From the Editor’s Desk – The Final Hurrah

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To be completely honest, I don’t know what to say in this final letter. The Cadre began in 1969, twenty-three years before I was even born. There have been numerous Editors before me, and there will be many after. In that way, I feel like it’s presumptuous of me to even write this letter. I’m not saying goodbye to The Cadre, it’s more like The Cadre is saying goodbye to me. It was here long before I was, and I was lucky enough to be able to spend a couple of years learning what it had to teach me.

I also had a wonderful group of people along for the ride with me. I don’t know how to adequately thank all of you. Over the past two years, you’ve put up with my caffeine addiction, my ignorance when it comes to running a student newspaper, and my frequent naps on the couch in the office. Drew, Sierra, Ally, Chris, Jenn, and Shanice, without you and all of our volunteers, this paper would not exist, and I am eternally grateful.

Today is our last day of publishing for the school year. Next year, Drew MacEachern is taking the reins as Editor-in-Chief with an excellent group of Managing Editors by his side. I have no doubt that The Cadre will flourish under his leadership.

I’m currently sitting in the library with the very first issue of The Cadre on the desk beside me. This is where I sat two years ago when I first took on the role of Editor-in-Chief. I read as many past issues of The Cadre as I could to try to learn as much about the paper as possible. It was a daunting task, but I’ve discovered, thanks to The Cadre, that it’s always important to keep learning.

In the spirit of keeping this short and sweet, here’s a little blast from the past, the front page of the very first issue of The Cadre on October 3rd, 1969.

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Long live the Empire.

Olivia Robinson

Editor-in-Chief

Sexual Assault at UPEI: Is it a Problem?

By Chris Gibson

You might remember a few months ago when the CBC did a series of articles on the topic of sexual assault on Canadian university campuses. They collected data from major Canadian post-secondary schools about the number of sexual assaults reported to the schools over the period from 2009 to 2013. Some schools did not provide this information, and many of the schools (UPEI included) do not publicly report the number of sexual assaults that are reported to them.

Several groups and commentators reacted to the data by saying that the reported numbers were far too low, and “represented the lack of effort universities have put into having victims come forward”, according to Lee Lakeman, who represents the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. “It’s just not that possible that they’re that low. I can get more reports of sexual assault by walking across the street on a campus” she added in the article from the CBC.

Our own campus reported two sexual assaults during the time period covered by the CBC’s investigation. With an average enrollment of 3,910 students, this works out to an assault rate of 1.023 per 10,000 students, far less than 1%.

With these numbers in mind, I decided to ask some prominent members of the UPEI community their thoughts on the sexual assault situation here at UPEI, and whether they share the concerns of Lakeman and others that the data is out of sync with reality.

First, I spoke with Treena Smith from UPEI’s Student Affairs office.

“That’s really hard for me to answer, to be honest,” she said. “We know from there being lots of research done on sexual assault that most women or men do not report. [Sometimes] they report to friends, or to counselors, but counselors are bound by confidentiality. I think it’s a very complex issue. There are a lot of factors that go into our reporting mechanisms.”

The process for reporting a sexual assault at UPEI goes through the Security Team.

“If the victim chooses to report to security, then we would help facilitate that person in doing so”, Smith said. “Our first priority [to the victim] is their physical and emotional safety. The process is to ensure the safety of that particular person first.”

I also spoke with outgoing UPEI Student Union President Lucas MacArthur. I asked him if he felt the reported number for UPEI was too low.

“I wouldn’t know the accuracy of that number. I’m not privy to reports, I wouldn’t be involved in that process. Do I believe that there is an issue with reporting? Yes. I think we probably do see a lot of students who experience some kind of sexual violence and have chosen not to report it. There’s a variety of ways a student can report something like this. If it happened in the residence, it can be done through the RLAs. I’m not sure if it’s a correct number, but I can definitely say that the trend across Canada is that there is not really a culture of communicating those issues, which needs to change. The focus should be on raising awareness and giving support to the victims.”

