Farewell to The Wave?

 UPEI’s campus pub The Wave has been serving and entertaining students for over a decade. In recent years the SU has been talking about renovations, and there are been rumors of privatization. Unsure of what’s really going on, The Cadre sat down with SU Vice President of Finance William McGuigan to get some answers.

 

“Odds are that by this time next year there will be no Wave,” said McGuigan confidently. “Mickey’s Place would potentially shut down, and its employees would be moved to work at the new, rebranded business that will replace The Wave” he added. McGuigan assured that the Student Union will not be selling the business. Whatever replaces The Wave, the Student Union will stay in control of it.

 

The tentative plan is to convert The Wave into a coffee shop-like venue. This renovation is scheduled to take place over the summer of 2018. Some new names were thrown around but no title has been solidified. McGuigan made it clear that The Wave has been experiencing losses, last year alone it faced a deficit of $50,000. In the light of the current financial situation, the SU conducted research which indicated that a venue serving coffee would perform better. This does not mean alcohol will not be served. There will be two sections: a cozy coffee section and a typical bar section where you can still get your beers and whiskey sours.

 

McGuigan allowed me to have a sneak peek at the proposed designs. The new space is supposed to be bright, fresh, and cozy. Currently, The Wave is dark and unwelcoming. More comfortable seating will be set up with couches and coffee tables, as well as brand new booths. The SU also plans to respond to the lack of plugs for phones and laptops by installing a significant amount of new wall outlets.

 

The renovations will stretch into the hundreds of thousands. $310,000 is the estimate for the proposed plan I was shown. This plan is attached to a design by an architectural company called SableArc Studios. The estimate does not include the additional costs of equipment and furniture, adding up to an approximate amount of $60,000 according to McGuigan. This plan has yet to be put into effect due to timing and funding issues. However, under the command of this year’s Student Union and McGuigan’s approach, The Wave may very likely be gone by September 2018. So the next time you’re at The Wave, know that its clock is ticking.

 

By: Daniel Timen

Meet Your Managing Editor- Allison O’Brien

If you’re anything like me, you’ll recall every scene from the 2004 American comedy masterpiece, Napoleon Dynamite, known for it’s quirky humour and bizarre taglines. I remember the first time my brother and I laid our eyes upon Jon Heder, with his silver-wire aviator glasses and emotionally moving rendition of Some Say Love by LeAnn Rimes, spoken through sign language. The first time we watched it, we didn’t laugh at all, but like any good meme or movie, we began to realize over time just how rich and life-giving Napoleon Dynamite is.

 

Where am I going with this? I’m glad you asked. If you fast forward approximately 39 minutes in, you’ll see Napoleon dressed in a full, burnt-orange suit, ready to go to the dance with his date, Trisha. His uncle Rico is driving him to the dance, but first, he has to make a stop to finalize the sale of a 24-piece set of Tupperware. Napoleon gets tired of waiting, and so he leaves the parked car and runs through the dry countryside of Preston, Idaho, to Trisha’s house. Napoleon’s run is reminiscent of a slightly disadvantaged turkey on Thanksgiving Day. This, dear readers, is where I come in.

 

My name is Allison, and I’m in my fifth year here at UPEI, studying Sociology and Anthropology. Some would call the fifth year a ‘victory lap,’ meaning that you took longer than the traditional four years to complete your degree. Thus, every extra year is called a victory lap. A classic victory lap would see the runner holding out both hands, clapping the hands of those on the sidelines, and running leisurely as they celebrate their win. This, folks, is not me. I am here, with my head down, running like Napoleon Dynamite through the halls of UPEI, just tryin’ to graduate.  

 

On a more serious note, let me tell you about myself. I’m an island girl born and raised, and I’ve lived with my parents in the same house for my whole life. For the islanders who will understand, I went to Charlottetown Rural, so I’m a perfect blend of city and country (see: Stratford).  My favourite band is Switchfoot, and for those of you who won’t go check them out right now, they did the soundtracks for A Walk to Remember. The most important thing in my life is my faith in God, from which everything in my life flows. Following in importance after my faith is my family, my friends, and my bull terrier named Mac. When I’m not avoiding eye contact with people on campus, you can probably find me crafting unicorn frappuccinos behind the counter at Starbuck.

 

I joined the Cadre as a managing editor with the ambition of bringing forth some fresh, juicy content about what’s happening here at UPEI. I hope that my writing serves you all well.  

 

Allison

allobrien@upei.ca

NSO 2015 Recap

By: Via Reyes

UPEI’s New Student Orientation 2015 kicked off last Saturday, September 5th, with Welcome Day activities happening all throughout campus. NSO is a great week filled with fun activities and sessions intended to aid new students arriving on campus in their transition into university life.

