The Cadre Reviews: “Jon McKiel” EP

image courtesy thecoast.ca

image courtesy thecoast.ca

By Sierra Roberts

Nova Scotian Jon McKiel released his self-titled EP over the summer, which is a follow-up to his 2012 album, Tonka War Cloud. McKiel’s sound is often classified as indie rock, but I found his music to be much more complex and not so easily pigeonholed.

The six songs on the EP are much more raw and experimental than his previous works. McKiel’s strong lyricism and melodies come together to create songs that are catchy and full of heart. His press release reads, “Like a modest handshake, a wink, or a nod, you can hear a community throughout this record, and with that, echoes of migration.” This is definitely a record worth checking out.

I found myself listening to the album while I was on the bus or laying on the couch in the English lounge relaxing. Clocking in at a mere 17 minutes, you could even check out the album between classes. But if you only have time for a song or two, I’d recommend you go for “Tropical Depression” or “Twin Speaks.”

Tracklist:

New Tracy

I Know, I Know

Tropical Depression

Twin Speaks

Accolades

Chop Through

Read up on Jon McKiel on his website, or for the most up-to-date information, like him on Facebook.

Panthers Weekend Recap

image courtesy UPEI Panthers

image courtesy UPEI Panthers

By Ally Harris

The soccer and rugby Panthers were back in action this weekend, hoping to continue the start of the season on a good note.

Soccer

It was an excellent evening for the Panthers on Friday, with the men and women picking up the full six points against Mount Allison. The men picked up their first win of the season with a 1-0 score that could have been higher with their 10 shots on target. James Mallard scored the game’s lone goal in the 14th minute, which was enough to take the game.

The women also had a great showing against the Mounties. Maria Scichilone led the way with two goals and an assist en route to a 3-1 victory. Scichilone scored the only goal of the first half in the 27th minute, and then doubled the Panthers’ lead with another in the 59th minute. Mount A cut the lead in half in the 66th minute, but two minutes later the Panthers rebounded with a goal from Katherine Drake to get the two-goal lead back and seal the deal.

The story was a little different on Sunday, although both teams were still able to pick up a point. The men drew 1-1 with St. FX with some late game action – the first goal was scored by UPEI’s Dylan MacKenzie in the 80th minute, but the X-Men rebounded less than two minutes later with the equalizer.

The women also finished 1-1 against St. FX with all the scoring coming in the first quarter of the game. The X-Women got on the scoreboard first in the 17th minute but the game was tied again by the 21st minute thanks to a goal from Emilie Pelletier. The men and women both head to UNB on Friday to face the Varsity Reds and then travel to Moncton on Sunday.

Rugby

Unfortunately the women’s rugby team was not as successful at St. FX. The team was blanked by the reigning champions, with the final score being 71-0. The team returns home on Saturday for their next game against Saint Mary’s, who have yet to score a point in their two games this season.

UPEI Cage Crew is Back

image courtesy UPEI Panthers

image courtesy UPEI Panthers

By Jennifer Brenton

If you love watching sports games and have an abundance of school sprit, UPEI Cage Crew is for you. Cage Crew has been less than successful for the past couple of seasons, but this year it is going to be bigger and better than ever. For those of you who haven’t heard about Cage Crew, it is a large group of students that attend UPEI sporting events to cheer on their UPEI Panthers. It is all about expressing your school spirit and cheering on the UPEI athletes, but you will also enjoy making new friends and creating new memories.

In years past, Cage Crew was only for basketball games, but this year Cage Crew is starting early and expanding to all Panthers sports teams, starting with the UPEI men’s and women’s soccer. There are two games tonight at 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. against Mount Alison.

Getting involved with Cage Crew is simple. Just pay $10 dollars to an organizing representative at The Wave during the pre-game warm up tonight and you will receive a UPEI Panthers T-shirt along with some cool perks from The Wave. Cage Crew will meet at The Wave an hour prior to game time to get their faces painted and enjoy a bite to eat before going to the soccer field, rink, or gym. During pre-game warm up, Cage Crew members will receive 10% off any food purchased as well as $10 Molson pitchers. This deal applies Monday through Friday and on Sundays.

This year is the first year that The Wave will be open on Sundays. Therefore, after cage crew on Sunday, The first of many Sunday Fundays will begin. There will be $10 pitchers as well as a full menu.

For more information on game times check out the Panthers website and don’t forget to wear green and white!

Mandatory Non-Tuition Fees for University: Where Does UPEI Stand?

By Bob Deziel

When you head to the accounting office over the next few days, you will be paying the university a good sum of money for your tuition. However, when you sign in to your student account you may notice another few additional fees that you are required to pay. These are known as mandatory non-tuition fees (also known as ancillary fees), and they go towards paying for some of the services that the university offers, including things such as the library and technology services on the campus.

These fees are interesting in that they are not usually discussed in the media. When people think of university fees, they think of tuition. However, these mandatory fees can add up, and at UPEI we pay $356 in mandatory non-tuition fees directly to the university each academic year. As well, in Canada these mandatory fees are increasing a rate considerably higher than tuition (and inflation for that matter), and are often not subject to provincial legislation.