MacArthur noted that reports to the Student Union are passed on to campus security, and that the full-time staff is trained in dealing with student emergencies. The Student Union is also looking into getting training for the SU Executives in terms of dealing with student crises.

MacArthur said that the Student Union is looking to put policies in place in regards to sexual assault.

“I know that there are people over in Student Affairs who have been really active on this file”, he said. “When I came into office, I wanted to make sure that this was brought up. A lot of other campuses are doing active campaigns surrounding sexual violence. I think UPEI is lucky to be able to approach this in a unique way, because we’ve been lucky to not have too many major incidents of this. It’s really important for us to make sure we’re being proactive and we’re creating polices that are safe and that are respectful to the victims that are associated with this.”

“We’re looking at raising awareness, to break that stigma. This year, even though the SU hasn’t been active in the policy creation, I know that there are some sexual violence/sexual harassment policies in the works at the University. I imagine that the new Student Union President will be consulted on those before they are sent to the board. I am happy to report that they are completing that and finishing that draft. We’ve engaged in the early processes of an awareness campaign that is UPEI-specific, very grassroots.”

UPEI Arts Review Launch Happening Today

By Jennifer Brenton

Today, the Arts Review is launching its annual journal to showcase the work of UPEI students. I sat down with 4th year History student Keri McCaffrey and 3rd year English student Chris Thompson to discuss what they have been working on this term for the Arts Review.

Cadre: Firstly, what is the Arts Review ?

McCaffrey: “The Arts Review is a student-run journal that was started four years ago by Robert Hansworth. Our motto is to show student’s excellent work through this student-edited journal.

Cadre: Where does the Arts Review run out of?

Thompson: “This program has been ran through the writing center since the beginning of this year. We wanted a stable place where we could host the Arts Review. Before, the program floated between people and now we believe it will be sustained.”

Cadre: How many students do you have working on the Arts Review?

McCaffrey: “We have eight editors, and there were over 30 papers submitted this year.”

Cadre: When is the Launch of the Arts Review?

McCaffrey: “We have our launch coming up on April 10th in the Faculty Lounge in Main Building from five to seven pm. We have invited all the Deans, the VP’s, the President, the Student Union President as well as the incoming Student Union President. We asked students to invite professors who may have helped them on the paper that they submitted.”

Cadre: What kind of papers will be presented at the Launch?

Thompson: “This year, we did not get many science-based papers, but the majority of the papers came from the faculty of the Arts.”

Cadre: How can students get involved next year?

McCaffrey: “Things are tentative, but during fall midterms we will be going to around trying to find students for editors. These students will need a professor recommendation to be an editor. The call for paper submissions will happen around Christmas of next year.

For more information, email artsreview@upei.ca. 

PEI Election Predictions

By John Rix and Drew MacEachern

With an election on the horizon on PEI, The Cadre’s Drew MacEachern and Cadre volunteer John Rix have provided us with their predictions on the possible outcomes when Islanders head to the polls on May 4th.

John Rix

The last six months have been a wild ride in PEI politics. Six months ago, it looked like the election was going to be fairly predictable. The Progressive Conservatives were still heavily damaged by the in-fighting that ousted their former leader Olive Crane, and Ghiz was standing strong with over 50 points in the polls. It definitely looked like he was going to win a third term, without much challenge.

Then the shock came in November when Premier Ghiz decided to step down. Since then. we have had another scandal in the national media, the E-gaming scandal, which hurt the Liberals, much like how the PNP scandal hurt them in the previous election. If Ghiz was still at the helm of the Liberal party after this scandal, I don’t know if the Liberals could pull off their third victory.

However, Ghiz is not at the helm anymore. Former UPEI President Wade MacLauchlan is now the Premier of PEI.  The Progressive Conservatives also got a new leader, Rob Lantz, who looks very strong heading into this election.

So, what is the possible outcome of this election? If I had to give a prediction right now, I would say it will be MacLauchlan and the Liberals. The Liberals have been badly damaged, in my opinion, by the most recent scandal, but with Robert Ghiz and Wes Sheridan stepping out, it gives the party that has dominated the last two elections a chance to re-brand with MacLauchlan in charge.