This year’s program is almost completely different in comparison to the previous years, one of the more notable differences being the name change from Orientation Week back to New Student Orientation. The Cadre had the opportunity to speak with Pierce Smith, this year’s NSO coordinator, to talk about more of these changes and the journey the week has been so far.

“We made it something completely new this year and really it was because we wanted to know why we were doing things. In the past we kind of did things because we always did them but this year we really had three big goals: academic prep, community building, and health and wellness.”

One of the new events that targeted the three main goals Pierce mentioned was the SnapChat Challenge, where participants get to run around campus with their team and learn more about campus and where everything is located. Another cool event was the session held at the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre where everyone got to meet with the Athletics and Recreation department and hear of all the services and intramurals they offer this year. Some of the other big events included the NSO Kick-Off, Casino Night, a toga party, and Colour Me: UPEI, where everyone ends up getting covered in chalk paint at a dance party and washing off with a Slip-n-Slide after.

NSO will conclude tomorrow with Shine Day, a day dedicated to raising money towards Shinerama, Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraiser in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada; a highlight of Orientation Week at UPEI.

Revolution Calling: The Revolutionary Student Movement on Campus

Image courtesy of Via Reyes

Image courtesy of Via Reyes

By: Drew MacEachern

New societies often pop up during the annual Society Fair put on by the Student Union, but few are as controversial as the newly formed Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM). Passing out fliers and pamphlets declaring that “We are the Canada-wide revolutionary, combative, militant, and anti-capitalist student movement” in front of a display board adorned with the faces of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, the display was certainly eye-catching.

The Revolutionary Student Movement is a Canada-wide student movement dedicated to revolutionary change. It aims to create a working class movement of students to help end the exploitation and oppression they view as inherent in the capitalist system, rejecting reform and praising revolution while doing so. To support this goal, it also strives to create an anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-fascist, anti-homophobic, and “proletarian” feminist culture. It proudly “maintain[s] [their] independence from the bourgeois state.” The RSM maintains chapters at universities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and now, PEI.

The Cadre reached out to the founder of the new UPEI Chapter, Nova Arsenault, to get some insight into the organization. Arsenault explained that while he saw many UPEI students engaged in social activism, from feminism, to anti-war activism, to supporters of LGBTQIAP+ students, no one tried to unite these movements together “in theory and practice”. According to Arsenault, “I saw the need to establish this chapter to educate, organize, and mobilize UPEI students in the struggle against the sources of all those issues: colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism.”

The term revolution can conjure up certain images of violence, which inspired us to try to clarify exactly what kind of revolution they mean. After some investigation, the Cadre uncovered certain links between the Revolutionary Student Movement and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada. The RCP declares itself to be a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization dedicated to revolutionary change. It appears that the RCP interprets this call to revolution as a literal and inevitable eventuality. On its programme, the RCP declares that The objective of the proletarian movement is to destroy the bourgeois state and all of its institutions. It is also to liquidate the private ownership of property of the big bourgeoisie……..Such a perspective excludes straightaway any possibility of a pacifistic transition. The recourse to violence is unavoidable. The preparation of revolutionary struggle that will overthrow the bourgeoisie is what we must plan.” Furthermore, it also declares, “We will make revolution in Canada through protracted people’s war.

Through an email exchange, the Cadre asked Arsenault to clarify the relationship between the RSM and the RCP. He explained, “The RSM UPEI chapter has no direct connection or contact with the PCR-RCP, but we align ourselves with their theoretical approach. Centrally, the PCR-RCP supports the MER-RSM and the two organizations have contact with one another.”

However, with the fact that the organization describes itself as militant still in mind, we also asked Arsenault how would respond to criticisms of his organization that it appears violent. He responded that militancy refers to the willingness to struggle to end oppression. Furthermore, if violence refers to something that is harmful or destructive, then many aspects of the status quo itself is violent; from the negligence towards missing and murdered aboriginal women, to poverty to the violation of bodily autonomy with lack of abortion access. To sum up the argument in Arsenault’s own words:

If we connect the myriad of these passively violent tendencies within capitalism and imperialism to their actively violent enforcers – the police and army – we see that the Canadian state is a violent entity that exploits the majority of its population to accumulate wealth, and does so on land that was stolen in an ongoing genocidal campaign against indigenous peoples. I think that to characterize any form of resistance against the brutal colonial-imperialist state of Canada as “violent” would require one to take the side of the oppressive state. To put it in simpler terms, it would be like calling someone a bully for standing up against a bully; it is a defense of the aggressor which contributes to the abuse of the oppressed. It is dishonest to analyze actions without analyzing the context in which they occurred, and in this historical and material context the Canadian state, its bourgeoisie, and their armed forces are aggressors which should not be defended.

