike. While I think it is important to address the inevitable shortcomings of a faculty whose educational experience is so diverse and contemporary, it is also important not to lose sight of what we have. 4. Briefly describe your ten-year vision for FIMS. In ten years, Id like to see FIMS extend its presence globally. Ideally, wed strive to become more like Ivy-league institutions with which we have nothing in common. Perhaps an exorbitant re-branding process will do the trick


Incoming MITSC Councillor/VP External

1. What relevant experience do you have with FIMS? Currently MITSC VP Finance, MIT Soph (2010-2011), MIT Street Team Member (2009-2010). 2. What are some goals you wish to achieve in this position? My first focus will be to provide MIT students more support in a variety of aspects. I want to implement academic opportunities for students to seek help or provide assistance to others through a system of peer tutoring or review sessions. In addition, while many students are always looking for job/internship opportunities, the resources are simply not as accessible as they should be. I want the MITSC to provide resources to allow students to seek their potential in the workplace. I want to have job/internship/volunteer postings (for external organizations or on-campus opportunities), resum workshops, internship reviews and industry tips. My second focus will be on ensuring MIT has a larger impact on the Western campus. Its time we break down the stereotypes of FIMS students. So I think its important to have more structure and cohesion within all the events we execute to ensure we are appropriately showcasing our faculty and making it accessible to every individual MIT and Western student. I am hoping for bigger events that include all streams of MIT, MTP, and MPI. 3. What did the Rogers Chair discussions (Is FIMS Working?) mean to you? I think the Rogers Chair discussions encouraged an open dialogue between every person involved in the FIMS Faculty. As a relatively new faculty, FIMS is constantly facing changes and further developments. So, in order to ensure the faculty is headed in the right direction, there must be a collaborative discussion between students, staff, professors, and administration. If we are able to have an active conversation about it, I have no doubt in my mind that great changes can come from this. 4. Briefly describe your ten-year vision for FIMS. When I think of FIMS in ten years, I think of the students, the alumni, the people. As such a unique and innovative faculty, FIMS should be creating change within our society and leading the way in innovative and critical thinking. In ten years, I hope that FIMS grows to be a prestigious program where students can effectively learn how to apply their academics to their surroundings and personal lives.

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Incoming MIT Head Soph

For this upcoming year, Genevieve LaCute (3rd year MIT) has been selected for Head Soph of the 2012 MIT Soph team. She will be taking over for graduating Head Soph Mitchell Sturm. Genevieve has demonstrated her leadership skills in her previous role as Assistant Head Soph, alongside Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood. She has a contagious passion for the FIMS faculty and is so excited for her new responsibilities. Get ready for an outstanding O-Week 2012 with new ideas and pizazz!

the non-election
written by the mitZine editoral team

he mitZine is not going to sit here in your hands and give you that overcooked line about student apathy and what we must do to change our generational laziness in the political realm. You get that enough from the old man on the 2 Dundas. This isnt some pseudo-intellectual call to action about the power of participatory democracy. We know this was just a student election. But we were really looking forward to it. The mitZine staff were ready to provide you with a valuable resource mid-elections. This was a chance for our faculty to play in the democratic process so lauded in the classroom. But alas, for a third straight year, the only two elected positions on the MIT Student Council have been acclaimed. This is, of course, not to diminish the work that Jordan Coop and Kelly Mark will do in their respective roles both are worthy candidates, acclaimed or otherwise. So when we think about why FIMS is faced once again with a non-election, can we blame the rise of the Lazy Generation? Is it that, to the uninitiated, the world of council meetings and soph-tags looks like an exclusive club? For 4th-year MIT student, Alessia Santaguida, that is exactly it. I feel like its a pretty cliquey program, she says, which makes it intimidating at times. For a faculty as small as FIMS, the feelings of exclusivity must only feel heightened. As faculty president next year, Jordan Coop says he hopes to change that by fostering a more inclusive process in selecting his council team, an important part of getting students involved,

and making FIMS a more democratic faculty, rather than one, he says, that has often prided itself on this exclusivity. Even still, theres more to the non-election plague that sweeps FIMS. Ive always wanted to be more involved with the MIT scene, says Santaguida, but I never really knew how. A student government that doesnt make its student body aware of how to participate can hardly call itself a government at all. Its easy for us to complain about student apathy. After all, anybody could have run for president if they looked hard enough to find information about the process. But heres where we own up to our own mistakesyour student council and student publication should have done more. Although there was talk about making a concerted effort to raise awareness about the possibilities available, most students were left out of the loop. As a program that focuses heavily on the importance of transparency and democratic processes, its ironic and saddening that the importance of our own facultys elections have been so seemingly neglected. Hence, the problem is also the solution. Whereas the mitZine may have failed in this respect previously, the potential to remedy the issue is immense. As the selection process begins for an array of non-elected leadership positions, its worth keeping in mind that next school year has been deemed a re-building year for the faculty. Coop and Mark both say they are looking forward to engaging with a much broader group of students and faculty alike.

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Is it just us, or are the elections a way bigger deal this year? More so than ever before, USC presidential candidates propaganda is invading our social media. The far-reaching four will find us in every corner of both our online and offline lives, claiming to want to represent us and explaining that without our support, they could never succeed in making Western a better place for students. Flattering, of course, but also confusing. Here weve included a few words from each candidate regarding how FIMS fits into their campaign. Weve also let critics Steven Wright, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwoood, Elizabeth Sarjeant, and Paul Craig analyze each candidates best and worst platform point. And of course, each analysis finishes off with a healthy injection of FIMS perspective. Their videos established that they can all walk, but can they talk the political talk in their platforms?


Best Platform Point

written by Steven Wright

USC 311

Fearnalls simple and potent goal to centralize the Universitys online amenities is a welcome and much-needed idea. I think we can all agree, the digital labyrinth that is the Universitys online service is not only primitive but cumbersome. Learning to navigate Westerns unwieldy online experience certainly doesnt alleviate the overwhelming apprehension a first year student faces when registering for courses or trying to access financial services. Fearnalls vision for the website is based on Toronto 311s concept, which would place links to all of the Universitys services on one page.


Its Time Western

Worst Platform Point

Mustang Hub
As if we arent bombarded with enough broadcast media, Fearnall has a silly vision of a space in the UCC outfitted with multiple TVs tuned to the strongest news channels, newspaper stands, and free coffee between 6am and 8am. In addition to its eccentric phraseology, this platform point is both impractical and unnecessary. Several new TVs were just installed in the main lounge, but theyre spread out all over the place. There are ways for those who are interested in getting the strongest news to do so; in the immutable words of Apple, theres an app for that.


English and Political Science (Huron), Year 4

Where FIMS fits in (Straight from the candidate):

Our platform puts forward big ideas like the
interest credit so that students, in MIT and across Western, have a chance to take an interesting and challenging course without fear of the mark affecting their GPA. We also place emphasis on the importance of arts and culture in the Western community by committing to create Mustang Records and the Mustang Arts Collective.

