X-Men Football Athletes of the Week

 
 

Burnham gets second recognition in a row following a stellar overtime victory

X-Men Football Offensive Player of the Week

X-Men receiver Kaion Julien-Grant was named the StFX Football Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 31, 2018. Kaion, a 4th year Human Kinetics student from Toronto, scored two touchdowns in the X-Men’s 30-24 overtime win over Acadia Friday night. He caught an 18 yard pass late in the second quarter and a 25 yard pass in double coverage at the start of the 4th quarter. Kaion had 10 receptions for 109 yards in the game and 230 all-purpose yards with his 77 yards on 4 kick-off returns and 44 yards on 8 punt returns. 

X-Men Football Offensive Player of the Week

X-Men defensive back Dylan Bell was named the StFX Football Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 31, 2018. Dylan, a 1st year Education student (5th year eligibility) from Brockville, Ont. came up huge on the X-Men defense in their overtime win over Acadia on Friday night. Dylan led all tacklers in the game with 12, including 10 solo tackles. He also had a break-up and one tackle for a loss of 2 yards. 

X-Men Football Special Teams Player of the Week

X-Men kicker/punter Kieran Burnham was named the StFX Football Special Teams Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 31, 2018. Kieran, a 4th year Arts student (3rd year eligibility) from Cambridge, Ont. played a big impact in the X-Men’s overtime win over Acadia, racking up 393 yards on 9 punts and 228 yards on 4 kick-offs for a punting average of 43.7 and a kick-off average of 57.0. Five of his punts were inside the 20 and Kieran also kicked three extra TD points in the win.

 Photo: goxgo.ca

Photo: goxgo.ca

 

Not Your Grandma's BINGO...

 
 

Leave your grandma at home and bring an open mind

StFX’s orientation week is always a tremendous success and this year was no exception. With several new events geared towards a more inclusive, aware, and safe environment on campus, 2018’s orientation week, X-Fest, went above and beyond in helping first year students transition into post-secondary student life. 

Among the many new and exciting events was a BINGO night, but with a twist that most first year students wouldn’t be familiar with. Instead of winning money, the prizes were a little bit quirkier than the attendees might be used to. Anyone lucky enough to achieve a straight line, four corners, or diagonal would be rewarded with sex toys. 

After the first day of classes, September 4, at 9:30pm the Keating Centre flooded with first year students and dedicated O-Crew in attendance of the first orientation week edition of Sex Toy Bingo. Hosts Robert Chatterton and Nurse Rose were fully prepared to hold what would be one of the best events of the entire week. 

“Not Your Grandma’s Bingo exceeded my expectations in attendance and engagement.” Says co-host Robert Chatterton. “Nurse Rose and I had some educational moments and I feel like the first year students learned a lot while having a lot of fun. Not to mention having the chance to win some sex toys.”

Sex Toy Bingo itself is not a new phenomenon on the StFX campus. The event has been run for years, for the most part being hosted by Get Real or the X Pride Society at the Golden X Inn. The difference this time was that the event was held solely for first year students, with the ultimate goal being to further educate on practising safe, healthy, consensual sex to all in attendance. 

The importance of sexual health and safety cannot be stressed enough, and this event was a tremendous step forward in promoting it. For many, StFX will be the first place to welcome students as their first home away from home, and for those same people, they may have never had a source to inform them on these sometimes difficult topics. Nurse Rose and Robert successfully created an environment for all to learn the facts, the fiction, and the important aspects of what sex entails. 

How do you properly put on a condom? What is a dental dam? How can you make your own dental dam using a condom? Which brands are best to use for protection? What ways can you increase pleasure for your partner? At what point should lube be used? How effective are different types of birth control? These are all questions which at some point in our early adult lives, if not now, we didn’t know the answer to, and that is why events like Sex Toy BINGO, and in this case Not your Grandma’s BINGO… are so important for sexual health, safety and awareness. 

 

X-Women Rugby Anticipate Triumphant Season

 
 

House players return to StFX while National Championships return to East Coast

Members of the StFX Women’s rugby team have made their return to Antigonish after a long summer and off-season of hard work and preparation for the season to come. Training camp welcomed rookies and veterans alike from all areas of Canada, all with diverse experiences and skills to offer the team. 

For the 2018 season, the X-Women welcomed many first-years and new faces from near and far that have competed at numerous levels of representative rugby. Other noteworthy additions to the team are the welcomed back fifth year players, Joanna Alphonso, Alison Blanchard, Danielle Cormier, and Olivia DeMerchant. DeMerchant represented Canada at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014. 

