30 March, 2008

year round VFM!

In case you didn't know, VFM is now year round (you may have given up on UBC but Mark Latham hasn't! Seriously though - VFM is a great idea if it gets popular enough)

So far Blake Frederick, uVote, The Knoll, and the DA are competing. Go vote!


Voting information here

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Choose your own SUBventure!

Gotta hand it to them - the Alma Mater Society sure is doing a good job flyerfucking the campus in green-and-white. I've seen huge banners up on several buildings, flyers and posters everywhere. I guess that's what happens when you have a several-thousand dollar advertising budget. Puts the election candidates' ad campaigns (except for Mr. Flyerfuck himself and my own styling posters) to shame. This is all, of course, to advertise for the shiny new Student Union Building students are supposed to vote for (until tomorrow!).

But they've dropped the ball on giving students concrete information on what the SUB would look like, renewed-style. So -- before the results are out and the issue drops way below the radar, the Advocate is stepping up to the plate. Yes, that's right. We're going to tell students exactly what the new SUB will contain and look like. And to appeal to as many as possible, we're going to let you the reader choose which SUB you're going to vote for. Just don't vote no.

Let's start with the known facts. Straight from the AMS Referendum website, the SUB will have

  • 140% more Student Social Space
  • 11-fold increase in Student Amenities
  • 30% increase in Club Space
  • 21% increase in Services and Administration
  • a commitment to sustainability
  • a $120 m price tag, of which the student body is expected to pay up to $80 m.
SUB 1: The "knollyard" SUB.


The Trek Park-ers hypothetically having joyfully reclaimed the knoll from the evil underground bus bunker, the knoll will be celebrated as the rightful centre of student life on campus and the SUB will be planned to accomodate this. A majestic building stretching from where the SUB is right now to the Aquatic Centre will be build, completely replacing the old building and containing many windows facing - you guessed it, the knoll.

SUB 2: The "graduated" SUB.

There's been a lot of questions asked about whether there would be any student space while the re/new/ed SUB is being pulled out of the ground like the saviour of student life it will be. The answer is yes, students. The SUB will actually be two buildings. The current one will stay while the new one (a five-story, rectangular thing near U Square) is built. It will then take all the functionality while our dear bunker is completely remodelled, and revert back to normal operating mode--club and AMS offices which fit better in the building, perhaps, or just part of that 140% more social space we've been promised. The current building will rise from its ashes like a concrete pheonix. The first floor's structure will be similar, but the steel frame of the top floor (which is bolted onto the concrete first floor) will be entirely razed, to make room for a large mass of student social space which magically transforms into a ballroom (or a theatre!) at night - perfect adaptable space which would be useful for at least 40 years.

SUB 3: The "Greenskin" SUB.

Yian Messoloras hypothetically winning next year's VP Admin election, anything and everything about the new SUB will be contracted out to UBC students and faculty. The design will be by the UBC architecture faculty, etc. Due to the good work from UBC's Greenskins lab, the entire SUB will be covered with living plants, giving the impression of having a much larger grassy knoll in the middle of campus. (Strangely enough, the AMS Compassion Club will not renew their request for a solo club office, take up residence on the roof, and SUB electricity bills will go way down.) The building will be the current first-floor shell plus several brilliant and expensive architectural features "punched through" the building to let natural light inside and make it look cooler, as well as an extension reaching out like a tentacle towards the University Square, and having an entrance to the underground bus loop.


Which of these is the SUB going to take? Who knows! And if you vote no, you'll never know. So step up, do your part in democracy, and vote YES to Renew the SUB and Save the UPass. Oh yeah - did you know, they're one vote now. Officially, since students were silly enough to let the AMS pull the wool over their eyes on the whole "separate but advertised together" thing.

Thanks to Cannon Design for the images. They're on Facebook, so they must be OK to use!