Bottom line for FIMS

As many of us are in the business of not only critiquing media but also producing it, Fearnalls apparent passion for the arts is something many students in FIMS can respect. His plans to establish a flourishing arts community include providing financial and professional support for a community of artists, writers, and musicians, updating the recording studio at CHRW to provide more recording space for students, and partnering up with Writer-in-Residence to inspire and provide resources to aspiring authors. Although some points seem vague, its good to see enthusiasm for the creative spirit which FIMS embodies.

written by Hadrian MertinsKirkwood



Best Platform Point


You Deserve More

Improving the Spoke Experience Im going to cheat here and lump together a number of her platform points, all of which are geared towards improving the overall Spoke experience. Integrating varsity athletics is a novel idea that should benefit both the Spoke and our Mustangs, making hot water accessible is a no-brainer, installing a line cam should help with inconsistent wait times, and purchasing Dyson Airblades and a jukebox will only attract more Spoke patrons. Assuming all of these ideas are feasibleand they should bethey will help the Spoke to continue growing as the main undergrad hangout on campus. What stands out about McArthurs Spoke platform points compared to those of her opponents is that she is not planning on changing the way the Spoke operates. She wisely leaves alone things like menu and pricing, which should be left to the management.


Worst Platform Point

History and Political Science, Year 5

Where FIMS fits in (Straight from the candidate):

We know that the world is moving towards social media. Thats why I want the USC to be keeping students informed through a regularly-maintained blog. Your faculty specializes in the effectivity of communication. If the USC wants to expand its social media image, we need the expertise of FIMS.

More Student Parking McArthurs platform is weakest where she has no tangible plan besides lobbying on behalf of students. This is especially evident when it comes to student parking, an area far outside the jurisdiction of the USC. Will she lobby to have new parking lots built? Or does she want students to get higher priority spaces compared to staff and faculty? Its simply not clear where more spaces will be coming from.

Bottom line for FIMS

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McArthur is running a populist campaign that is in no way faculty-specific. If youre a Spoke regular with an interest in Westerns physical campus, theres plenty in her platform to get excited about. Things like laptop chargers, live bus time boards, more outlets, and a new crosswalk are tangible infrastructural improvements that students want to see. The big concern is whether or not any of these things can actually be done, since they will require extensive cooperation with Western, the LTC, and the city of London, not to mention the large cost of implementation. If youre looking for more out of the USCs other services, like the clubs system, for example, or for an academic focus from the president, youll be better served by the other candidates.

Best Platform Point


written by Elizabeth Sarjeant

Because I Care

Environmental Initiatives Both the best and worst aspects of Rosss campaign reside in the fact that it isnt final. Shes committed to adding points as she gains insight from students throughout her campaign. While giving her platform the democratic advantage of being somewhat student-generated, its hard to commit to a vote when we wont know the extent of this platform until the election. So far, Ross is the candidate most notably focused on environmental initiatives. While more recycling bins and bike racks on campus are hard to dispute, a paperless USC office and online textbook library are more challenging goals. However, Rosss passion for tackling green issues rang true at the first presidential debate. Shes also personalized the often-heard environmental stance with her distinctive cute factor, promising to advocate equal rights for recycling.


Worst Platform Point

Environmental Science, Year 3

Where FIMS fits in (Straight from the candidate):

I want to continue representing all students of every faculty and FIMS fits right into those promises. In my platform I discuss discounts at The Wave. These discounts will change on a daily basis and I would love to represent FIMS so that you can enjoy the deliciousness at a student price.

Frost Week Plans Rosss plans for Frost Week are the most ambitious and least feasible part of her platform. At the first presidential debate, the other candidates were quick to condemn her proposed beer garden in the middle of January as relatively unimportant to the schools improvement. Western students already have plenty of venues for drinking. Of course, a platform cant be all work and no play. But in general, the USC should be willing to spend the most money on whats most important. We should also keep a critical eye on those conspicuous Vote Logan signs that have cropped up around campus. All that teal-coloured paint wont hide the wood from trees sacrificed for this supposedly pro-green campaign.

Bottom line for FIMS

Strictly speaking, Ross has ignored USC-funded campus media in her platform. When accused of overlooking the Gazette, CHRW, and Big Purple Couch during a BPC interview, the optimistic candidate tried, Theyre really great right now, so I didnt see any room for improvement. Meanwhile, Rosss platform does pitch a few improvements to online media, such as a Presidents Corner blog and better-functioning USC website. Most interesting to the FIMS-trained mind, however, is her stance on information access. The self-declared USC outsider knows what its like to be information poor when it comes to student councils inner-functioning, and her proposed open-access Town Hall Meetings are unmistakably reminiscent of Habermass public sphere, actual inspiration aside.

Best Platform Point

written by Paul Craig

Focus on Health Currently, dozens of students are waiting for treatment from Psychological Servicesand even more students are awaiting assessment. Jon Silvers proposed solution is a twelve-hour student helplineand there even seems to be a plan to implement it. Inspired by similar programs (such as Leeds Universitys Nightline), student volunteers trained by qualified professionals would be available all night to listen (anonymously and confidentially) to any student in need. A daytime initiative is supposedly underway already, but Silvers plans reach much farther.

MIT, Year 4

Get More Western

Worst Platform Point

Program: Where FIMS fits in (Straight from the candidate):

As a two-time council member, I know that the passionate students on the MITSC can best address FIMS problems. But Ill bring a FIMS perspective to the USC, and hopefully make the treatment of all students more evenhanded. Oh, and Id be the first USC President to attend our Office Party. #bestnightoftheyear

Focus on Everything Reading Jon Silvers entire platform is a daunting task: its a swollen, gelatinous monster positively oozing promises. Some of them (Spoke coupons) appear facile, while others (full-wall whiteboards) sounded to me like USC-election specials: equal proportions eager-to-please and vaguely detailed. After requesting details for some of the hazier initiatives, I was pleasantly surprised to receive many ostensibly-achievable implementation plans. For example, IdeaPaint makes any wall an instant whiteboard. Thats pretty good. Unfortunately, while many of the goals are individually acheiveable, the whole gamut of a platform isnt. Theres simply too much breadth heretoo much unfocused sprawlingto get everything done, and at this point its not possible to predict which promises will be left by the wayside.

Bottom line for FIMS

Most of Jon Silvers proposals have universal appeal, rather than targeting any specific faculty. His refinements to the Spoke and campus study spaces, his student cooking initiatives, and his exam-relief ideas, for example, are all quite general fixes. Its true his support for student artwork aligns with FIMS prosumer ideology and his dearth of new webpages might present employment opportunities for Internet savvy FIMS students. However, the most appealing to FIMS is certainly his promise to lobby for more academic counselling staff. As FIMS continues to grow, so too grows the strain on its over-saturated counsellors, and any plan to address this should be eagerly welcomed.