A small exhibition tournament held in Truro marked the end of training camp, where players could showcase their rugby ability in shortened games against teams that are also part of Atlantic University Sport (AUS). These pre-season games were nothing short of successful for our X-Women. The women, separated into two teams, won their games with scores of 95-0 versus Saint Mary’s and 52-15 versus Acadia respectively.

Less than one week later, the X-Women rugby team hosted the Saint Mary’s squad for their home opener at Oland Stadium on September 7. Despite the team’s starting lineup having a large mix of new and returning players, there was no question that the ladies were working cohesively and intelligently on the pitch. Early tries were scored in the first half by Keeley MacCuish (3), Jacqui Salvatore (2), Sarah Hoerig (2), Meghan Buchanan (1), Olivia DeMerchant (1), Sam Lake (1), Lucy Killacky (1), Maddie Harroun (2), and Claudia Fulton (1). Fourth year, Jacqui Salvatore scored 3 conversions to add to the scoreboard before halftime.

 Photo: Rachel Drummond

Photo: Rachel Drummond

The second half looked like a much different game, where the team slowed down its try scoring and geared its focus on more tactical work and defence; two aspects that will prove to be crucial farther into the season. First year, Maddie Harroun’s, second try was the only try scored by the X-Women in the second half, with two scored by Saint Mary’s. The game ended with a final score of 76-12. 

“I think the team has a lot of depth this year and having three of our graduated players returning for a fifth year is really going to help us out.” Explained fourth year player Keeley MacCuish. 

As Friday’s player of the game, she was happy to comment on the team’s hard work and performance. “As it was evident in our game last Friday, we have many first years who are able to step up and fill the shoes of some of our veteran players, and I think that will be key in the upcoming months. We really wanted to work on our defense in the second half of the game and I think it went pretty well considering it was our first time playing as a new team.”

The next game for the X-Women Rugby team will be at UPEI on Saturday, September 15 at 2pm. The team intends to continue to impress and improve throughout the season to stay on track to another AUS title and to ultimately compete for a 2018 national title. Nationals this year are especially significant as they will be held at Acadia University November 1 to November 5. This will be the first time that Nationals are held in the Atlantic region since 2012, when they were held and won by StFX on home soil. 

 

The Xaverian Weekly's Article Published in Atlantis

 
 

Mount Saint Vincent University’s Atlantis gets rights to second publication

A creative work written by Katherina Hirschfeld and Rhea Ashley Hoskin originally published in The Xaverian Weekly gets a second round of exposure in Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, & Social Justice, a Mount Saint Vincent University journal. 

Hirschfeld discusses the writing process of this edition “Rhea just completed her PhD, so she has been involved in research and writing longer than I have. As an undergraduate student with no published works whatsoever, I was fairly intimidated. But writing a manifesto was a great way to start collaborating together. As an English major, I am more familiar with the mechanics of poetry than Rhea. As a seasoned academic, Rhea has a breadth of knowledge about theory and the publication process. We both brought our own assets to the table and it resulted in a very balanced undertaking. Plus, we’re friends who often talk about our own research together. So, hanging out and writing a femme call-to-arms together was so much fun!”

Pursuing a Master of Arts degree at Acadia university after graduating from a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours, Hirschfeld said “My undergraduate degree from StFX really prepared me for the rigor of a master’s program. I did my BA English Honours degree at StFX, which required me to write a thesis paper. Not all universities offer a thesis option in an undergrad, and because of that opportunity I learned a lot about how to conduct more significant research and literary analysis than any term paper would require. As a result, I feel very confident and well-equipped for my master’s degree.

Not only did my time at StFX prepare me for the significant amounts of writing and research involved in a master’s degree, but it also prepared me for an academic career by supporting and offering conference experiences. I presented my thesis at Student Research Day as well as at the English Colloquium during my graduating year. Both were followed with a Q&A period, which I have never experienced before. Writing is one thing, but answering questions about your own research on the spot is a crucial skillset for academia as well as a legal career (which I hope to pursue after my master’s degree). That same summer, I also had the unique opportunity to present a poster about my thesis at the annual Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) conference with the assistance of the Jules Léger Endowment. All of these opportunities have allowed me to grow more as an academic, and I do not think I would have had the same chances to do so at a larger institution.”

 Photo: Madeleine Killacky

Photo: Madeleine Killacky

Hoskin is an instructor at the StFX Student Success Centre and a doctoral student at Queen’s University in the Department of Sociology. She notes that “This creative piece was inspired primarily by our own experiences as queer femmes – who like to eat, love to lift, and feel empowered by our femininity – something that, for many people, seems contradictory. We wanted to expand on our own experiences of being femme and how we navigate some of the complexities and intersections of our own femininity, to also consider the varied embodiments of femininity, and what it means to re-value femininity in a world that seems to fairly consistently (and pervasively) tell us that femininity isn’t something to be valued.” 

