Original post here.
The Ubyssey has published their opinion on the Take Back the Night rally.
This post will most likely be updated with further developments.
For almost every weekend since the end of September, a report of a sexual assault was filed (    ). If the pattern holds (which hopefully it won’t) another attempt will be made sometime this weekend. While the presence of at least one sexual assailant on campus who appears to be becoming more comfortable as the semester goes on is scary enough, I am somewhat dismayed by the response by campus inhabitants. Due to the controversial topic being discussed, reader discretion is strongly and strictly advised. Continue reading
Last week a disturbing trend of jokingly glamourising statutory rape of underage girls has perpetuated across two different Canadian universities: Saint Mary’s University in Halifax during orientation week and the University of British Columbia’s CUS‘ frosh week.
It’s strange to see that both use the word “YOUNG” as an acronym in both of their chants, and almost each letter stands for the same thing, Representatives of both universities claim it to be tradition:
“Like I said, it’s been going on for years,”
–Jared Perry, The Globe and Mail
“I think it’s all passed down year after year … from forever, I guess”
–Jacqueline Chen, The Ubyssey
While improbable things can happen, the likelihood of these two chants being around in their respective communities for years before someone turned on their head and noticed is low. One could make an argument that this chant existed at some other university and was adapted for other institutions as it disseminated, but the fact that these two incidents occurred within days of each other is very suspect.
Another issue is how no one thought it odd to have a chant about boning underage girls. If people have been around for a long time and lived with the chant, sure, it might be normalised and longtimers would be desensitised to it, but for these chants to exist for years unnoticed in a society that is becoming more egalitarian is near-impossible, especially if first-years are subject to them. I would like to think that newcomers to these universities have been exposed to “rape isn’t something to joke about” sentiments. Something as crass as this would have had more social media attention on it in previous years if it really occurred for a long time.
What do I think happened? Some kid thought it was hilarious to make this chant for wherever they were, and someone elsewhere got wind of it and thought it was funny too. From there it spread, all the way over to UBC.
The most shocking part of all of this is the disparity between the responses the two university representatives made:
“We didn’t see the message,” Mr. Perry said. “As odd as it sounds we didn’t see the message … we now realize that it’s extremely serious and we don’t want it to happen any more.”
-Globe and Mail
“We had problems a very long time ago with the cheers being public in a sort of way and the dean seeing,” Chen said. “We let the groups know: if it happens in the group, it has to stay in the group.”
While Perry seems to be repentant for his nonaction, Chen appears to be more worried about this behaviour being discovered by an outside party. This suggests one of two things:
There’s a lot of inter-faculty teasing that goes around at UBC: Arts kids being told their diploma is worthless, engineers being virgins, etc, and in jest that’s fine; hardly anyone takes such claims seriously. But a social issue like sexual assault (of a minor, no less) is not funny, especially when most of the population of the place you’re in is undergoing the sexual experimentation phase of their life.
In any case, it doesn’t reflect well on Sauder’s reputation. I hope (in Sauder’s best interests) that they will have a personnel shuffle going and a better public apology instead of disavowing any responsibility to what some frosh leaders may say; as a fraction of the CUS, the frosh events will reflect on the faculty as a whole, and to claim otherwise is foolish.
[UPDATE Sept. 18th, 2013]
UBC has just published a fact-finding report today detailing what the fact-finding team has discovered in CUS FROSH.
Here on Avenue Q!
We live on Avenue Q!
Our friends do too!
‘Til our dreams
We live on Avenue Q!
“It Sucks To Be Me,” Avenue Q
Ending its extended run on September 14 (tomorrow!), the Arts Club has had major success in producing Avenue Q for theatergoers in an orgy of crude, sexual humour and somewhat uncomfortable truths.
If you are able to see this play and have not seen it yet, avert thine eyes, for ’tis a piece so sad that to gaze upon it shall shatter thy joys into a miserable pile of elderberries in front of a nunnery. If you have seen it, continue on as you will have seen everything to be spoiled by!
“But I see a star
You’re my new muse
You’ve got the best freakin’ shoes!
And you lit a fuse
So go show them who’s
-Vivienne, “Legally Blonde Remix”
Omigod, omigod you guys, in Stanley Park is a fabulous event where you’ll have an outrageously fun time. That’s right, Legally Blonde is playing at Theatre Under The Stars. Spoilers ahead!
I was accompanied Monday night by the lovely Tristen to enjoy the sojourn into the life of sorority president Elle Woods going straight into Harvard Law. Due to photography/videography restrictions for this production, any stills I provide will be from past productions performed.
An important part of any production is the opening; that is, it has to give off enough energy to keep the audience engaged. The first thing I was struck by was the intense energy in the opening number. The amount of enthusiasm the Delta Nu sisters gave off was contagious.
While this show is not as meta as other shows (such as [title of show]), it plays with a lot of tropes that you’d find in most musicals. In “Serious,” Warner (Elle’s beau) interrupts her as she begins to sing back to him, a departure from the traditional back-and-forth one would see in most musicals between a couple which establishes his character as a pompus and arrogant jerkass. The out-of-the-moment number that serves to highlight an actor’s skill.
One would say that Legally Blonde is a parodic musical; it would be highly unlikely for someone like Elle (no matter how audacious she presented herself as to the admissions commitee) to be accepted into Harvard Law,Props go toward the Delta Nu trio (Serena, Margot, and Pilar) as being perky and funny characters. While I generally hate that kind of character for their shallowness, they are quite endearing even if they don’t chase at all throughout the show. Other than being a Greek (pun very intended) chorus that Elle (and eventually Paulette) sees, they remind me of the Muses from Disney’s Hercules: very, very sassy.
A thing I was somewhat iffy about though was the set and certain parts of the choreography; quite a bit was eerily identical to the MTV showing of the musical in 2007. Now, I understand that taking bits and pieces from past shows isn’t unheard of or necessarily discouraged, but I would’ve loved if there was a different set for the opening number. “Whipped into Shape” could be forgiven as steps were given in the lyrics, and to change them would be unfair to the number. Oh, and “There! Right There!” had fallen into the trap of being given the misnomer “Gay or European.”
It’s a good musical: we see Elle transform from a ditsy sorority girl to a respectable lawyer in the span of 2-and-a-half hours. We see a scruffy socially displaced guy land someone who “won the genetic lotto.” The use of a cheerleading move cements a relationship between an unlucky hairstylist and a sexy UPS guy. UPDATE 27/07: The use of real live dogs (which, as anyone can attest, takes hard work). So, if you’re looking for a more modernised musical with more modern rock tunes while retaining the traditional musical serenades this summer, don’t miss out on this! It plays until August 15th, if I recall correctly, alternating nights with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.