VOTE february 14-15 //

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Profficer: The Badge & The Briefcase

written by Sarah Koopmans, illustrated by Megan Hackney

ichael Arntfield wears the shoes of at least two men and sleeps less than one man should. Arntfield is known at the University of Western Ontario and at Wilfred Laurier University as Professor, but to the public at large he is DetectiveConstable. Insomnia is a life skill for the only person in Canada with a doctorate degree and a professors post who also serves as a full-time police officer. The duality and dichotomy have helped shape who I am, says the multifaceted man, who says he uses each vocation to inspire the other and in turn improve both roles. His education and experience give him a unique edge in each field, an edge that has led him to introduce unprecedented media and criminology courses to UWO and WLU, as well as innovative ideas for reform in the international law enforcement community. The same experience and education also entitle Arntfield to some cynicism when it comes to the policing system in North America. Policing remains the longest-standing institutional model in the world that hasnt undergone at least one major overhaul during the 20th century, says Arntfield. It has remained essentially unchanged since [Sir Robert] Peels reforms of 1829
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whereas all other institutions, [such as] medicine, education, [and] finance, have significantly modernized and made major administrative, operational, and infrastructural reforms. Arntfields research sheds light on the flawed history of the modern police forces development, focusing on the relationship between technology, media, and the construction of the police persona. He regrets the institutions tendency towards dehumanizing methods, as technological developments allow for increasingly remote surveillance of the public and an impersonal, bureaucratic system reduces every interaction between a citizen and officer to a mere data entry for Statistics Canada. Arntfield may be a cynic, but he is also dedicated to his career in policing: There is no other occupation that could have inspired me to pursue this unusual binary, he says. By taking on two very different roles, Arntfield invites his own cynicism. He claims to have detractors on both sides of the fenceamongst academic leftists who fear Im some sort of police spy or that I represent government encroachment on the sanctity of the ivory tower, and conversely amongst garden variety Philistine and antiintellectual cops who wonder what my angle is and think my intent is to show them up.

Arntfields two careers make him who he is, and he has no plans to abandon either. He says, The rank-and-file cops out there doing the real work and my undergrad students, as the two groups I spend the most time with, are inevitably fascinated by the duality, and its from them that I get my inspiration to continue. In fact, Arntfield is somewhat of an inspiration himself. His ideas for reform have been well-received by the RCMP and other international police departments. I still believe at the end of the day that policing remains one of the most real and honourable professions, and I think that, properly re-tooled, it can be one of the most effective vehicles for social progress. Expect to see more of this versatile man over the next year or two: the CBC is currently filming a documentary series based on a club Arntfield formed at UWO in which students help to solve real cold cases, the UWO Cold Case Society. He has also recently signed a television development deal for a cable drama based on the life and career of Dr. Michael Arntfield for a US-based premium channel. Follow Arntfield online at

3 Audrey, One Vaccine and the Innumerable Social Media Responses

written by Hayley Seidel, illustrated by PJ Helliwell

hat makes you proud to be a Mustang? Western University has long been the subject of debate concerning its conflicting social and academic reputations. For better or for worse, the clubbing lifestyle is married to our image. Not only is there a vast array of clubs and councils offered here, but the city of London itself serves as a partying playground for university students. On the other hand, the university is highly regarded for its academic merit and research achievements. The recent hype over both the development of a preventative HIV vaccination and the comedic show 3 Audrey clearly demonstrates Westerns ongoing game of reputational tug-ofwar. In December, CBC News Canada reported that a new preventative HIV vaccination received approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials on humans. Schulich School member Dr. Chil-Yong Kang and his team developed the vaccine with the support of Sumagen Canada. Once the news was released, Facebook and Twitter were flooded with supporting articles and proud remarks. The medical advancement has the potential to save millions of lives, and the resulting Western pride was celebrated and projected throughout social media. Authorization for the vaccine to proceed with clinical human trials represents extreme progress in the field of medical science, and has added to Westerns prestige as a researchintensive school. YEAH! Films 3 Audrey is a six-episode web series featuring the trials and tribulations of a group of fictional Western students. Since the summer release of the programs trailer associated Western with inappropriate images, Western officials responded with negative attention and controversy. The teaser mixed official institutional property with an excess amount of inebriated child play and sexual commentary. David Michael Lewis, who plays a major role in the production of 3 Audrey, removed the online trailer due to demands by the university police.

As FIMS students, we should question this product of ill-informed heteronormativity. At a school that prides itself on its efforts of inclusion, diversity, and progress, 3 Audrey often comes off as embarrassingly bro-tastic. However, Lewis stresses that the premise of 3 Audrey is not to perpetuate a negative institutional stereotype. Instead, he calls it a story about friendship and camaraderie between a pack of university students. He notes that like American Pie and Blue Mountain State, 3 Audrey uses partying as a comedic tool. T.J. Williams, FIMS student and PR consultant for 3 Audreys production company, adds that regardless of how YEAH! Films work is viewed, they will continue to produce and publicize their pieces. He further admits, If I were to have seen a series like this before coming to Western, my decision would have been much easier, as I would have accepted the offer of enrollment to this academic institution almost instantaneously. The 3 Audrey team does seem to conduct their online marketing well. Links to online episodes of the series have been just as pervasive in social

media as the news about the vaccine. So which had the most impact on Westerns reputation? In January, I interviewed a portion of the Western student body and mentioned both the vaccine development and the online show 3 Audrey. I found that most students had heard of Dr. Chil-Yong Kangs HIV vaccine, while fewer were aware of the raunchy web series. When faced with the opposing imagesWestern as a research-intensive university and as a top party schoolLewis says he believes the school is mostly known for its impressive curriculum. He also confirmed that Western is definitely associated with the party lifestyle and will continue to be known for both. As a third-year MIT student, he claims to spend an equal amount of time studying and partying. I agree that the key to success at Western is a balance between social and academic involvement. Although I love to party, I have learned that you have to set your priorities straight in order to get the best out of school. Dedication to learning is fundamental to any university experience, but there is no shame in socially networking over a few drinks. [mitZine v11.i2] 11