 Photo: Dr. Karen Blair

Photo: Dr. Karen Blair

The abstract of their work emphasizes the piece’s intention of encouraging the “reader to think beyond femininity’s articulation as a source of oppression to, instead, consider how it can be reframed as a form of resistance.” Readers who ponder this piece rethink “femininity” critically. 

Hoskin says “resistance comes in many forms, of course. In this particular context, we use resistance as something that pushes back against oppressive norms – norms that systematically divide and subordinate individuals.  Resistance offers ways to re-imagine, to uproot reductive or determinist views of oneself and each other. 

Think about it this way – in order to resist, we need to be able to imagine the possibilities that exist outside of an oppressive structure. Femme, to us and to many others, offers such a re-imagining – whether it’s to re-imagine the beauty of fat bodies, the worth of queerness, the strength in vulnerability, or to re-imagine the boundless gender possibilities that exist outside the gender binary.” 

Hirschfeld remarks “society can put a lot of pressure on us to perform in certain ways. Identities are put in boxes, and each box carries expectations with respect to appearance, behavior, mannerisms, and so on. To me, resistance happens when you refuse to comply with those societal conventions. Resistance against heteronormative assumptions can occur in various ways. Writing ‘A Femme Manifesto’ is a form of resistance. Rhea and I have both recognized and experienced certain societal pressures to present ourselves a certain way, and often feel the weight of feminine assumptions, so creating a piece about refusing the standards placed on us is empowering. It gave us a voice and helped us to claim a visibility that’s often denied to femme-identifying individuals.”

Hirschfeld is writing a thesis on representations of time within queer narratives at Acadia. She mentions, “much like our published creative piece, though, my master’s thesis also focuses on forms of resistance. I am investigating the relationship between subject and temporality within queer narratives. Our understanding of time, much like our understanding of identities and sexualities, is often based on normative assumptions and conventions. My research investigates how time is treated differently within several queer narratives and what those differences signify. I’m hoping to submit one of my chapters to Rhea’s Call for Papers on Femme Theory.”

Hoskin is busy as well, having already published two research collaborations “Transgender exclusion from the world of dating: Patterns of acceptance and rejection of hypothetical trans dating partners as a function of sexual and gender identity” and “Ameliorating transnegativity: assessing the immediate and extended efficacy of a pedagogic prejudice reduction intervention” this year. 

“‘Beyond Aesthetics’ is actually my first creative piece, Katerina’s too I think. I am first and foremost a researcher, so this was entirely a new venture for me. It has, however, opened some interesting venues or opportunities that I hadn’t previously considered. Katerina and I are definitely going to collaborate in the future, but it will likely take the form of a critical essay.

I do have some exciting non-creative projects coming up! Well, I’m sure all projects require some degree of creativity. I’m currently guest-editing two special issues for international LGBT+ journals. The first issue is for the Journal of Lesbian Studies and will focus on the application of Femme Theory. The second will be co-edited with Dr. Blair, and will be a special issue on Critical Femininities for the journal of Psychology & Sexuality. We’ve heard some really great feedback and have already started receiving submissions. 

My upcoming research project examines how anti-femininity drives much of the violence we’ve seen in Canada over the past 40 years; for example, the Montreal Massacre, the alleged Incel Rebellion, missing and murdered Indigenous women, the rates at which trans women and trans women of colour are murdered, or even serial killers Bruce McArthur and Russel Williams. These acts of violence all share a commonality, which I argue is how we, as a society, see and devalue femininity.” 

Hirschfeld and Hoskin will likely work together again in the future. Hoskin comments “While I imagine plenty of collaborations with Rhea in the future – or should I say, Dr. Hoskin – I’m currently focusing on my masters and in the process of applying to law school.” Both researchers continue to make notable contributions to Femme, queer and transgender theories. 

“Katerina and I make a great team. We actually met as group fitness instructors at Goodlife, where we would frequently teach classes together. Even in that capacity, we really fed off of each other in very creative ways. I think Katerina and I have a really unique synergistic and creative chemistry.”

 

Felix Cartal Interview

 
 

EDM maestro visits Charles V. Keating Centre

Yanik Gallie and Bowen Assman interviewed musician Felix Cartal after his concert at X-Fest. Cartal’s new album Next Season is available for purchase on iTunes. 