Let’s break down the mandatory fees that every full-time student is required to pay directly to the university. This breakdown does not include any fees associated with the Student Union, as they charge their own separate fees for running their organization, their transit passes, and their health plan. This list also does not include separate fees for other degrees, including the yearly $500 fee for nursing students (Nursing Professional Fee) and the yearly $750 fee for education students (BEd professional fee). Veterinary students also pay a wide variety of additional fees above their tuition requirements.

Figure 1

So, the biggest chunk of your money goes towards paying the athletic and admin fee, which is a combined fee that goes towards access to the athletic centre (including free access for students to all of the Panthers’ regular season games), and the admin fee helps pay for transcript fees, graduation fees, etc. The rest of the fees are fairly self explanatory.

Now, let’s look at how our mandatory fees compare to universities in Atlantic Canada. Before having written this article, I hypothesized that our fees would be considerably larger than other institutions, as our tuition is generally lower than most other universities in Atlantic Canada. I thought that these fees would help make up the difference between our institution and the others in the region.

Figure 2

Rather than being considerably higher than other institutions, UPEI ($356) sits just above the mean which is $345. Of course, some of those schools near the top of the graph (Acadia and King’s College, notably) skew the numbers a bit. Looking at it a different way, the median value (U de M) is $212, which makes UPEI seem quite a bit higher than the norm.

Looking at the highest value, Acadia, a majority of their extra fees derive from a “technology fee”. Their online booklet explains that this fee is charged to all students, and it is in place “to maintain and improve the technology environment which supports a student’s learning experience”. The services that they list include wired and wireless internet, e-mail accounts, courseware systems, and network printing support. Provided that each full-time student (3,600) attending Acadia is charged an equal amount ($568) for their technology fee, it means that the university receives over 2 million dollars in “technology fees”.

To complete the picture, let’s combine all tuition and mandatory non-tuition fees, excluding student union dues.

Figure 3

Even though UPEI’s mandatory fees are higher than the average, this does not seem to skew our total fees higher than the other provinces. Rather, the tuition rate seems virtually unaffected by the mandatory fees. This graph does point out, though, that the highest rates of tuition and fees in Atlantic Canada belong to Acadia, coming in at $8,313, beating out the second place finisher (Mount Allison) by over $600. This does not include the cost of books, student union dues, health insurance dues, and basic living expenses.

Although these fees are small relative to tuition, usually on the size of 1-10% the cost of tuition at Atlantic Canadian institutions, their relative rate of increase over the past few years is cause for concern. These fees should be closely monitored, and should be brought up when a university discusses tuition rates, since paying these fees is mandatory for virtually all full-time and part-time students.

Meet UPEI Student Union President Lucas MacArthur

image courtesy UPEI SU

image courtesy UPEI SU

By Chris Gibson

You have most likely been to the Student Union offices, but do you know the Student Union Executive? The SU Executive is comprised of five student leaders who work very hard for the benefit of UPEI students.

It is important for students to know a little bit about each member of the Student Union Executive team in order to better know what the Student Union does. Over the next couple of weeks, we will introduce you to each executive member.

First on the list is UPEI Student Union President Lucas MacArthur.

Cadre: Tell us a little bit about your background.

MacArthur: “I am a 4th year Biology student with a minor in Psychology. I was born and raised in Charlottetown.”

Cadre: What is your previous involvement with student politics?

MacArthur: “In my 2nd year, which was 2011/12, I ran for Science Representative and sat on council for that year. in 2012, I was elected as a Student Senate Representative for a year. I was also the O-Week coordinator for 2013 when it was first moved over to the Student Union.”

Cadre: Why did you run for President?

MacArthur: “I think the main reason why I ran for President was because I started my first year at UPEI without knowing what the Student Union did. Then, in my first term as councilor, I discovered all of the great things the Student Union does and I realized that a lot of the students still didn’t know about it. So as president I want to make the Student Union front and center in the lives of students. I want to be a part of that growth.”

Cadre: What are your ambitions for the upcoming year?

MacArthur: “We’re trying to strengthen our advocacy portfolio, including diving into municipal affairs. We are looking to add some student jobs in the Student Union. We really want to engage with the student body in new and different ways, make sure we are putting on events that are inclusive, and also make sure that every student finds something that they like on campus and feel included. We are making sure that customer service at Mickey’s Place and The Wave is of a high quality. Students own these businesses and that is extremely important. I want students to know that they have the power to change things that they want to change. Two big things that the University needs to address is mental health awareness; I would love to see a university-wide plan for that. We also need to look at international student support. The international student population is growing and we want those supports to grow with it. We also want more programming and policies addressing sexual assault on campus.”   

Stay tuned for more interviews with the other members of the Student Union Executive.

UPEI Student Union Reveals Six New Policy Statements

image courtesy UPEI SU

image courtesy UPEI SU

By Olivia Robinson

The UPEI Student Union released six new policy statements today which outline the official stance of the Student Union on certain topics pertaining to students. These six statements were approved unanimously by the Student Union Council at the meeting on September 7th.

The UPEI Student Union website gives a brief explanation of policy statements.