The Ethical Costs of an Academic Chair

written by Aaron Zaltzman, illustrated by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood

ften the most dangerous situations arise when the perpetrators are pursuing a noble goal. Its odd how much people are willing to overlook problems, to even ignore dangers, when they get it in their mind that they are in the right. There is no doubt that the development of an Islamic studies program at a university is a noble goal, but the organizations with whom the Huron University College Executive Board chose to pursue this goal may have been a very dangerous oversight. In March 2011, Huron proudly announced that it would use $2 million to create a Chair of Islamic Studies. The controversy started one month later when a letter was sent to both Huron and UWO administration by 26 faculty, alumni and friends of the university, expressing concern that the money being used to fund the chair would be tainted by Islamist ideology and links to violent jihad, a broad term meaning religious struggle. In this case, it referred to terrorism carried out against innocent civilians. The funding for this chair would be coming from a variety of sources: half the money was to be raised by various Muslim community groups, with the fundraising goal set at $1 million. These groups, while not the biggest fish, did not escape scrutiny from UWO economics professor John Palmer, who authored the letter. In one instance Palmer addressed the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), one of the groups who raised funds for the chair. While leaders of the [] MAC insist that they are peaceful, moderate and democratic, these assurances cannot stand up to inquiry. Evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, the letter read. 12 [mitZine v11.i2]

Palmer cited the groups website, specifically its mission statement: To establish an Islamic presence in Canada that is balanced, constructive and integrated. We believe that, in the twentieth century, the approach of Imam Hassan Al-Banna best exemplifies this balanced, comprehensive understanding of Islam. Hassan Al-Banna is the twentiethcentury figure who created the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization known for inspiring terrorist groups such as Hamas. In fact, in the Hamas charter Imam Al-Banna is quoted: Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. One month later, Huron responded to the group, explaining, the funding was approved by our Executive Board after a thorough due diligence process, which we would implement in the event of any gift of this magnitude. It is fitting that the Brotherhood comes into play at this point, as one of their seedlings is the second group putting up money for this chairan innocuously titled organization known as the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Founded in 1981 with money from the Brotherhood, the IIIT has spent the last seven years crafting their image as a private, non-profit, academic, cultural and educational institution, concerned with general issues of Islamic thought and education. The group has currently established agreements with eight other academic institutions, and no doubt came across as the perfect candidate when Huron was looking for a partner in their own academic endeavor. Upon a closer look at the IIIT, however, it becomes clear that the non-profit Janus has

a much darker second face. While it is true that they dabble in charitable activities, their beneficiaries arent exactly starving children. Rather, the IIIT is a front company that has been used for years to channel money to the terrorist groups Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in order to finance attacks on innocent civilians. Even the most rudimentary of investigations, similar to the one I conducted for background research, would have revealed a 2002 affidavit from US customs agent David Kane, in which he laid out exactly how this apparently charitable organization was part of an operation that laundered Saudi Arabian money through a complex series of fraudulent paper companies and passed it along to a PIJ operative named Sami al-Arian. Discovered [] were letters stating that in 1991 and 1992, IIIT contributed at least $50,000 to PIJ front-group WISE, reads one excerpt from Kanes affidavit. Moreover, another document seized during these warrants was a 1991 letter from the leader of the PIJ [] stating that IIIT was the largest contributor to WISE. The affidavit itself was used to warrant a search of the IIIT offices in 2002 to gather evidence against al-Arian, who subsequently pleaded guilty to aiding terrorist groups in 2006. The president of the IIIT was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial. The IIIT avoided the wrath of the US legal system only through the sheer stubbornness of Mr. al-Arian, who refused to testify in a later federal investigation into the organization. Sami al-Arian is currently serving house arrest for the resulting contempt charges, and the investigation is dormant for now.

The controversy surrounding the IIIT has continued in recent years, however. In 2008, Temple University in Philadelphia turned down a similar $1.5 million endowment from the group; the school explained it would wait until the government investigation was complete. IIIT ended up withdrawing the offer. The danger of partnering with a group like this is that its money will control the chair. As Rory Leishmann, the spokesperson for the signatories of the letter to Huron, put it, he who pays the piper ultimately calls the tune. The groups are all organizations that in one way or another have provided at least moral, if not financial support to Islamist terrorist groups, said Leishmann. Were concerned that groups dedicated to promoting that kind of ideology will insist, if theyre going to put up $2 million, that a like-minded individual will be admitted to that chair. Dr. Trish Fulton, interim principal of Huron at the time of the letter, tried to soothe the signatories worries, reassuring them that The final decision for the appointment rests with the Executive Board on recommendations of the Principal and selection committee. However, Leishmann and his group were not comforted. If Huron were to appoint someone who shared the convictions of Tarek Fatah, a committed democrat, we think that would be excellent, said Leishmann. Tarek Fatah is an outspoken political activist who founded the Muslim Canadian Congress. He often advocates for liberalism and progression in Islam. When I met with him, he expressed his view that groups like the IIIT are trying to gain influence

in academia in order to spread their own political views. We think with the money coming from these groups, that type of appointment is extremely unlikely, Leishmann continued. And even if they appointed an academic, with the kind of views expressed by Tarek Fatah, we doubt very much that those three organizations would come through with the money. In the end, the Chair went to someone who has been called both a committed democrat and an Islamic extremist. In October, Huron announced that Dr. Ingrid Mattson, a Canadian Muslim activist, would sit in the position starting next year. Mattson is characteristic of organizations like the IIIT, in that her work has been met with both commendation and suspicion. She was invited to the inauguration of President Obama, a decision which prompted critics to point out that Mattson was president of the Islamic Society of North America when it was listed as a unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest terror-financing trial in US history that ended in five criminal convictions. Interestingly, the IIIT was also demonstrated by the Justice Department to be an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial. One of the most frustrating aspects of this saga is how utterly closed the Huron administration has been. Despite the litany of evidence to support the concerns expressed by Leishmann and others like him, Huron has stuck with the same response for the better part of a year, maintaining that they looked into the matter and were satisfied that the money was clean. Nobody seems to want to go beyond that. In Special Agent Kanes affidavit, he explicitly stated that he believed the IIITs leaders channeled money to terrorist groups through the

organization. However, I could not get any response from Huron outside of vague references to due diligence. Dr. Stephan McClatchie, principal of the college, refused to comment on Kanes affidavit. After over six months of investigation, I am left with two questions: what did the executive board truly know about the IIIT and MAC, and why did they overlook the numerous red flags that should have come up in the due diligence? The whole process was undertaken confidentially, so there is no way to know how much of the background was brought up, even though all this disturbing information would have been both public and relevant. However, it is nothing short of astonishing that Huron could have accepted money from a group involved in such a criminal conspiracy. Either the due diligence undertaken by the Executive Board failed to discover this information, or it was disregarded. Neither possibility is particularly comforting.

Aaron is a 3rd-year Poli-Sci major.

you dont need to be in MIT to write for the mitZine!