Cartal is the DJ who headlined the Friday night EDM event. FDM (Matt McGlashan) and Babz (Thomas Shelby) opened for WAVES and Goliath. FDM and Babz are StFX students in Business Administration and Psychology respectively. 

The event scheduled from 9 to 12:30 took place at the Charles V. Keating Centre. No ambulances were dispatched to the event this year!

***

YG: What is your first impression of university?

FC: It felt like an old-school American campus. It feels like we’re in Boston. I forget that schools look this way in Canada. I went to UBC and that campus is quite the opposite. StFX is a beautiful school. 

YG: Talking about UBC, how did your studying there and abroad in Scotland help you in your professional life? 

FC: When I was living in Scotland, that’s when I started to DJ. That was in 2007. I think DJ culture wasn’t popular in North America yet so to do a semester abroad there. People there were used to DJ culture already. I came back and felt uncertain in North America still. I gained confidence that it would take over North America soon. All of the artists I was following at that time were all European, they were from the UK. The classics like The Chemical Brothers, but then also the new guys like Justice and the French dudes who are a part of Ed Banger Records. I think it was the right time for me to live in Europe and I’m grateful for that.

YG: What are some differences in audience when you’re playing at a university versus playing at a more traditional venue?

FC: To me this crowd is going to be more mainstream. People will go out and party versus at a club people are more focused on the actual event. University crowds are more energetic. I played in Halifax last night and they were great gigs.

YG: How’s your experience working with a talented artist like Ofelia K?

FC: She’s awesome. I’ve worked with her now on three tracks. We did a song called New Scene, and then we did Drifting Away and Fakin it. Personally, I love writing with people who are sort of a little bit disconnected to the dance scene. She’s very much a person who’s not involved in EDM culture, then we have the ability to make music that’s more unique. We’re fans of each other’s stuff, but in a way that we know what goes on in each other’s scenes. I think that has served our tracks well. I’m stoked to collaborate with people who are not typical to my own scene. I love indie and folk, but sometimes those people are not aware of what I’m doing and that’s when sometimes magic happens. I want to break down genre walls. 

 YG: Can you tell me about your future shows?

FC: I’m doing Western University tomorrow. I’m doing Calgary next week. Pheonix and my hometown in Vancouver next weekend. Then I’m doing Groove Cruise which is San Diego to Cabo. As always, I keep on writing music.

 Photo : Sean Hopkins

Photo : Sean Hopkins

 

Change in Ontario's Sexual Education Curriculum

 
 

Abandoning the 2015 curriculum could be detrimental to Ontario students

The Progressive Conservative government in Ontario announced it would repeal the 2015 sexual education curriculum early this summer, on July 11. The province is using an interim curriculum instead, while consultations take place to produce a new “age-appropriate” curriculum.

The interim curriculum being used within the province for grades 1-8 is an updated version of the 1998 sex-ed curriculum, while grades 9-12 will continue to use the 2015 curriculum. Since the changes to the curriculum were announced, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have turned to the courts to challenge the changes, and there has been a public backlash.

However, the worry about returning to the old curriculum is what won’t be taught to students, or what subjects will be limited in scope. Unlike the comprehensive 2015 sex ed curriculum, the 1998 curriculum only teaches about “common” STDs, possible consequences of “risky (sexual) behaviors,” and encourages abstinence as a “positive choice.” It also lags behind in addressing sexting and potential dangers online such as sexual harassment.

Gender identity and sexual orientation are also among the subjects that are excluded from the interim curriculum being taught. The 2015 curriculum included information on gender identities including transgender, intersex, and two-spirit, along with discussions about sexual orientations. Now, only students in grade 7 will learn that using homophobic put-downs are harmful. Exclusion of gender identity and sexual orientations from the curriculum could be harmful, since it could encourage bullying or further marginalization of students that identify as LGBTQA+ or have LBTQA+ family members. It also removes a way for students to have access to credible information when they might be undergoing the confusing process of determining their sexuality or gender identity. Furthermore, parents of LGBTQA+ students have already launched a Human Rights Tribunal Council, and the ETFO has commented that the interim curriculum may conflict with the constitutional rights of students.

Hairspray Audition Poster jpeg (1).jpg

Another worrying aspect of the interim curriculum is the complete lack of education about consent. The 2015 sex-ed curriculum included discussions about what constitutes a yes or no for consent, and that consent to one sexual activity doesn’t mean consent to all sexual activities. If Ontario students have no concept of what consent is and how to communicate consent with any future partners, it could contribute to an increase in sexual violence in the long term.