Luckily for MacLauchlan, he was not attached to either scandal and is a fresh face for the party. Although Rob Lantz looks strong, he is still leading a party that had some bad times a few months ago. They have pulled together, and I think will gain a fair share of seats come May 4th, but I don’t think they will pull off the victory this time around.

Are the NDP and the Greens in the mix? Once again, six months ago I would have said I think so, they had a shot at picking up a seat or two, but given the re-emergence of the Progressive Conservatives, this will most likely be a traditional PEI bipartisan affair. If there is a chance for the Greens or the NDP to pick up seats, it lies with their leaders. As of now, I would have to give a slight edge to Peter Bevan-Baker winning in District 17 over Mike Redmond in District 3. Environmental concerns are becoming a bigger issue to Islanders, and given the tight fiscal situation with the budget, I can’t see many Islanders voting for a big spending party like the NDP.

So my prediction is a Liberal victory, but a loss in seats to the Progressive Conservatives.

Drew MacEachern

Before we begin it is important to note that the upcoming election will likely be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to predict. There are so many factors at play. All of the party leaders are untested and both of the major parties have and are undergoing periods of trouble. However, I believe there are several factors that could help swing the election in favor of the Progressive Conservatives.

The first has to deal with government scandals. The current Liberal government has been embroiled in two major scandals during its tenure; first PNP, and now e-gaming. If there’s one thing history has shown us, it’s that Canadians can be quite unforgiving towards scandal; in fact, Robert Ghiz, Stephen Harper, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, and John Diefenbaker were all elected partially on the basis of public reaction to scandals.

Unlike the prior election with PNP (which implicated people connected with both the PCs and the Liberals), the e-gaming scandal falls squarely at the feet of the current government. Premier Wade MacLauchlan has admittedly done an admirable job at trying to diffuse the issue and initiate some reforms. However, anger at the government runs deep and, despite some new faces, many members of the Ghiz government are running again. MacLauchlan is still representing the political machine that allowed these scandals to spawn, and the electorate may want to punish that machine despite MacLauchlan’s lack of involvement. This attempt at distancing will be further complicated by CMT’s current lawsuit against the government.

This brings us to the second factor: Rob Lantz. A large measure of the government’s approval over the past few years, despite PNP and controversy over projects like Plan B, has been the disarray of the Progressive Conservatives. From the ouster of Olive Crane as leader, to the long period without a permanent leader, the Progressive Conservatives could not seem to present themselves as a united viable alternative. The election of Lantz has changed that.

Lantz is a fresh face who is respected for his time as a Charlottetown municipal councillor; he is also young and has the ability to connect with those who do not usually vote PC. If MacLauchlan has taken steps to try to mitigate the issues, Lantz has surprised many with how forcefully he has addressed the issue of transparency in the campaign, covering everything from a Royal Commission into these scandals, an end to ministerial cars and credit cards, and a lobbyist registry. The one danger the PCs face is overplaying their hand on this issue and neglecting more diverse policy announcements in favor of hammering away at government corruption. This would play into an image of them as an opposition that can only criticize, not a party that can govern. However, there are still many days left in the campaign for new policies to be rolled out.

The Island’s “third parties”, the Greens and the NDP, while having no shot at forming government (baring some monumental shift in the political landscape), are in an interesting position. At this time last year, I believe the NDP have the potential to make an impact. However, they have largely blown any opportunity they had for electoral gains. The NDP seem to only know how to attack the government, refuse to congratulate any party that supports similar ideas to them (unlike Lantz, who is willing to admit other parties can have good ideas), and throw out ideas that appeal to their base. This will win them the votes of NDP supporters, but will not help to expand their base of support. The only NDP candidate who seems to be drumming up support is Gord McNeilly, a motivational speaker who seems to be avoiding the tendencies of the NDP outlined above. However, it appears that the personally popular Green Party leader, Peter Bevan-Baker, has a shot of winning his District 17 seat over controversial cabinet minister Valerie Docherty. If he plays his cards right, PEI may just see its first Green MLA.