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29 March, 2008

Further Destruction of Peoples' Reputations

We've taken some flack for our previous delving into the underbelly of AMS politics and the sordid affairs that lie there. Still, we think in the case that someone puts their dirty laundry into the public sphere they're fair game. So currently we'd like to point out that Jeff Friedrichs is in the Georgia Straight Singles page. In fact, he's single of the week. You can check it out here:

http://www.straight.com/article-137280/singles-week-kari-jeff?#


Endless questions abound. Will Jeff find love? Will whoever he ends up with be able to replace the gaping void in his life that the AMS politics will leave? Will he be forced to recall a date? Only time will tell.






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28 March, 2008

Format problem fixed. I blame Microsoft. What a shame filled company! Do you know what else is shameful? A newly elected member of the AMS Exec being spotted in the SUB asking people to sign a petition to recall a fellow exec member.

Nate Crompton, I can understand why you created the petition. I think you should move on. But I understand. Stephanie Ratjen: You don't need to like the exec but you need to work with them. I am this close to retroactively dis-endorsing you. I asked the two random dudes sitting next to me in the library what they thought of the Lougheed situation. One gave me a blank look and the other asked if I was talking about the skytrain station. All the energy you have spent on going after Lougheed could have been spent on something that actually matters to students.

Commodore Cuddles is sad.

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27 March, 2008

It is over

Next person I hear bitching about the election gets fucking shanked.

No. That is not the right response at all. Next person to complain gets a hug. You get a hug because it is time to move on and I know how hard that can be. This is not the end of the world. Maybe you don’t agree with what happened. Fine. But by turning this molehill into a mountain you have polarized campus politics to an unnecessary extreme. You are all involved in campus politics because you have ideas about how to make this place better. Do that, but do it in a constructive manner. Seeking out confrontation helps no one.

Everyone involved in this mess made mistakes. That is human. Get over it.

The sun is out. Get away from the internet for a while. Fly a kite, walk along the beach, and enjoy life.

-ap

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Harper government overturns disqualification

Hot off the press from "Canada Insiders":

"The Supreme Court released its decision today in the Vancouver-Quadra matter. They allowed the appeal, ordering that Debra Meredith, the MP-elect who voted for herself four times at different polling stations, be disqualified. The Court left the matter of how to fill the vacancy up to the House of Commons.
"The Harper-dominated House refused to accept the Court's judgment--two straight Court decisions that have been politically overturned by MPs. This may just be my lawyerly pre-disposition talking, but that begs the question: why have a justice system at all? More to come."

In an unrelated news story, AMS Council refused to accept AMS Student Court's decision to disqualify Alex Lougheed from the VP Academic and University Affairs Position (Mr. Lougheed, like Ms. Meridith, also conveniently voted four times at different polling stations.) Apparently (like I go to council meetings anymore!) they didn't debate whether Court had made a procedural error, but the arguments behind the case itself.

See how ridiculous this whole thing is? I mean, applied to a National level when an elected body doesn't accept a court's decision, things would be MAJOR SCANDAL. Here at UBC, it's set precedent!

I say shame on the AMS for pretending to be a two-tier system where justice is separated from elected bodies. Make up your mind - either have a Student Court and actually accept that their interpretations of your bylaws should be binding on Council, or just toss the idea away and come clean to students that AMS Council is actually calling all the shots. I suggest renaming the Student Court to the "Student Suggestive-decision-making-body", as this would clear things up for students right away and let Council play ball.

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26 March, 2008

Referendum

So I’m going to go out and say it. We’ve sunk to new depths. See the article below if you don’t believe me, if it hasn’t been deleted yet. Why do you ask? Well, first we were tired and bored, and secondly we can under the evil influence of our source, who is the inventor of such diabolical ideas as the Passion of the Christ drinking game. (You drink every time Jesus screams in pain) I had to sit in the background on Good Friday and read the bible to balance out the evil in order to prevent our house being smote.