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Subscribed to Celebrity

written by Emily Stewart, illustrated by Jordan Coop

ithin the past decade, viral videos have become an official form of entertainment. Some of the most entertaining videos are simple snapshots of real-life moments. Cat videos are a worldwide phenomenon. There are endless videos of people falling or getting startled. In addition to these extremely hilarious, yet amateur clips, there are many popular channels in which the celebrities of YouTube provide weekly videos for their viewers. For example, Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, better known as Smosh, create comedic skits that poke fun at pop culture. Fans tune in weekly, as if YouTube is a TV network, to see what Smosh will come up with next. Although Internet celebrities might not receive a lot of coverage through print or traditional broadcast media, they make significant contributions to the entertainment industry. The increasing quality and production value of YouTube clips is an indicator that this medium is more than just a launch pad for budding filmmakersits a platform. Many YouTubers act, write, direct, and edit their own videos to be released online. Shane Dawson releases new sketch comedy videos every Saturday. In one of his most popular videos, he dresses up as Miley Cyrus. Dawson is listed as the richest YouTube celebrity according to Business Insider, with his annual revenue

at $315,000. Overall, the top 10 richest YouTube stars earn more than $100,000 a year. Who needs school when youve got a webcam and Internet access? YouTube stars have marketed additional products to their audiences. For example, the clothing store Hot Topic now carries merchandise which reps the most popular YouTube celebrities and viral cartoon such as Llamas with Hats. Furthermore, some web celebs have expanded to more mainstream media outlets as a result of their online popularity, whether people like it or not. When YouTubes original helium-voiced star, Fred, made a movie, Pete Cashmore said in his review of the film, I think I speak for us all when I say: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! In some cases, clips that are funny for sixty seconds are not meant to be stretched out into a feature length film. With the digital era of new media, it is not a surprise that many Internet celebrities have helped create a new entertainment ritual by contributing weekly viral videos. Whether YouTube stars have cross-over potential is still debatable. Regardless, YouTube is a unique division in the entertainment industry where you dont need a big budget to get millions of eyes to see the work.

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It Takes a Community

written by Christine Tippett, illustrated by Emily Stewart

t was a sad day for many last November when NBC posted their midseason lineup. Tina Feys slowly-losing-steam 30 Rock was in, Whitney was somehow still in, and Community was out, it seemed, for good. The quirky comedyalthough critically acclaimedhas been struggling in its third season to bring in as many viewers as previous seasons. As a solution, the series has been benched with an unpromising hiatus, although NBCs entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt has gone on record saying that the series has not been cancelled and will return later in the spring. News of Communitys indefinite hiatus sent the small, but fervent fan base into panic mode. Fans across North America rallied together to start a campaign to save the show. To gain media attention, Community fans staged a flashmob outside of NBCs Rockefeller Center. The protestors continue to show and spread their support through online petitions and social media outlets, Facebook and Twitter. The fans tweeted hashtags such as #savecommunity and #occupyNBC, which successfully trended worldwide; the campaign continues to be a popular Twitter topic today. As well, Community fan pages on Facebook have over 10,000 likes, and the online petition to bring the series back has over 93,000 signatures. NBC responded to the Save Community campaign by announcing that the network still plans on filming and airing the rest of the seasons planned episodes. Greenblatt stated that the fate of Community rests on how the networks other six sitcoms fare. What NBCs decision boils down to is whether or not the networks current programming will continue to bring in a larger audience, delivering more attention to advertisers, and ultimately generating more profit than Community. With shows like Are You There, Chelsea? and Up All Night in the lineup, maybe theres some hope for the Human Beings after all. Still, from this profit-based perspective, there seems to be a slim chance that an online campaign can influence a large media corporation that only sees Community in terms of its dollar value. However, according to Kane Faucher, an assistant FIMS professor, When used effectively, and backed by a clear message and organized campaign, online activism can result in change. Although the Community movement isnt exactly an Egyptian revolution, Faucher has a point. In the past, there have been a few successful online campaigns involving television shows, which gives a glimmer of hope to Community enthusiasts that those in power are increasingly paying more attention to what the online populace is saying. After Arrested Developments cancellation, constant online demands finally convinced the original producers to film a new season and a movie nearly six years later. In order to ensure a fourth season renewal, should Community take a more mainstream approach to attract a larger audience and revenue, and jeopardize becoming another generic comedy? Or should the series continue with its original, yet underrated, comedic approach and count on online activism to prevent potential cancellation? Since the outcome of Community will not be determined for months to come, at this point only time will tell whether the fans cult-like dedication can change the fate of Greendale. For all the honorary Human Beings out there: lets keep tweeting to #savecommunity!
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Listening Closer to Shit People Say

written by Kevin Hurren, illustrated by Sabrina Zavarise

he year just started, but it looks like Shit People Say videos are collectively creating one of the biggest memes of 2012. To see how far weve come in this shitstorm of Shit People Say videos, I will note all spin-off videos are variations of Shit Girls Say, the original meme based on a parody twitter account of the same name. Once Shit Girls Say went viral, remakes started popping up all over my Facebook news-feed, and soon after, Shit Boys Say was dragged into the trend. Almost daily, minorityspecific videos like Shit Asian Girls Say, Shit Gay Guys Say, and Shit Guys Dont Say were being added to the virtual pile. It wasnt until the increasingly popular meme reached its third stage of development that some viewers started to get really uncomfortable. The next generation of videos applied the same concept as its predecessors, with an additional twist. Thus, videos like Shit White Girls Say To Black Girls, Shit Straight Guys Say To Gay Guys, and Shit White Girls Say To Brown Girls were born, to name only a few. All versions of Shit People Say perpetuate the notion that something as basic as your gender, race, or sexual orientation dictates your vocabulary. In a world where we supposedly value individualism, young creative types are producing these videos which fall back on generalizations and stereotypes to get a few laughswell, more than few. These videos were developed in the spirit of comedy, and have millions of people appreciating the humour. Shit People Say videos have viewers saying, Thats so true! These videos do contain exaggerated elements of truth since the creators drew from personal experiences, but how is that funny? If we live in a world where black women are constantly faced with comments like Your hair is so not real, can I touch it? or members of the gay community with That movie was so gay. Not you gay, like bad gay, is that not cause for
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alarm? Sure, some of these videos are true, but do we really want them to be? The basis of practically every course offered by FIMS is to approach media with a critical eye. Next time you come across a Shit People Say video, read through the YouTube comments and ask the questions that no one else seems to be asking. The phenomenon has finally come full circle and become self-aware with

the video Shit People Say About Shit People Say Videos. Perhaps this marks the beginning of the end for this meme trend which called out all of us in one way or another. These videos shouldnt be considered reflection of the truth, nor should they be considered an attack on a certain group of people. Rather they should serve as a reminder that we, as an intelligent and responsible generation, should watch the shit we say.

written by Kyle Morrison, illsutrated by Gillian Cummings It looks like Drake isnt the only Canadian export to have left Degrassi for Hollywood.