Arsenault explained that after discovering the RSM and finding a group of like-minded people, he reached out to the organization to start a local UPEI chapter. After gaining their approval, he began the process of registering with the Student Union as an official society. The group should be ratified with all other new societies at the Student Union meeting on Sunday.

Dear White People

By: Dante Bazard

Dear white Canadian students of the University of Prince Edward Island,

As a new semester starts, everyone is getting ready to purchase their new school gear, having those end-of-summer parties and one last soak at the beach before winter comes. These activities may be on the mind for most Canadian and returning international students, however there are new international who will be attending the university who have other concerns. Specifically, new international students of colour, not to mention white new international students, do not share some of these struggles because of systematic racism and white privilege that is still prevalent in Canada today. With that being said, as current students of the University of Prince Edward Island, we have a responsibility to make newcomers feel as comfortable as possible. White Canadians, understand and come to grips of two things; White privilege and the difference between systematic racism and discrimination.

White privilege is defined as a set of advantages and/or immunities that white people benefit from on a daily basis beyond those common to all others. White privilege can exist without white people’s conscious knowledge of its presence which helps to maintain the racial hierarchy in this country. White privilege is the reason why there are many “black schools”, “black churches” in North America. White privilege is being able to date someone without having to worry that the rest of the family may not accept you because of the colour of your skin (“dark preferably”).  White privilege is being given more attention and effort by police personnel if you ever went missing, unlike the ‘aboriginal girls’ in the news. White privilege is when you sit down in a lecture that has anything to do with history, the majority of it will be Eurocentric. White privilege is being able to scroll down your Facebook page without seeing someone of your colour being unarmed and gunned down by law enforcement like an animal.

Some may argue that white privilege does not exist while standing on land that they obtained through years of genocide of an entire race, in order to create a space that mainly benefits the oppressor. I’m not here to point fingers. However, the recognition of white privilege by white people creates an area where they can facilitate this knowledge to combat racism. White privilege does not mean that the minute you’re born, and the world realizes your white, you will be given one million dollars and never have to work a day in your life. Today there are minorities who have obtained such wealth, as well as white people who live in poverty.

Due to history, systematic racism has created a society that generally benefits white people above other races. For example, in a scenario where a poor white male wearing a hoodie and a upper-class black male wearing a hoodie, there is a higher chance that he would be either randomly searched or shot by police personal while being unarmed because of the colour of his skin. This is not to say that the poor white male should be profiled because of his economic status, rather to show the disparity of a judgement solely based on race. Around authoritative figures every black male knows any sudden movements can mean life or death where as a white male don’t have to worry about such things collectively.

Systematic racism occurs when the way a society is structured systematically ends up giving advantages to some and disadvantages to others. Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. Systematic racism further reinforces the definition of white privilege. However having white privilege does not mean that you are immediately discriminating. Certain actions and decisions you make dealing with other races may not have racist intentions, but may have racial outcomes.

For example, if you go up to a black person and state that I love black music, referring to rap, may make your token black friend feel uncomfortable. Reason being, rap is not the only genre of music originating from black culture. Unless they in return go up to you and say we love white people music when you’re listening to Calvin Harris. This also applies to persons who for example tell some from Asian background that they “ taught themselves English well” or assuming that they will not know how to speak English even though that person may be Asian-Canadian. Discrimination does not only come in the form of calling a black person the “N” or word or any other minority a racial slur. Demeaning someone’s race or culture to a stereotype is also a form of discrimination.

This article does not translate into all white people are racist, because white people also face discrimination. However, it is not possible for a white person to experience systematic racism because society has been structured to give some advantages to whites and disadvantages toward minorities. Realizing your privilege this semester can create a space to promote equality and encourage the new international students to express their culture without fear of criticism and ridicule.

From One International Student to Another

By: Elizabeth Iwunwa

I was elated when I discovered that I would be going to University in a land far away. That might not have been the case for some of you but as one of three children of over-protective parents, coming to University was more than just a step further in my education. Canada became my “Promised Land”. And without much ado, I packed my bags and left my loud, sweaty and exuberant Lagos to Charlottetown. I had not known that foxes walked people home at night then. Everything was a complete opposite of what I was used to. I left a country where we had Jollof rice and chicken for lunch to one where people ate sandwiches and yogurt at noon. I made some mistakes and would like to share them, so you don’t have to.