Actually, it’s probably more than that. It’s that we’re all tired, people have girlfriends (or at least some people have girlfriends), deadlines are approaching, and we don’t really have much to talk about other than the Loughheed debacle, which has been talked about way too long. Which I actually made a cartoon about, with XKCD style stick figures and everything and it seemed totally awesome to my tired brain. However, it didn’t seem to entertain my roommates, so now you’ll never see it. Ever.
Also, no one read any of the articles after the elections were over. Except for Mr. Evil’s (our source) drunken disendorsement post concerning the AUS elections. So, we fall into the dilemma of having readership, or providing quasi-competent coverage. Still, I figure I’ll give it another try.

There’s only one bit of political hamjiggery that hasn’t been talked to death just yet – the referendum. Well, the referenda. It’s plural.

First of all, if you’d don’t vote for the U-Pass part, you’re a horrible, horrible person. The devil has created a circle in hell, just above the one reserved for the Advocate staff.

Second, isn’t this really an exercise in rubberstamping? I mean, everyone is so concerned about getting enough people to vote, they barely stop to add ‘and vote yes!’ There aren’t even any ‘no’ campaigns being run, at least to my knowledge. I mean, there was the one proposal that my name somehow got on, but I don’t think enough signatures to make it official and it was more of a way for ‘Mr. Evil’ to embezzle money from the AMS. It’s not winning the vote that’s the issue, it’s getting enough voters out to make it legitimate. Which begs the question, shouldn’t we do that for electing execs? I see two possible outcomes:
1) we’d have no exec
2) we might actually get people to vote when the SUB burns down from the lack of management.

I’m just going to go out and admit to voting no for the SUB renewal, mainly because I was under the impression that it involved the old SUB being totally unusable during the process of construction, if not just bulldozed. Which isn’t quite correct. Of course the information I was going off came from… Mr. Evil. Again.
I naturally have dirt on the EA, of a variety of flavours, but since I’m sworn to secrecy on a number of counts and am trying to maintain something approaching the high ground, though you all find the low group more interesting, judging by our polls, you once again will have to wonder at the horrors of which I know.

Pfff, I don’t have anything much else to say on this issue, other than to complain. It seems like half my friend list of facebook has turned into a string of profile pictures advocating for SUB renew. I find it tiresome. I go on facebook to profile stalk people, not to look at ads. Yesh. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to my creeping.

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25 March, 2008

Same and more Shame

What is more shameful:


a) President of a student undergrad society spotted doing the Walk of Shame away from Vanier
tonight, "her hair was wetted down and frazzled. Her silence to our questions only confirmed our 
suspicions. . ."

or

b) the asshat who called this tip in told me to use his computer to post this (my laptop died this morning) had a folder open containing massive amounts of lesbian porno. 

Seriously. What the fuck.

I sat in your fucking chair!

-cc

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12 March, 2008

11 March, 2008

AUS Elections

by Commodore Cuddles
[Editors note: the good Commodore had a bit too much of the sunshine dust when writing this article. I think I caught all the errors, but I am also drunk. So maybe missed a few. Enjoy the article! -ap]

AUS Elections are on, continuing the long, unending election cycle at UBC. Constituency elections tend to be very bland and lackluster, and this year is no exception; eighty year old grandmothers climax faster than these elections. The candidates seem to be only passionate to “fight the power”, whether that be the AMS, the University, so simply the trolls under the knoll. We cover these elections not because students care (we know you won’t vote), but to continue to ridicule those asshats because our journalistic credibility demands it.

President:

There is very little difference between these two candidates. Except AJ's not white. Maybe they are the same, twins from different mothers separated at birth only to reconnect through the boredom of AUS government.

Tyler Allison: Wants to focus on changes directed at the AUS, so that it functions better.

Avneet Johal: Wants to focus on advocating for students’ needs at the AMS and University Administration level.

**Our advice: DISENDORSE AJ and TA and write-in “Aaron Palm” for PRESIDENT!!! We endorse only the best candidates, even if they are not running. (And unlike certain other publications when we whore out our own we have the decency to let you know.)

Vice President Internal:

Caitlin Davey: Do you know much about the AUS? Well neither does she. Her claim is to increase AUS efficiency, but has no platform by which to do it. Her campaign may actually be more misinformed than if a mime with down syndrome were running for this position.
DISENDORSED!!