UPEI Caribbean Society Hosting their First Event Today

By Jing Zhao

The Caribbean is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the surrounding coasts. Its region includes southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America. With various areas, the Caribbean is a very multicultural nation. The language of the region is also varied; islanders are bilingual with their own dialect of the main languages. As for geography, the Caribbean is located near the tropics, so it is warm all year.

UPEI students Dante Bazard and Kunmi Oluyede, president and vice president of the Caribbean Society, respectfully,  set up the Association of Caribbean Society here at UPEI. It was ratified as an official on-campus society at the recent Student Union Council meeting. The purpose of the Caribbean Society is to expand the knowledge and cultural information about the Caribbean islands, as well as establish networks with other Caribbean societies in other areas.

The Caribbean Society welcomes all UPEI students who are interested in to joining. They embrace their members without distinction and prejudice, and the member’s interests are protected. The objectives of society are:

1. To encourage greater co-operation and interaction among the members of the Caribbean Society.

2. To develop, organize, and promote activities and events that are necessary or desirable for enhancing the academic development and social consciousness of the members.

3. To protect the interests, rights, and welfare of members.

4. To expand members’ knowledge and sensitivity of the cultural entities of the society, which are of vital importance to both Prince Edward Island and other nations.

5. To work with the Inter-Clubs Committee in order to foster relations with other organizations at the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College.

The Caribbean Society has some upcoming events planned,  which include explaining Caribbean culture, Caribbean parties, Caribbean food sample tasting, fundraising, and elections. The society plans to become even more official over the summer and during the upcoming year by hosting regular events and getting support from various companies.

If you are interested in seeing what the Caribbean Society is all about, their first event is being held this afternoon in the Library PIT at 4 pm. Snacks, games, and prizes will be provided!

What to Watch on Netflix: Teen Movie Edition

By Sierra Roberts

While recently browsing Netflix, I discovered that it currently has a wide selection of teen movies to offer. I, along with my friends, have watched so many teen movies over and over again. The teen flick has everything – betrayal and/or shocking twists, makeovers and fashion, the best one-liners, girl-power, and friendship.

Here is a list of ten films to get you through the long weekend while you’re munching on mini eggs and chocolate bunnies.

Mean Girls

This movie is often dubbed the ultimate teen movie – “as if.” While I may not consider Mean Girls to be the reigning film in teen flicks, it is a close second. Tina Fey wrote the screenplay and stared in the film alongside Amy Poehler and a promising young actress, Lindsay Lohan. I will say that Mean Girls is one of the most quotable movies out there, and features one of the most iconic mean girl cliques of all – The Plastics ruled by the Queen Regina George.

“She doesn’t even go here.”

Clueless

Clueless was an instant classic, and has become the rubric by which all other teen flicks are measured. It follows teenage dream, Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) and the rest of her clique at Beverly Hills High. Jane Austen’s Emma was the inspiration for the movie, and the film became the jumping off point for many careers, including both Paul Rudd, and a baby-faced Brittany Murphy who starred as Tai Frasier.

“Why should I listen to you, anyway? You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”

Scream

A teen movie list just wouldn’t be complete without a slasher film. Scream is one of the best of the genre, combining slasher and mystery with satire. Sidney Prescott is the star of the series and the target of the ghostface killers for all four films. The series has become a cult classic with a large cultural impact – it has been credited with reviving the horror genre, as well as being accused of inspiring real-life killings.

“What’s your favourite scary movie?”

Bring it On

Cheerleaders often play an important role in teen flicks, but Bring it On makes cheerleaders the focus. The movie has inspired numerous sequels, but none come close to the original. The film was known for the iconic cheers and routines – especially the opening cheer, “We Are Cheerleaders.”

“I’m sexy, I’m cute, I’m popular to boot.

I’m bitchin’, great hair, the boys all love to stare.”

She’s All That

While many of the other films feature a makeover, She’s All That is all about a makeover. Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) makes a bet that he can transform any girl in school into Prom Queen, and this is where Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook) comes in. The lesson in this film is that if you get rid of those glasses and take out that ponytail, you too can become one of the most popular girls in school.