In conjunction with the exclusion of consent in the interim sexual education curriculum, an Ontario judge recently ruled that extreme intoxication can be used in defense of a sexual assault. Since cases of sexual assaults that occur when individuals are intoxicated usually hinge on if consent can be       given, it’s especially worrying that the interim sexual education avoids discussing those topics. There is a possibility that there could be more sexual assaults perpetrated by young adults that go through the interim curriculum, due to lack of education and the potential of fewer consequences in the legal system.

Lastly, the scrapping of the 2015 sex-ed curriculum was accompanied by a warning from Premier Doug Ford about potential consequences to educators for not following the interim curriculum. The province set up a hotline for parents to report any teachers deviating from the new curriculum, which has worried some educators and the ETFO. The interim curriculum is therefore not only potentially harmful to students but also to the educators that may try to teach more up to date sexual education.

Ontario’s interim sexual education curriculum could be detrimental in many respects, so it’s no wonder that there has been an outcry over the changes. However, hopefully, the findings from the consultation process will create a new sexual education curriculum that addresses some of the concerns arising from the renewed use of the 1998 curriculum, to keep Ontario students educated and healthy.

 

Antigonight - A Night with the Stars

 
 

Nova Scotian arts community takes over the night scene in Antigonish

It’s been a long second week of classes, profs have now moved from going over the syllabus to diving head first into the material. 

For first year students, and those who are returning, it can be a stressful first few weeks trying to get back into the swing of it. 

Thankfully the weekend is almost here, which means you can unwind and take your mind away from the million things you must do for classes.

For this weekend there is something very special happening that will help you open your mind to something else other than class work and the pub, it’s Antigonight this Saturday September 15! 

What is Antigonight: Art After Dark Festival? It’s an event that is in partnership with Antigonish Culture Alive and ASAP Artist-Run Centre. It’s a celebration of music, visual arts, interpretive art from the flourishing arts community in Eastern Nova Scotia. 

St. FX Ad 2018.jpg

This year’s festival lineup is pumped full of amazing local artists who will be sure to bring energy to the night. Over the course of the evening there are going to be many talented artists featured, there are a few artists that I know I’m looking forward to in particular. 

Alan Syliboy and the Thundermakers take to the street Saturday night to perform. The members of the group include Hubert Francis who is the lead vocalist and plays guitar, Evan Syliboy who plays lead guitar, Lukas Pearse on Bass, and of course Alan Syliboy on percussion. 

Together the four men are a powerful group - ‘the show consists of songs, stories (narrative about The Thundermaker) accompanied by multi-media art film and live performance.’  Their performance will be showcasing some of the band members indigenous heritage, it’s a powerful show not to be missed. 

Another group that is going to be showcasing their art this Saturday night that is very dear to all of Antigonish, is L’Arche Hearts & Hands. 

This group of individuals can create light even in the darkest of nights. Together this group make embodies what it means to have an inclusive community, “At Hearts & Hands, we do visual arts and crafts, performance art, and community outreach, both individually and collaboratively”. 

Their arts performance is entitled, “Canada’s Wildlife”, be sure to catch them at Upper Chisholm Park. 

Another artist group to be on the lookout for is StFX’s very own art department. The StFX art department will be displaying some of the works that are made by students and faculty on this campus. The arts on this campus are often overlooked even though there are talented students thriving with their work. 

This festival gives the students the platform to show their works on a much larger scale. 

These are only three of the artists that are going to be on exhibition, there are several other local artists from various different artistic backgrounds at the festival. 

Festivals like Antigonight are so important for communities. Not only does it bring together people to celebrate one another but it also sends a very important message that everyone’s art is valid. 

Whether you are just starting off or have been established for many years, Antigonight creates a safe space for everyone. It’s a night that does not want to be missed. 

So, come out and enjoy one of the last summer nights before the cooler autumn weather sets in. You may find yourself feeling inspired in many more ways than you thought. 



 

Collaboration or Competition?

 
 

How do you and I make us?

It was the battle of the century, two opponents and one minute on the clock. Eagerly awaiting the starting bell, they clutched their chopsticks. The bell sounds and they begin, shaky hands inserting into metal nuts to stack on each other in hopes of having the tallest tower. 

With three ties in a row, the final match ends when one contestant drops their highest nut off the tower. This is an activity that happened in my introductory business class this week. The purpose of the activity was to examine the principles of competition and collaboration. The game made me question which was more effective, and which has a greater presence on our campus?

StFX is a big supporter of community and kinship. The university encourages students and professors to work together to attain common success for the betterment of everyone. 