John Manson: His claim to fame is that he was a sweet General Officier. He’s so cute, if he were female, I may think about gangbanging him with some of my other furry friends. Sadly, cute and cuddly doesn’t make you qualified enough to be VP-I.
DISENDORSED!! Good luck next year.

Crystal Hon: She’s the best candidate. I don’t know whether I’m saying this from a neutral position or to try and get my editor laid (I think she has a sweet spot for him). I don’t think it really matters, so for now she’s
NOT DISENDORSED!!!

AMS Representative:

Allison Mander-Wionzek, Paul Curran, Bahram Norouzi, Calen Nixon: None of these candidates bothered to show them, so fuck 'em.
DISENDORSED!!!


Beata Chami: Beata is nice, but running for the wrong position. She’s running based on the platform that she wants to get involved; the problem is that the position of AMS Rep is for people who have goals in mind for student government policy. Beata next time think about running for General Officer, but for AMS Rep you are
DISENDORSED!!

Timothy Chu: Tim’s CRAZY!!! He doesn’t understand the purpose or the setup of the AMS, and if elected it appears that he would attempt to dismantle the entire AMS. While we would love to see this happen, if Tim were the one doing it the replacement for student government would be void of anything that matters to ordinary students, like the Pit and Gallery Nachos. Thankfully Tim is not running unopposed, so he can be
DISENDORSED, DISENDORSED, DISENDORSED, and DISENDORSED!!

Matthew Naylor: Matt’s still angry about losing the race for AMS President, so as AMS Rep he will continue in his fight against the “evil” Aqua Cowboy. Their last battle left Matt crying like an abandoned sorority girl after a round of bukkake, but the war is not yet over. Any conflict is good conflict, so Matt is
NOT DISENDORSED!!!

Nathan Lapper: Nathan wants to fight for our right to party. . . affordably. This is kind of an overdone platform, and Nathan lacks the charisma to sell it.
NOT DISENDORSED, but boring!!!

Rory Green: Rory’s too enthusiastic about a position where, if she wins, she’ll be bored out of her skull in Council and Committee meetings. We think that there may be something mentally wrong with Rory; therefore she’s perfect for the position. From what she mentioned at the debates, her experience stems from being a Safeway check-out girl, so she’s better qualified than most of the other candidates.
NOT DISENDORSED!!!

Freeman Poritz: He knows what the AMS stands for, and is therefore more qualified than most of the other candidates in this race. He gets my vote, if they let big fluffy Commodores vote, simply for the controversial photos he took of Tristan Markle a couple of weeks ago. NOT DISENDORSED!!!

Emily Griffiths: Her claim to fame is that she’s sexing up Blake Fredrick, current AVP Academic; other than that her platform is as lame and void of substantive content as this election.
DISENDORSED!!

Will Davis: My editor is afraid of his chiseled jaw, so I have no choice other than
DISENDORSED!!!! I like that he’s the only candidate who wants to take a proactive approach towards student consultation, but I am as unable to change my position on Will as Christopher Reeve was able to pleasure his wife.

Mitch Wright: I wasn’t really paying attention to him as I got lost in his sultry eyes. No comment.

Academic Coordinator

Jack Smith: Has Mesophemia. We don’t know what that is. Jack refuses to tell us. Can you trust Jack?...we think so.
NOT DISENDORSED!!!!!

Promotions Coordinator:

Alina Kwan: Showed up to the Debates, didn’t sound incompetent; good enough for us.

James Zhou: Did not show up for the Debates. Too busy? Bogged down having to dispose of dead Thai prostitutes? If your preference is for self-gratification than the AUS we strongly support that, but not for an election.
DISENDORSED!!!!

Social Coordinator:

Yiannis "
DISENDORSED" Messoloras: Yian is once again our least favourite candidate. This election is between Yian and nobody, we say vote for nobody...they’ll probably do a better job. This time around Yian refused to allow a fringe group to run a serious “Vote No” campaign against him, only going to show how much he’s afraid of the “No” vote. We say vote “NO”. DISENDORSED for the eighth time!!