First, do not spend money on anything but basics until you determine and understand the value of the new currency. I remember almost spending my rent for the month on my first trip to the mall. Back home, five thousand bucks could buy groceries that would last roughly two weeks. I had not realized the ones and twos of Canadian currency added up fast. To avoid this, I suggest you pay the important bills like rent and electricity first and then make a list of what you need. (We don’t want you out on the streets now, do we?) Develop a table either with a pencil and ruler or Microsoft Excel and create two columns. One will represent debit and the other credit. The debit column represents your expenses and the credit column represents all forms of income. Balance them on a weekly basis to figure out how much you really spend. If all of this sounds too tedious, check out some apps that can help you monitor your funds. In addition, many stores have discounts on select days or throughout the week, take advantage of those.

On the other hand, avoid converting every cost to your home currency. I have done this a number of times before. The reality is that if you keep doing this, you might not even buy toothpaste. Understand that the economy here is different and so it requires a different system of operation.

The next point is with respect to goals and aspirations. As a first year student, I vaguely knew that I wanted to “do well”. I did not put it in writing. Although I did not fail, I knew that I could have done so much better. There is power in writing down your intentions and having a plan. Set goals that are feasible and realistic and then write out the steps to achieving them. Focus less on the goals and more on the steps. In the end, motivation will get you going but determination and consistency will keep you going. Planning your day is crucial to getting anything done.

Also, homesickness is a never-ending battle, especially for me. I do not by any means imply that homesickness is a mistake. It is an experience. It is most certainly difficult leaving a place and people you have spent a huge part of your life with. I remember felling like I was floating and lost. One thing I’m sure of is that it will pass. If it doesn’t, seek help. There are many people willing to walk you through this new phase of your life. Try as much as you can to connect with your family regularly. Hang up photos of your loved ones in your space. You could also wear a piece of jewellery that reminds you of home. In addition, find a mantra or come up with one that steadies the ground beneath your feet. You could borrow this one:

“I have fear, fear does not have me

I have doubt, doubt does not have me

Fear is a liar; I will call its bluff

I am the master of my fate

I am the captain of my soul”

Finally, get involved. This is a phrase you will hear throughout your stay at UPEI. It might be is uncomfortable breaking out of your comfort zone. Just remember that you did not travel halfway across the world only to meet and mingle with people like you. Volunteer for the Cadre (very shameless plug), sign up to join societies, and attend events that will happen across campus all year round. There’s usually a huge chilli lunch at the end of every semester. It is a great way to meet and connect with interesting people.

After all is said and done, take a step back and enjoy the process. UPEI will change your life, if you let it.

Meet Your Managing Editors – Via Reyes

Image courtesy of Via Reyes

Image courtesy of Via Reyes

By: Via Reyes

Hello, fellow Panthers! My name is Via Reyes and I am in my fourth year as an English major. I am also currently the Arts and Entertainment Managing Editor for the Cadre. I am very excited about this position because I get to play a part in helping to cultivate the local artistic scene, both on and off campus. Also, one of my biggest dreams is to make a difference in the arts and entertainment industry in terms of it continually being progressive, honest, diverse, and a vessel for positive change making.

I grew up in Manila, Philippines, a city of over one million people, and moved to this charming tiny island two years ago. I dropped out in the middle of my second year at a university in the Philippines and decided to go to Europe for a couple of months instead to figure out what I really wanted to do. On a train travelling from Budapest to Vienna, I received the e-mail of my acceptance into the University of Prince Edward Island.

Though my parents’ original wish for my two siblings and I was to become doctors or engineers, we all ended up dedicating our time to music, literature, and film throughout our younger years and well into what we chose to get into in university.   It was an easy decision for me to major in English and I have loved every second of this journey so far, including the late nights and the fifteen-page papers. I could not imagine myself doing anything else.

After high school, I moved to Singapore with my family. Starting over really helped me learn more about myself and explore and cultivate interests on my own, outside the realms of whatever people I knew were into. I started using Tumblr, a social media website and micro-blogging platform, and began blogging about The Lord of the Rings, a story I have loved since the age of seven. After a couple of years my little space on the Internet grew into so much more, coming out with around twenty-five thousand followers, friends from all over the world, a ton of other interests to explore, and with more awareness about the world around me.

Aside from taking English classes and writing for The Cadre, I like to spend my time rereading Harry Potter, updating my instagram and photography portfolio, and making sure Editor-in-Chief Drew MacEachern does not get past his cynical comment quota for the day. I am deeply fascinated by space, I can quote most of The Lord of the Rings films word for word, and I also have a chubby African pygmy hedgehog named Mr. Gustave after the loyal concierge in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

If you are an artist who wants to be featured, have any ideas related to Arts and Entertainment you want to share with us, or simply want to have a chat over coffee or tacos, do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at avreyes@upei.ca. I would love to hear from you!

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