The CanCon Complex

rom the producers of Degrassi: The Next Generation comes the brand new Canadian drama series, The L.A. Complex. Starring Degrassis own Cassie Steele, the drama follows the lives of six young hopefuls trying to make it big in the City of Angels. The show, airing on MuchMusic, opens with a standard montage of scenic, sunny Los Angeles shots, while attractive twenty-somethings are name dropping popular music references: I love Lupe Fiasco! At first glance, the show appears a little too 90210-esque, complete with red plastic cups and drunk girls taking their tops off. However, once you get past its initial clich hangups, the show actually manages to be smart and fresh while maintaining an honest realism that is so classically Canadian in terms of how we script television. The first six episodes of the show were picked up by the American teen-favourite network, The CW, a sign of potential cross-over success. It looks like the CW is hoping The L.A. Complex will garner the same cult-like following that unexpectedly developed from Degrassi. Whether or not this show will become an official Degrassi-like hit among viewers remains to be seen, but its interesting to note the change of scenery from Toronto to Los Angeles. Is this a response to feedback of Canadian television being too Canadian?

Degrassi became a hit in the U.S. because the shows content seamlessly deals with issues in a way that doesnt make youth feel the subject matter is censored to please their parents. The organic integration of real world problems into their plot lines without being too preachy or old-people-trying-toconnect-with-youth is what has made Degrassi an 11-season hit that has only grown in popularity since its first season. It would appear that more and more Canadian shows have been unable to penetrate the electric fence that is the American broadcasting network. Take for example, Combat Hospital, which was the mostwatched scripted hit in Canada last summer, but after being unable to find an audience on American network NBC, was not renewed. It seems that while the Canadian entertainment industry tries more and more to make itself relevant and to be taken more seriously, their only option is to move the shows south of the border. Is moving the setting to America the only option in order for Canadian TV to legitimatize itself ? Only time will tell whether or not The L.A. Complex will be successful, but either way it just might perpetuate the stereotype that we cant make good TV. Or rather, we can, as long as we Americanize the shit out of our shows.
[mitZine v11.i2] 17

The Oversight that Caused an Uproar
written by Natalie Hunt, illustrated by Stephanie Whent
did not want to comply with this rule and the case was tried before federal court. The Department of Justice argued that if this non-resident couple was not legally qualified to divorce, then by extension they were not legally married either. Somehow, this legal argument led reputable media sources to claim that the Harper government was revoking the right of same-sex couples to marry. Alas, what was painted as another Harper blunder was simply a bureaucratic legal matter that had nothing to do with government policyas any student of Canadian politics (or high school civics class) would quickly realize. But in a brilliant twist of fate, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson resolved the controversy the next day, pointing the finger at the former Liberal government, saying that the confusion traces back to the legislative gap neglectfully left behind by the authors of Canadas gay marriage law. Nicholson clarified that the Conservative government believes in the legality of gay marriage, and acknowledged the confusion and pain that was caused by the lack of Liberal foresight. Conveniently enough, former Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler responded to the accusation by saying that the residency requirement did not stick out as a serious potential problem at the time. Apparently the Liberals didnt consider the fact that non-resident gay couples would need to get divorced too. And so, what The Globe and Mail coined as an anti-gay Harper-Conservative conspiracy came to light as nothing more than Liberal laziness in long-term policy planning, an issue with which Canadians have become too well-accustomed for it to make national headlines without stirring up a media witch hunt.

f youre not sure where Canada stands on gay marriage after the media frenzy over the issue in January, you arent alone. On January 12, The Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian government was taking a hard line on same-sex marriage after a federal court case involving the divorce of a Florida couple reached the public eye. The Globe described the incident as a legal about-face, reporting that the Harper government served notice to the thousands of same-sex couples who had been married in Canada since 2004, claiming their unions were not legal. Of course, such a statement was bound to spark public outrageand rage they did. The Twitterverse exploded that day with angry and confused tweets from around the world. Interestingly enough, a slew of articles from The Globe and Mail published on the same day revealed a misleading stance from one of our nations most respectable centre-political news sources. One of the earliest stories posted on The Globe website featured a quote from prominent Seattle sex columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage, saying, When I got out of bed, I was a married man and as soon as I got on my Twitter feed I realized I had been divorced overnight. In the same paragraph activists and representatives of the samesex community were quoted as being mad
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at Canada and at Mr. Harper, while others denounced what seemed like a Harper attack on minorities, and lamented the pride they once had for Canadas gay rights leadership. All of this sounds like a reasonable response to what would have been a national controversy, were the story true. Harper himself explained the situation perfectly when first questioned by reporters, saying, this I gather is a case before the courts, where Canadian lawyers have taken a particular position based on the law and I will be asking officials to provide me more details. But as plainly as it was stated, The Globe managed to cast Harpers statement as a political cover story. Presumably, it makes for better news when the government is quietly spinning a legal web against gay marriage in a ploy to back-door Canadas Liberal legacy with Harpers own social conservatism. So what really happened? To put it simply, what should have been reported is this: A same-sex couple had obtained a legal marriage in Canada, moved back to their home country, and tried to divorce after their marriage had soured. The issue was one of a century-old legal principle known as the law of domicile, a one-year residency requirement for any couple seeking to divorce in Canada. Not hailing from Canada, the couple understandably

Natalie is a 4th year Poli-Sci major.

you dont need to be in MIT to write for the mitZine!


Republican Primary Colours: Red, White and Blue

written by Emily Fister, illustrated by Cameron Wilson

raveling southbound on the I-75 is a feast for my Canadian eyes. En route to Florida, nestled in between the tantalizing, trucker-targeted $TRIPPER$ billboards are both political and religious cries. I become distracted by one advertisement in particular, clad in the scheme of red, white, and blue. Beside a regal bald eagle is the bold text: America, turn back to God. A Ford pick-up covered in camouflage deco passes by with the bumper sticker preaching, America, dont re-Nig in 2012. Looks like Republican primary season again, and the good ole Southern propaganda game is on.