General Officer:

Who cares! Apparently not Arts students seeing as only 4 Arts students, out of several thousand, are running for 5 spots. Seeing as the GO position requires the least amount of effort for the ability to resume pad, it shows how little Arts students care about the AUS. Shame on Arts students for not running, or Shame on the AUS for continually failing to be relevant to Arts Students? We chose to
DISENDORSE both.

Senator:

Hillson Tse: The absentee candidate. Didn’t show up to the debate; SHAME. Being Senator requires most of all personal drive to act. If he/she couldn’t even bother to tell me why to vote for him then he is unlikely to be a decent, let alone good, Senator.
DISENDORSED!!!!

Helaine Boyd & John Manson: Both showed up, which shows that they could be good Senators, given the history of Arts Senators never being heard from again following their election. Besides the assumption that one has balls and the other doesn’t, they are equal under the eyes of the Lord. We suggest you vote based on gender. If you like women, vote for Helaine; if men are your preference then elect John. Since Arts has more female students than male, Helaine may be at a disadvantage, although there are quite a lot of lesbians and male-hating feminists on campus to balance out this election. Helaine go hit on some carpet-munchers and win the election!
-cc

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08 March, 2008

The Return of the GAP, Lazy Journalism, and Olympic fever

GAP:

With the weight of my schoolwork pressing down on me heavily and with many important things to do, I naturally looked at my priorities and decided to work on the one that was least pressing – writing for the Advocate. Since, if our helpful little poll is to be believed, almost no one reads us anymore, I feel I should put something approaching news out. Aaron wants a paper edition for next week, but personally I’m not holding my breath, though Commodore Cuddles’ article concerning the recent rainbow crisis promises to be a groundbreaking policy paper.

Speaking of the rainbow crisis, it’s that time of the year. The time when the sun is bright in the sky, the time when squirrels are copulating beside the trees as you head to class, the time when the snowdrops are in blossom, and the time when the Genocide Awareness Project returns to UBC.

The GAP, as it’s affectionately called, is a pro-life group that likens governmental sanctioned abortion to genocide. It propagates its ideas by displaying vivid pictures of both in public places, in the hope you’ll talk to your MP about it. Or something like that.
I can’t remember when this whacked out seasonal event got started, when they first started coming to our fair campus. Sometime in my second year I think. (Many moons ago for you youngsters out there). The scene was the same as always, reassuring as a Christmas nativity scene: the off color photos of genocide victims and dead fetuses, the small handful of pro-lifers shuffling around their display, the wall of pro-choicers making their wall of giant banners to shield the eyes of passers-by.

In all seriousness, I find the whole thing hilarious. I mean genocide? Even if you buy the whole ‘a fetus is a human being from the moment the sperm enters the egg thing, I think at best you can identify abortion doctors as serial killers. So in my book:

shooting abortion doctors = rational(ish)
trying the Prime Minister for crimes against humanity = not so much

I mean if we really wanted to genocide all the fetuses and prevent them from growing up and becoming annoying little children that you just want to smack with a baseball bat, but the government won’t let you do that because that would be abuse or something ridiculous like that, we could do a much better job. The Canadian medical system is really dropping the ball on this one. If we’re going to commit genocide we might as well do it right and get rid of all those fetuses forever. Mass sterilize everyone, and then we could use all that money we waste on education and obstetricians on anti-aging solutions until such time as we can reach the Singularity in 2045. I probably should have gotten off the knoll from where I was watching them and maybe asked them questions about their ideas and perhaps even recorded some of their answers to my deep thoughts, but I prefer my armchair variant of journalism.

Of course, I find the pro-choicers equally hilarious. First of all, they went from chanting slogan – good old fashioned protest time killer – to singing pro-choice and GAP inspired songs. My favourite was to the tune of ‘I can show you the world.’ It went a little like this:
I can show you the world
Something, something, pro-choice
Something, Princess, the Gap sucks!
A whole new world!