“The UPEI Student Union maintains policy statements which apply to both campus and the provincial government, and they’re aimed at making sure things are better for students.  These statements form the basis of Union lobbying efforts, and throughout the year the UPEISU is actively involved in lobbying decision-makers on these topics.”

These statements were worked on extensively by VP Academic and External Travis Gordon as well as Student Union President Lucas MacArthur and the other members of the UPEI Student Union Executive team.

In a press release distributed this morning, Student Union President Lucas MacArthur had this to say about the new policy statements.

“With advocacy as a core service of the UPEI Student Union, it’s important for us to always be identifying new issues for research and action. We have a responsibility to our members to represent their interests to all levels of government as well as the University, and it’s something we take very seriously.”

The first policy statement, entitled Academic Consultation on Course Offerings at UPEI, involves determining a course of action in terms of course offerings in times of fiscal restraint and budget cuts. The official ask is at the end of the policy statement and reads as follows.

“UPEI SU recommends that the University of PEI encourage it’s academic departments to engage in consultative processes with students for the purpose of academic planning for course offerings.”

Ensuring Adequate Student Loan Funding Availability is the second policy statement and one which many post-secondary students will be happy to hear about. The official ask for this statement reads as follows.

“The UPEI SU recommends the the Government of Prince Edward Island index its student loan maximum assistance level to the provincial inflation rate annually.”

The third policy statement involves Student Complaints at UPEI and how the UPEI Student Union and the University as a whole should go about dealing with these issues.

“The UPEI SU directs the UPEI SU VP Academic and External committee to design and execute, once every two years, an information campaign conceding how students may file a complaint regarding a faculty of staff member.”

“The UPEI SU recommends that UPEI amend its Student Rights and Responsibilities’ Code to more concretely outing modes of recourse should a student need to lodge a complaint against the University or one of its agents.”

The fourth policy statement, Freedom of Information at UPEI, is a unique policy statement. UPEI does not fall under the Freedom of Information legislation.

“UPEI Student Union recommends that the Government of Prince Edward Island amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to bring public post-secondary institutions under its jurisdiction.”

The final two policy statements, Student Consultation on Mandatory Non-Instructional Fees and Tuition Regulation at UPEI, are both extremely beneficial for students. The former policy statement involves the fees students pay annually that are not included in tuition, such as the Library resource fee and the Sports Centre fee.

Tuition Regulation at UPEI is also a crucial policy statement because seven of the ten provinces in Canada have some form of tuition regulation. The ask for this policy statement has two parts.

“The UPEI Student Union recommends that the Government of Prince Edward Island implement a tuition cap for all public post secondary institutions, such that no institution may raise tuition more than the percentage increase in the consumer price index each year.”

“The UPEI Student Union recommends that the Government of Prince Edward Island create a funding agreement with the public post secondary institutions, such that each institution can be reasonably certain as to the amount of public funding they will receive each year.”

President MacArthur outlined the three priorities of the Student Union this year in the press release.

“We have three major themes this year which permeate our priorities: accessibility, affordability, and accountability. We will be taking steps to meet with key stakeholders, including Government and the University, to work together to make these a reality for students at the University of Prince Edward Island.”

All six of the policy statements are available to be viewed in their entirety on the UPEI Student Union website.

Presentation on the Status of Afghanistan’s Women and Girls Being Held Friday

image courtesy writer's festival

image courtesy writer’s festival

By Drew MacEachern

The status of women and girls in Afghanistan is a situation that has long concerned Western observers. During the lead-up to the war in Afghanistan, the plight of Afghan women under the Taliban was often highlighted as an example of Taliban tyranny. During the war, the improvements in education and social status for women was publicized as one of the key triumphs of the Canadian mission. However, with the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan, the media has begun to focus less on the plight of Afghanistan and the state of its women. One woman hopes to the change that.

Mellissa Fung, previously a reporter for the CBC, travelled to Afghanistan in 2008 to report on the Chahari Qambar refugee camp in Kabul where she was captured by an armed gang and held captive for 28 days. She was only released after the Afghan government kidnapped one her kidnapper’s mothers to force a prisoner exchange. After she returned from Afghanistan, she wrote a memoir detailing her experiences titled Under an Afghan Sky: A Memoir of Captivity.

Recently, she joined an organization called Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. As part of her volunteer work with this organization, Fung returned in 2013 to the same refugee camp in Afghanistan where she was captured to hear the refugee’s stories. In an interview with CBC, Fung stated that after her release she felt guilty that she had been able to return to Canada safely while her story had overshadowed the plight of the refugees she had gone to report on in the first place.

To fix this issue, Fung has been involved in a speaking tour to bring the plight of Afghanistan’s women to public attention again. In an interview she gave with the online Vancouver newspaper, Straight.com, she explained the reason for the tour, dealing mainly with her discussions with refugee camp inhabitants.

“They feel like they are being abandoned again. And I think they asked me to sort of make that case for them…We’ve been trying to figure out what we can do to keep Afghanistan sort of alive.”

Fung will be in Charlottetown this Friday. She will be presenting her story at St. Paul’s Church on Prince Street at 7pm. The doors open at 6:30 and there is a $10 admission fee.

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