Romney (brought to you by McCain) or Captain Santorum (decked out in sweater vest zest). Even within their own party, the language and tone of American journalism reveals a polarization and sports-like politics at play. Following Jon Huntsmans resignation from the race, reporters declared that he was not fit to take on Obama. Political critics claim that Huntsmans campaign was too centralized in a game where all the action is dominantly right-wing. Any candidate leaning slightly to the left is seen as a threattoo Democrat and Huntsman didnt stand a chance. Even though Romney and Santorum are more right than Huntsman, they are portrayed as polar opposite opponents in the mainstream media. Romney is an economic conservative more fit to lead the country, while Santorum favours social conservatism and traveling back in time to the nuclear age. From the get-go, Santorum was portrayed as a weak playertoo soft, uncharismatic, and unable to hold his own against the more dominant Romney. After Round 1: Iowa, reporters were shocked. The game had changed. CNN boasted that Santorums eight-vote margin from Romney could see a redneck-to-redneck race. This competition then became the main focus of all 24/7 infotainment coverageand the lesser candidates were left in the Iowan trash. Although Americans are politically polarized, they do offer insight into our own campaigning system. In the past federal election, Stephen Harper declared that Canadians were tired of relentless elections. In actuality, voters feel distanced and do not have the same intimacy with party leaders. In 2008, Stphane Dions leadership lost its luster the second the Canadian public viewed him as feeble and an ultimate failure. Even Ignatieff is a second-tier option for Captain of the Red Team. This is why were apatheticwe can bicker and fight all we want for an effective leader to bring the Liberals up, but the process is closed to party members. The Canadian game is still an elitist country club with uncertain leaders and elections. Although voter turn-out increased marginally to 61.4% in the 2011 federal election, the post-election reaction revealed tensions. A Conservative majority elevated the right-ofcentre to full power, while the left-of-centre instantly regretted its decision to not form a coalition. Is the multiple-party spectrum in Canada actually working? Polarization is not necessarily the healthiest answer, but I want to suggest that we can learn from the American primary media game. Citizen engagement through a long journey, joined with an entertaining sports-like journalistic approach, helps facilitate active audiences. Political primaries are vital in cultivating the collective American identity. Its about the persona-audience relationship and experience that matters in the current politics of GOP campaigning. Political fatigue is not a result of a four-year journeyits the consequence of a distanced relationship between citizen and political leader. On the drive home across the Detroit-Windsor border, I breathe a sigh of relief. As much as Im politically frustrated in my own country, Im more astoundedand exhaustedfrom the Republican spectacle of politics.
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The U.S. is an image-saturated nation and proud of it. Nothing speaks more to this statement than their fascination with politics, sports, andwell, the sport of politics. Spectator sports embody traditional American spirit. Football and baseball are as much an indicator of national identity as The Declaration of Independence or a freshly baked biscuit at Cracker Barrel. For the past five years, Ive become a self-proclaimed snowbird baby, following my parents to the Gulf side for Christmas holidays. The Republican support in the Southern states has always struck me as bold, blatant, and heavily mediated. While an unfamiliar phenomenon in the Canadian parliamentary tradition, American primaries are of Superbowl proportions. But is it possible for American citizens to develop politics fatigue? Although drawn out over the course of four years, the news media frame the events in an attractive sports-like prose that fosters a culture of competitionand polarization. Its not that Americans become fatigued with their politics. Rather, the election process is a vital part of their identity; the whole spectator experience helps to orient themselves in their country as either Team Republican or Team Democrat. The U.S. media have framed the Republican primaries as just another competitive situation where citizens side with either Captain

Substance Over Showmanship

written by Julian Uzielli, illustrated by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood

hen you read the word Senator, chances are youll think of Daniel Alfredsson before Romo Dallaire. Even though the upper house of Canadas Parliament plays a vital role in lawmaking, many Canadians have little knowledge of the Senate, what it does, and why its important. The Senate is Parliaments house of sober second thought, where bills passed in the House of Commons are carefully vetted by its 105 members, who are appointed to represent provincial interests in their function as a check on federal power. The key word is appointed. It seems the most popular complaint about the red chamber is its members are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Ministerthey are not elected by Canadians. Prime Minister Stephen Harpers government has long advocated for Senate reform, while the NDP has made it a goal to abolish the Senate altogether. Though Harper has been promising to introduce term limits and Senate elections since he took office in 2006, so far he has only succeeded in appointing 48 Senators, the seven most recent of whom were appointed in January. Making the Senate accountable to voters seems like an obvious step that should have been taken years ago, on the face of it. But the Senate is set up this way for a reason. Consider the way the House of Commons functions today: the parties are fiercely ideologically opposed, Members of Parliament hurl personal insults at one another, and if they do not vote along their party lines they risk expulsion. All of this is a result of the fact that MPs are electedthey have to be seen as in line with their party (and to make their opponents look as bad as possible) if they hope to be re-elected. Its a show put on for the voters, and it is precisely because of the appointment process that the Senate is able to avoid much of this nonsense. There is a fair amount of evidence that because modern Senators can escape the confines of narrow day-to-day partisanship, they can work in the public good, Cristine de Clercy, a political science professor at Western, said. There have been a number of historical cases when Senators on both sides of the aisle, Conservatives and Liberals, have voted for the other sides ostensible purposes. If Canada introduced Senate elections, the Senate as we know it might cease to function. MPs are elected, but do they truly act for the long-term benefit of Canadians, or are they driven by their own desires for short-term job security? The fact that Senators arent out to impress voters means they are more able to focus on Canadas long-term benefit. De Clercy noted any attempt at Senate reform could harm this important characteristic. I suspect if we go to any method of quasi-election, and certainly tighter term limits allowing people v11.i2] be Senators for six or eight years, their ability to only 20 [mitZine

to think in the longer-term and step outside partisan roles will be really compromised, she said. But is democracy even the real issue here? The Senate is not the only body working for the public interest that is unelected. While the Supreme Court of Canadas nine justices are also appointed, our Supreme Court is eminently legitimateits one of the most trusted institutions in the whole country, as de Clercy pointed out. I think theres something very odd going on here. How is it that you can trust the chief justice, but not trust the leader of the Senate, because theyre not elected? No government is perfect, and the Senate certainly has its flaws, but the question of reform ought not to be framed in terms of democracy. Senators are appointed, but this happens for a good reason, and they often are more experienced than our elected MPs. The biggest problem the red chamber faces is Canadians lack of understanding of its purpose, its function, and its day-to-day operations. Any ostensibly democratic reform to the Senate risks making it a redundant copy of the House of Commons, dominated by partisan bickeringnot to mention that significant reform would require Constitutional changes. The Senate acts as an important check on the power of the government that could be nullified if it is reformed incorrectly. Lets be careful what we wish for.

North Korea Post-Kim Jong-il: The Future with Kim Jong-un

written by Annie Shim, illustrated by Martin Boustany

ollowing the death of North Koreas former leader Kim Jong-il in December of last year, the future seems unstable. His youngest son and successor as the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jongun, is only in his late twenties and quite inexperienced in terms of military leadership. Surprisingly, South Korean government officials agree that the situation is very stable at the moment. Statistics, however, seem to say something else entirely. The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a non-profit organization that reduces the spread of nuclear weapons and their risks. According to the NTI, North Korea is ranked last in terms of nuclear safety. The countrys first official communication with the outside world after Kim Jong-ils death was a solemn warning to South Korea and its allies. According to The Telegraph, the message stated the sea of bloody tears by our people [] will become the sea of revenge, and the sound of mourning will become the roaring sound of gunfire to collapse the puppets [South Koreas] stronghold. There is no way such a message from a nation with a strong military and nuclear force can be taken lightly. The new leader is following in his fathers footsteps by focusing on a military-centred regime and has not made any significant changes to the regime as of yet. However, a new leaderand one who lacks age and experience, at thatis bound to create changes in his rule. The concern is that we have no idea what these changes will be. Even Kim Jong-uns older half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, is skeptical of the new leaders ability. He said his brother has a lack of experience, hes too young and he didnt have enough time to be groomed, according to CNN. This new leader will likely not be able to govern a nation in a successful nor stable manner. Even amongst North Koreans, the cult of personality of this new leader is not as successful as it was for his father. Then again, only a short time has passed since the succession. Many years will have to pass for the people of North Korea to see the young Kim the same way they saw his father as their Dear Leader. In the meantime, anything considered a threat to North Korea could be regarded as a reason for attack, especially for a regime that focuses on military over economics. The communist North and the democratic South are currently in a ceasefire that has lasted for nearly sixty years, which means these two countries are technically still at war. Two divided nations that are considered to be in war will never have permanent stability, despite what officials may tell the public. The reality is that Canada as well as the United States are sided with South Korea. If the North attacks the South in any way, our government and military will act upon this. All countries need to be especially cautious during this transition to a new leader. In fact, the moment Kim Jong-ils death was announced, South Koreas military went into high alert. We may not need to go on high alert here in Canada, but we need to stay realistic rather than overly optimistic in terms of the worlds stability.