Collaborative learning encourages students and professors to set goals, to assess and to develop ideas together, with its small class sizes this is exactly what our school strives to do; but this is not a theme that applies strictly to the classroom. From house events, our sports teams, the societies, and the programs developed within the area and abroad, StFX applies a sense of teamwork in many branches of its work.

Competition is a healthy part of learning, as it forces people to push beyond what they may believe to be their limits. Those same collaborative groups at StFX compete regularly whether it’s amongst themselves, opposing schools, or other groups. Competition drives us to excel, or at least it does if it’s good natured and if we have the ability to achieve success. 

As someone who always enjoyed sports, albeit was terrible at them, nothing was worse than the dreaded beep test in school. The concept is simple, you run back and forth across the gymnasium and with each beep your time to run across is shortened. 

My, at the time, robust body was unable to keep up with the beeps and very quickly I was eliminated. When finished there was nothing left for me to do but wait, while others would complain or disrupt those who were still running. There was no driving force for me to get back up and run again, or to try and compete with my peers as it was evident they would outrun me, so competition becomes considerably more finicky. 

I believe StFX has the right idea with prioritizing collaboration over competition because as we build relationships that will carry over as alumni, and stay with us forever, we learn to interact, gain information and ideas, and to accept responsibility within our roles. 

Whether it’s the friends we make, or the ring that binds us, there is a strong sense of community on campus. Competition is a wonderful driving force if you are passionate about the subject or activity at hand, but it isn’t a means to promote continued success. 

Competition can also be detrimental if people don’t know how to cope with loss, and it can lead to conflict. What differentiates this conflict from conflict within collaboration is that within a group, the conflict can be resolved with discussion and expansion. If it comes down to it, any person in a group can be replaced; whereas in competition the only resolve is to compete again. 

We all want to be the best at anything we do, it’s natural to want to succeed. Working with a partner or a team often has unforeseen benefits and can help with the natural progression to grow. 

When partnered with competition, I believe the two can be instrumental to the success of a person and their peers, but if I had to choose, it would definitely be collaboration. 

 

I Think I Underestimated University...

 
 

And other things that went through my mind during early years at X

Everyone gets told pretty cliché advice when starting out as a university student. Don’t procrastinate, don’t get behind on your readings, all that stuff; it’s all good advice, but it’s a little obvious. Obviously, we shouldn’t procrastinate, but you will at least once. It’s evident that the assigned readings are important, but you’ll be lying if you say you’ve never at least thought of skipping one. I’m not here to give people tips that they’ve heard a million times. Instead, I want to share some of the things I learned about adapting to university social life and adapting to living on my own.

I found my frosh year pretty difficult to get used to at first. It took until after Thanksgiving to really feel comfortable on campus. Frosh week felt like one-half partying and one-half summer camp, especially with O Crew banging on our doors at early hours and memorizing all those house chants (I was a Chillis Chick, so the chants were a pretty focal part). Being in a new town, with no one familiar around, I decided to try and be as approachable as possible. I was majorly worried that I’d end September with no real friendships. I decided to be fearless by introducing myself to random people I met at meal hall, it was not something I would normally do. But honestly, a couple of those people I approached in frosh week meal hall turned into real friends that I’ve had through my entire eXperience. So my first piece of advice is this – don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Even if you’re shy, get out of your comfort zone just a bit and talk to people. Sure, many people I hung out with in frosh week never became friends of mine, but had I not made those attempts, I would have never made those connections.

ashley.jpeg

In second year, I moved from MacKinnon Hall and into an apartment in Somers and I’ve been there ever since. Though it’s not exactly the same as living off campus – no rent every month, no landlords etc, I think some of my experiences getting settled into an apartment ring true for everyone. By far the most difficult thing to get used to was the garbage. Getting on top of our garbage, recyclables and especially compost was annoying, mostly because of fruit flies. The super hot September weather, paired with leaving our garbage in the apartment for too long, is what drew the flies out. The only way we were able to get rid of them was putting glasses of cider vinegar covered with plastic wrap around the apartment. I doubt we were the only ones who were too naive about garbage while making the transition from a residence to an apartment! 

Today I feel foolish for having been so unequipped to deal with garbage; something I used to think was pretty basic. Underestimating everyday chores was definitely the biggest mistake I made when transitioning to a new living environment. And I won’t lie – it’s just more unnecessary stress on top of why we’re all here: to get that degree.  In the end, we learned from our mistakes and never had a problem of that magnitude in our apartment, but I really feel bad for anyone going through a similar experience right now. Getting on top of your own housework makes your living space less stressful, and I think it contributes to how well you study, too. 