The guy in the white-ish hoodie the man when it came to these musical hits. I have half a mind to ask for the proper lyrics, as he seemed to be reading off a sheet. That’s preparation. All they need now is for someone who can sing a little more in tune.

Also, why is the BC Latin American Congress wrapped up in all this? (I read the small print on banners) I mean, I understand everyone else, but this doesn’t sound like it’s in their mandate, especially as Latin America is spelled C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C most of the time. I was briefly confused by the Pride UBC sponsored sign till I remembered that lesbians can be raped too.
The second thing that gets me is that I have no idea what they aim to accomplish. If they wanted to protect people’s eyes from offensive material, perhaps they should take a look at popular culture these days. I think we’re all fairly jaded by this point. Genocide mshemocide.

On the other hand, if they think that people might actually be convinced by this group, they have a lower assessment of the average intelligence of UBC students than I do. And I think there are some very dumb people around here. Seriously guys. I mean the average pro-life group might have a little leverage, but I think most people tune out when you put the words genocide and abortion together. Relax. Chill out. Drink a beer. Point and laugh. It works so much better and your arms don’t get sore holding up banners.

The Olympics:
Soooo, this is kinda late, but what was with the whole press release thing they had on the North end of the SUB a few weeks ago? You know, the one where they had the cute mascots all dressed up and where they totally blocked that entire entrance so that people had to worm their way through the press scrum to get into the building?
Apparently they were supposed to use the plaza at the South End, but that wasn’t cool enough for them. Or so my sources tell me. They didn’t seem too happy about it. Naturally someone started yelling anti-Olympic catchphrases in the middle of the conference, which brings me to my next question: Who in their right mind would have a press conference in the area with the most number of hippies and activists per square foot? I think their PR group has more mentally handicapped people than the homeless population of downtown Vancouver. I confess to personally like the individualist, capitalist tone of the Olympics, but the inability of whoever the hell is organizing it to handle a press conference doesn’t fill me with too much confidence that Vancouver can pull this one off.


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01 March, 2008

The Wreath Underground: The Last Gasp

For those of you foolish enough not to attend the Radical Beer Faction's Propaganda Party last night, you missed the ultimate showdown between justice and terrorism, between beer and green tea, pizza and granola. For the Wreath Underground, true to their word, returned the Radical Keg and revealed themselves to the Public for the first time. video

Two masked men, burst into MASS sometime after seven, shooting two individuals at the door with NERF darts. There is no word as to whether these injuries proved fatal. Clearing a space in the center of the area, they proceeded to break out their cheerleading skills by doing a proletarian dance sequence involving 'W's and 'U's. Their spokesman then read a 'statement' by the Radical Keg. Given that the keg has no voice, we find this to be a laughable attempt to put words in the keg's mouth...err, hole in the top. Anyway, they couldn't even read their statement correctly. The spokesman of the group kept losing his place and having to repeat himself. Perhaps he should get glasses.

The Radical Beer Faction, enraged by the molestation of their keg, then charged the WU's position despite their lack of NERF weaponry and succeeded in carrying off the Phantom of the Opera terrorist. He is currently languishing in the RBF's gulag, the location of which is classified. The other managed to buy some time by appealing for a dance-off and then was sedated by the music. He disappeared into the crowd and was not seen again. We therefore conclude that this cell of the WU has been neutralized, but others may yet remain. We only hope that they will be as easily defeated as this one.

Sadly, the WU struck while the Editor of the Advocate and this writer were indisposed, but our graphic designer managed to get the whole event on camera. In addition this intrepid reporter managed to find where the scoundrel had tossed his balaclava and weapon in his hurry to get away. This led to unfounded accusations that he might be affiliated with the WU and so he would like to dispel such rumors as quickly as possible. This writer likes meat and enjoys the taste of the tears of third world workers in his coffee.

In conclusion, democracy and beer triumphed last night, but we must remain vigilant. We may never know when the enemy may strike again.

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