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The Fight For Territory: Maintaining Canadian Arctic Sovereignty

written by Kyla Garvey, illustrated by Lauren Nicholson

ver the past few years global warming has nearly melted all of the pack ice in the Northwest Passage, a set of interlocking waterways connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Arctic and through the Canadian Archipelago (the group of 19,000 scattered islands that comprise most of northern Canada). Prior to this, the question of Canadian Arctic sovereignty was not an issue, but now the United States, Norway, Russia, and Denmark are all challenging Canada by claiming the Northwest Passage is an international thoroughfare. Arctic sovereignty is a significant part of the Conservative party platform and they are firmly discrediting this claim. They argue the waters of the Northwest Passage are Canadian territory. This is becoming a growing issue because while the global economy is hurting and citizens are resenting the increasing price of oil, the Northwest Passage is suddenly opening up to the rest of the world, presenting new opportunities. This passage offers a route from Europe to Asia that is 7000 km shorter. Economically, Canada can exploit this opportunity through the installation of a toll system. There is also potential in the many oil and gas reserves, and value in prospective fisheries as the ice melts. Of course, with new opportunities come new responsibilities, such as human rights and security concerns. For example, Canada does not want to allow free passage through because it leaves
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the country vulnerable to smugglers and other international threats. Additionally, the Inuit population of Canadas Arctic have existed on the ice of the Northwest Passage for thousands of years. Forty percent of Canada is Arctic. Perhaps the fact that only 104,000 people reside there suggests that they are not a priority or recipient of national benefitsan explanation for the poor living conditions and the highest poverty rates in Canada. These northern communities are not a priority on the international agenda, but as the question of Arctic sovereignty comes up in conversation, so will the living conditions of these people. In fact, one of the strongest elements in Canadas claim to the Northwest Passage is the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, which allowed for the creation of the territory of Nunavut in 1999. Canadas reaction to these unfolding events seems unclear. Although their diplomatic stance is supportive of defending our land claim, their actions suggest passivity. Canada has passed up multiple opportunities to firm up their rights to the Northwest Passage. Michael Byers, an international law professor at the University of British Columbia and expert on Arctic geopolitics, joined a panel of Canadian and American academics that outlined nine concrete steps for both countries to take to ensure a secure northern Canadian border. Since its inception, nothing of this proposal has been taken up.

Instead, Canada has taken a defensive and militant response to the issue of arctic sovereignty. This is reflected in their recent commitment to purchase new F-35 fighter jets, an expensive machine chosen specifically for its ability to withstand volatile conditions of the Canadian North. According to an interview with Evan Solomon on CBCs Power and Politics, Defense Minister Peter MacKay stated that Canada needs a robust aircraft, able to fly in all kinds of weather; we need that in the arctic, we need that in coastal weather. Byers claims the common perception that we need military might to defend our border is a misplaced investment. We are not going to war with Russia or Denmark, so why are we up in arms? In an interview with TVOs Allen Gregg, Byers suggested a more sustainable solution to protect our border is investing in RCMP, coast guards, and the local community. Canadian Arctic sovereignty is an economic, diplomatic, and human rights issue. The dispute is not so much about ownership, but status. It is also important to Canada because it is linked to disputes of mapping other contested areas like the Beaufort Sea and the Continental shelf under the Arctic. The melting of the Northwest Passage is an opportunity for Canada to take advantage of an area that has been largely ignored up until now.

Canadas Own Third World

written by Michelle Coutinho, illsutrated by Lauren McVittie

anadians are regularly informed of health and economic issues that arise in Third World countries, but they arent always aware of the similar conditions being experienced in their own backyardAttawapiskat, Ontario. The Attawapiskat reserve is an isolated First Nations community located in Northern Ontario, near James Bay. In October 2011 the community declared a state of emergency due to the increasing rate of homelessness. Due to their remote location, these First Nations people experience a much higher cost of living than any other region in Ontario because of the expenses required to ship goods into the remote community. In November 2011, MP Charlie Angus and MPP Gilles Bisson, both of the NDP, visited the reserve. According to an NDP press release, the men witnessed children living in un-insulated tents while a number of families used buckets as toilets. As living conditions in Attawapiskat worsened in late 2011, government officials became concerned with Attawapiskats spending habits and the government appointed a third-party

manager to take over the management of funds for the reserve. The reserve was reportedly given a $90-million allowance in 2006. With social conditions worsening and finances depleting, government officials are unsure of how Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is spending the money. In reaction, Spence told the CBC the governments decision to take over control of the communitys finances indicated discrimination against Attawapiskat leadership and the First Nations people generally. She concluded that if the government takes charge of the reserves finances there will only be more heartache and devastation to come. As the financial debate persists, the 1,800 residents living on the reserve have been propelled into a state of limbo, unsure of what their future holds. To ease some heartache, Aboriginal Affairs agreed to assist Attawapiskat by repairing a local healing lodge and installing twenty-two modular homes. The Red Cross and Emergency Management Ontario have also helped the First Nations by delivering items such as food, tents, cots, washbasins

and foam insulation. Though these modular homes are less than luxurious, once shipping fees are added they can cost up to $250,000. These high-priced items are difficult to afford on a reserve that has an unemployment rate of 90 percent. Media and the Public Interest student Paula Brent has taken some First Nations-related courses that have reshaped her understanding of the adversity Aboriginals face. I think there is a fairly widespread misunderstanding [...] of First Nations issues that have continued to affect public opinion and therefore government action, or rather inaction and policy, says Brent. She said the First Nations need a Third Order Governmenta government that would allow them to exist autonomously within Canada. Brent determinedly stated, Only when First Nations leaders have real, absolute control over their own affairs will conditions improve sustainably. Canadas government is supposed to be representative of Canadas best interests. It is time that our government starts considering the best interests of all, rather than the majority.
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