I don’t think university is as much about preparing you for the “real world” as it is forcing you to face real day-to-day problems. University is an important stage of your life, it is a transitional step from youth to adulthood. Getting out of my comfort zone and taking my living arrangements seriously really did help me adapt to this stage in my life. Hopefully my experiences help anyone else having a rough time settling into their once-in-a lifetime experience as a StFX undergrad.

 

Coady Confidence High Amid Controversy

 
 

A walk through the Institute with Dr. Webber

You would be forgiven for not knowing, or much at all, about the Coady Institute, a part of St. Francis Xavier for more than 60 years. Although a quiet and reflective part of the university, recent events have thrust the Institute into the spotlight regarding alleged financial fraud and an article in the Chronicle Herald detailing the “droves” of staff reported to have left the Institute over the change of direction since the hiring of Dr. June Webber as director three years ago.

Dr. Webber was kind enough to talk to the Xaverian about some of the controversy surrounding the Institute not long after her arrival. Dr. Webber was unable to provide any details regarding the dismissal of Mr. Marlow, as that case is currently before the courts. However, Dr. Webber did provide some time to show me around the Coady Institute, a world-renowned organization interested in providing important educational opportunities to community leaders from around the world committed to fighting for economic and social justice.

I had intended to directly ask Dr. Webber about the staff who had supposedly left Coady due to the reportedly “toxic environment” that a number of other staff members had written about in an internal letter to the Executive of the Institute, but first Dr. Webber introduced me to some of the people who work and attend the Coady Institute’s impressive programs. I was introduced to some inspiring people who come from incredible backgrounds and their attendance at Coady is certainly a testament to their strength of character and will.

I wanted to know how Dr. Webber felt about the level of turnover reported in the Chronicle Herald last month. According to their source, 19 people had left the Coady in the time that Dr. Webber had taken helm of the Institute; however, Dr. Webber disagrees and counters that only 16 people had left, and a 44% turnover is a natural rate of turnover for the Institute. Dr. Webber defends the number of leaves as a mixture of retirements, staff leaving for other opportunities, as well as natural changes in staff. The Chronicle Herald had reported that Dr. Webber planned that the reduction of the staff also came from the plan to end the use of associate staff, but when I asked Dr. Webber about this she replied that the Coady Institute will continue to use associate staff and that the reporting by Chronicle Herald was “inaccurate,” in fact Dr. Webber is hoping to add greater staff representation from the global north and south.

Part of the controversy regarding Coady and the staff resignations, is that under Dr. Webber, there has been a change of direction for the Institute, some claiming this change is deleterious for the Institute and disrespectful of staff. I asked Dr. Webber about this and while she did acknowledge there was a new direction for Coady, she disagreed that it was substantially different from the founding principles of Moses Coady. 

The direction was made, she told me, after feeling that there was good foundation for the work of the Coady, but that at the time of her arrival it lacked strategy. When Coady was founded, there were very few developmental organizations in the world and the Institute’s mission was wide-ranging. Since that time, however, developmental organizations are much more commonplace, and Dr. Webber believes now, more than ever, Coady must have a stronger strategy and direction in order to compete among the myriad of organizations struggling to be a part of the solution in the world. She told me that Coady is changing perspectives, from a deficit model of support, to an asset model.

This is one part of the three major differences Dr. Webber sees as having usher in since her helming of the Coady Institute. Summarized briefly; first, the Coady Institute seeks now to work with an overarching strategy to understand the contexts of where they are and consolidation the collective thinking of people with Coady. 

Secondly, it is important to look at and assess the programs that Coady is using, how can they most effectively direct their energies. 

Finally, Dr. Webber sees Coady has having a place not just in the developing world, where, historically, the focus of Coady programs have centered, but now, seeking a truly global approach that includes the inequities experienced by communities in Canada and America and other developed nations, indeed during my tour of the building Dr. Webber highlighted the recent initiative to bring Indigenous Canadian women to Coady to become leaders in their communities. It is no secret that communities and people across Canada and America face severe resource, infrastructure, and support shortages and inequities (infamously, a considerable number of indigenous communities have gone decades without clean water in Canada), while populated by ambitious and talented people, just waiting for opportunity, an opportunity that Dr. Webber hopes that Coady can provide to people from Canada to Zambia to India and all and any nation in between.

Before I leave, I ask Dr. Webber how she feels about the reputation of the Coady Institute considering the controversy that’s made its way into national news. She answers firmly, that the Institute does remarkable work internationally and that their capable and talented staff are needed more than ever to counter the rise of inequality globally and in Canada.

