The Bi-Annual Can-Am debates are happening this Friday at Algoma University
By: Matt Siklosi
This Friday, March 24, the Bi-Annual Can-Am debates are coming to Algoma University once again. For over 30 years political science students at Algoma University and Lake Superior State University have been taking part in debates at each other’s institution once a semester. This semester the debates will be held in the Doc Brown lounge from 2:00-5:00 pm. This year’s debate questions will be:
What to know about events happening this month!
By: Joseph Fitkowski
As we enter into the second half of March, the Speakeasy will be humming with activity, hosting three events as the month draws to a close.
Drunk History Trivia - March 24
Alcohol can make anything fun, even history! Hosted by the Algoma University History Society, Drunk History Trivia will take place in the Speakeasy on March 24th at 7PM. Come out to drink and answer trivia questions from various periods in history! Surely funnier the later it gets! To enter, it is $5 per individual or $20 for a group of no more than six. Tickets will be available at the door on March 24th at 7PM. Please drink responsibly.
Rainbow Pub 2017 - March 30
Hosted by the Queer Coffee Club, the annual Rainbow Pub will be held on March 30th. With colourful music and dancing, it is sure to be a fun time! All money raised will go to the Queer Coffee Club and its various campaigns around campus. The price of entry is by donation. Doors open at 9PM.
Rock On!: The Multi-Media Musical - March 31
Hosted and performed by the group Frankly Speaking, Rock On!: The Multi-Media Musical will be held in the Speakeasy on March 31 at 8PM. A visual journey through rock n' roll and its most legendary figures, it will feature songs from greats such as Queen, the Beatles, David Bowie, the Tragically Hip, and more! Doors will open at 8PM, and tickets are $10.
CANADIAN SENATOR SAYS THE “GOOD INTENTIONS” OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL INSTRUCTORS OVERSHADOWED BY “FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVE”
Conservative Senator wants to focus on "good things that also happened at those schools"
By: Joseph Fitkowski
The Hon. Lynn Beyak, a Conservative senator for Ontario, has caused debate in the Senate over her statements in defence of the residential school system, when she stated that those working at the schools were "well-intentioned men and women and their descendants...whose remarkable works, good deeds and historical tales in the residential schools go unacknowledged for the most part and are overshadowed by negative reports."
Beyak, while discussing the incarceration of indigenous women, said that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was negative towards the residential schools. Although Beyak did recognize that horrific events had occurred at the schools, she also stated that the focus on negative events "overshadowed some good things that also happened at those schools."
Senator Beyak stated that the religious aspect of the schools were well-intentioned, and that the Christian organizations that ran the residential schools were well-meaning and helping Christian Indigenous communities.
The residential school system, operated by religious groups under the approval of the Canadian government, separated indigenous children from their communities and families to be educated in parochial schools run by Anglican and Catholic organizations. The residential schools, which in some cases operated as late as 1996, existed as a way to assimilate indigenous children into European norms and values, while also separating them from their own culture and communities.
Approximately 150,000 First Nations children were forced into residential schools. The system has been defined by the rampant abuse, mistreatment, and exploitation, that took place, which far too often resulted in death.
Although some former students state that the residential schools helped them gain an education and learn valuable skills, the general consensus is that the schools not only failed to provide an education, but also caused significant longstanding harm to the indigenous population of Canada, and is considered to be one of, if not the, most shameful aspects of Canadian history.
The Canadian government under then-Prime Minister Stephan Harper officially apologized for the abuses and damages done by residential schools in 2008.
Beyak also defended the legacy of Hector-Louis Langevin, a Father of Confederation who was closely associated with the residential school system, and recently has caused controversy over the debate over renaming of the Langevin Block, named in his honour, to something deemed more appropriate. She stated that Langevin's racism was "of [his] time", and that he should not be judged by today's standards. Senator Beyak also stated that then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's white paper proposal of 1969 was "ground-breaking".
After her speech, Beyak was debated by Senator Murry Sinclair, who claimed that "I am a bit shocked, senator, that you still hold some views that have been proven to be incorrect over the years, but, nonetheless, I accept that you have the right to hold them". Sinclair accused Beyak of not actually discussing the topic of the committee, and stated that the issues facing indigenous groups today stemmed from the violence and abuse seen at residential schools. Beyak was unable to continue the discussion, as the Senate began to move forward discussion towards another issue outside of aboriginal concerns.