“What is this – some sort of dork outreach program?”

The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries was every young kid’s dream – discovering that you are actually a princess and being swept away from your awkward teenage life. Mia Thermopolis’s (Anne Hathaway) grandmother (queen Julie Andrews) reveals to her that she is the next natural heir to throne for the Kingdom of Genovia since her father has passed away. She is given a choice whether or not to accept the title of princess, and the teen comedy then follows Mia’s makeover and princess lessons.   

“Please don’t crush my soy nuts.”

Easy A

Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) is labeled as a slut after rumour spreads that she has slept with a college boy and pretends to hook-up with her friend at a party so he can hide the fact that he’s gay. Olive decides to bank in on the rumours and allows unpopular guys to say she’s had sex with them in exchange for gift cards. Amanda Bynes becomes the star of the film in her role as Marianne Bryant, the holier-than-thou Christian girl at her high school.

“You gotta be shittin’ me, sister.”

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is based on the book of the same name, and follows four best friends – Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget. The four girls are about to separate for the summer when they discover a pair of jeans that fits all four figures. This feel-good film focuses on female friendships, love and growing up. 

“You think a pair of pants that fits all three of you is going to fit…all of this?”

She’s the Man

She’s the Man features a makeover of a different kind – Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) transforms herself into her twin brother, Sebastian, so that she can join the boy’s soccer team. The movie was inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Amanda Bynes is hilarious in her role as Viola, and the movie also features Channing-fucking-Tatum…enough said.

“Because heels are a male invention designed to make women’s butts looks smaller…and to make it harder for them to run away.”

“Have a great apple and sandwich!”

American Pie

American Pie is the raunchy sex comedy series. The first film begins with a group of friends at East Great Falls High making a pact to lose their virginities before their high school graduation. One of the highlights of the series becomes the awkward relationship between Jim (Jason Biggs) and his father, played by Eugene Levy. After the success of American Reunion in 2012, there’s talk of another film in the works.

“Oh, and this one time at band camp…”

UPEI IRO Sets Up Volunteer Tax Clinic to Help International Students

By Drew MacEachern

Tax time can be stressful for everyone. This is doubly true when you have to deal with the tax codes of a different country. International students comprise a significant number of the campus population and income tax is just one of the many difficult adjustments they have to face.

In order to help alleviate this challenge, the International Relations Office has been putting on income tax clinics, with the help of volunteers, for the past ten years to help international students file their taxes. Students can sign up for an appointment in the IRO office to meet with a volunteer who will help them sort out their taxes.

The program is part of a broader initiative by the Canada Revenue Agency called the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. The program is designed to help those who may need assistance filing their basic income tax and benefit return: students, newcomers, seniors etc., by putting them in contact with volunteers who can help them. 

The Cadre had the chance to speak with Erica Stanley, the International Student Advisor at the IRO, who has been helping to organize this program at UPEI. 

“It has become sort of a tradition in universities that the ISA facilitates assistance with income tax for the international students, so it has been kind of grandfathered into us from other larger universities that offer this service. It was encouraged as a great benefit to offer, so we’ve always done it as long as there has been an international student advisor here.”

The Cadre also reached out to several international students who are accessing the service to get their opinions. Students expressed their happiness about the service being free, easy, and convenient. A few also said that figuring out their return benefits is helpful in order to finance their summer courses.

When asked what difficulties the tax code presents to them, the students had somewhat different answers. Chineah, a 3rd year Biology student from Nigeria said, “Well we have to pay more money, and that’s hard on our parents back home. That’s the most difficult part.”

To Brenna Lee Barkley, a 3rd year student from Washington, D.C., the specifics of the tax code was the biggest difficulty. “It is [difficult to adjust] because you really don’t know rules and regulations, and what goes with everything because you’re an international student so it [the program] makes it easier.”

For more information about the volunteer tax clinic at UPEI, contact Erin Clarke at the International Relations Office at eeclarke@upei.ca.

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