The full transcript of the debate can be viewed here:
"students helping students" by working to combat hunger and food insecurity on campus
By Anna Smith
As the semester wraps up and budgets become tight, consider visiting the Algoma University Student Food Bank (AUSFB). The food bank was founded in 2006 on the premise of "students helping students" and it works to combat hunger and food insecurity on our campus. The brightly painted room, located off the main student services hall, offers food, school supplies, and hygiene products for any student or alumni in need of some extra assistance.
AUSFB's main goal is to extend support to students and alumni who may have other financial obligations such as tuition, rent, and other everyday financial stresses that prevent them from being able to purchase healthy and filling foods. The ever-increasing tuition and ancillary fees paired with the rising costs of food leave many students across Canada facing the harsh reality of food insecurity. Meaning some students simply do not have access to enough affordable and nutritious food to support themselves or their families. It is not hard to imagine how students’ studies could suffer as a result of not eating properly.
The AUSFB aims to assist students in those far too common times of need by distributing non-perishable goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, bread, and much more. The AUSFB encourages everyone to visit and see what they have to offer. The AUSFB also reminds students that it operates anonymously, and those who access the food bank do not have to meet any kind of financial criteria.
The AUSFB also relies heavily on the support of the community to keep stocked and is always accepting donations. Some ideas of what is most needed at the food bank are: canned meats, peanut butter, alternative milks (almond, coconut), cereals, granola bars, canned vegetables, and pasta sauce. Donations can be dropped off at any time during the week and if the door is closed they can be left in the bins provided outside the door.
AUSFB is located in SH212 near the health services office and is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. volunteers permitting. Every student and alumni of Algoma University is welcome to access the Food Bank.
Eva Hyderman & Matt Siklosi
The annual Algoma University General Members meeting took place on Wednesday. The outgoing board reviewed their accomplishments this past academic year*, and remaining goals for the remainder of their term.
The AUSU president also announced plans to create a new student space on campus, the One Stop Shop, and to work with downtown businesses to foster student friendly around Sault Ste Marie.
The budget for last year was also reviewed, while the union finished the year with a fair surplus, the Speakeasy continues to run at a deficit. The board expressed confidence in the potential for the Speakeasy to become self-sufficient in time, however low event turnout was cited as a cause for concern.
General members in attendance were given the opportunity to voice their own concerns regarding the direction of the student union. Though attendance was relatively low there was significant and passionate discussion between the general members in attendance and the board.
Concerns are raised by general members regarding rising student fees, lack of dry events on campus, a lack of involvement with the people of Sault Ste Marie, and a perceived lack of transparency regarding the union.
Further concerns over the lack of specific representation for international students were also raised, citing the substantial international student population at Algoma University and unique social and financial situations as need for specialized representation.
The board assured the general members that international students are represented by the Diversity Representative, along with other visible minority groups. Regardless, they took note of the desire for the reinstatement of a dedicated International Student Representative.
The board announced the removal of two annual fees, the Algoma University Ombudsman fee ($3) and the AUSU Bursary Fee ($10).
The schools decline in enrollment (now reaching an 11% overall decline from the previous year) has had a severe impact on the union’s revenue. The board is proposing two options at this time to balance the budget.
Option 1 will involve a significant reduction in union spending, including club support and board spending**.
Option 2 would be to raise the Union membership fee by $17, from $70 to $87, in the fall.
The decision will likely be put to a school wide referendum in the near future.
However, since AUSU has eliminated two other, therefore the net increase in AUSU controlled fees would be $4.
Enrollment at the university is expected to continue to decline over the next 4 years, according to the board, and be a continuing financial burden for the union.
However, the outgoing board remains optimistic, hoping to see the union continue to grow in the new academic year.
* I.M Well App launch, the formation of the Street Team, the Speakeasy Renovation project, Day of Action Event, Extended Library Hours trial, Dinner with the Dean and the Student Mental Health Committee.
** Proposed cut back areas: AUSU salaries, conferences/travel, Campus Campaigns, Board
Training, And Club Funding.