 

Class of 2022 First Impressions

 
 

First-year students comment on their experience during O-Week

On September 1, StFX welcomed the class of 2022. For most of these students, coming from across Canada and the world, this was the first time they’d set foot on the StFX campus. First impressions are pretty important, so this week, I decided to see what kind of impression our campus is making on this year’s newcomers! Here’s what they have to say: 

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“My impression of StFX so far is amazing. Everybody here is so friendly and welcoming, especially the upper years, and it has been a ton of fun doing all the X-Fest activities with my house.”


- Jacob Koep, Engineering

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“It’s only been a day and a half but I already know I made the right choice coming to X. I’ve already met some amazing people, had some bomb food, done so many fun things and I know there’s way more to come! Everyone has been super welcoming and kind, and really helpful with showing me around! I look forward to making a difference in the X community, finding myself and being a part of such a great experience!”

- Olivia Conrad, Nursing

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“Antigonish seems to have A LOT of spirit!  A little rough at the beginning trying to make friends, but I hope it will pick up soon. Small campus so it’s easier to travel to classes. Shout-out to O-Crew for being so helpful.”

- Mark Carroll, Music 

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“My first impression of StFX has been a memorable one. The orientation week activities were so fun, I got to meet so many new people and my first few classes were amazing! I look forward to the rest of the year as well as the years to come!”

- Olivier Charles, Human Kinetics

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“My first impression of StFX is that it is an extremely inviting and friendly community. Everyone is very approachable and easy to talk to!”


- Mackenzie LeVernois, Chemistry and Business

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“People here have been so amazing, I’ve known people here for what? Four days? And they are so compassionate and wonderful, kind. I had a panic attack on my second day here and my roommate who I barely know talked me through it the whole time. People in classes I barely know will always talk to me and invite me to sit with them and talk to them. This place is a wonderful community full of empathetic people who truly truly care about you!”

- Anonymous

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“X already feels like I’m at home. Everyone here already feels like family and the environment makes me eager to learn!”


- Adrianka Forrest

“The school is awesome, felt like home instantly. The students and professors are welcoming. One or two professors were strict, but for the most part they were good.”

- David W., Business & Emily D., Business

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“Campus is nice and super clean. Everyone is kind too. Classes are fun and the professors aren’t scary which is good.”



- Eryn Reader


“I’m impressed by how welcoming the community is on campus. From the upper year students to the professors, everyone has each other’s backs.”

- Jem McDonald

“I feel like all first year students are blessed to be on this friendly campus.” 

- Isaac Tait

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Mac Miller: Rest in Peace

 
 

The youthful rapper created musical artistry that’s well beyond his years

I was 13 years old when I first heard Mac Miller rap. The song was a clever, catchy hymn called “Knock Knock.” In it, he spoke of youthful recklessness and unprovoked abandon, “I feel like a million bucks” And “Smoke joints in the whip, no cops can bust me”. For a kid who was just beginning his junior high life, it was a risky, provocative ballad that I couldn’t get enough of. As I grew up, so too did his music which underwent a progression more akin to a grizzled veteran. His frat rap style was what shot him into popularity with the song “Donald Trump”, and his commercially successful album Blue Slide Park.

He then touched into his introspective side with Watching Movies with the Sound Off in 2013. It produced the trippy opener “The Star Room”, and a funky collaboration with Schoolboy Q on “Gees.” 

In 2016, his album Divine Feminine focused on the lessons he had learned from the women in his life. This included his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande, and his mother. It represented another cog in his ever spinning wheel of art. 

 Photo: NPR

Photo: NPR

Miller also produced unique aliases for music, with mixtapes from his alter ego Delusional Thomas and songs from Larry Fisherman. It was another way of him to further venture into his creative soul and continually develop as an artist. 

Mac Miller died on Friday September 7, at the tender age of 26. He was born Malcolm James McCormick in Pittsburgh, a city seldom known for rappers, save for Wiz Khalifa.  Yet, at 18 years old he rose to prominence with his hit mixtape K.I.D.S (Kickin’ Incredibly Dope Shit).

His death was one that sent shockwaves rippling throughout the rap community, with tributes aplenty pouring in. He was universally beloved, from the likes of John Mayer, Elton John and Drake. Heartbreakingly, one of his last tweets was, “I just wanna go on tour”. 

His most recent album labelled Swimming was released on August 3, the same day Astroworld gobbled up the headlines. Yet, when one means to appreciate music, the 13 track album dwarfs Travis Scott’s in pure creative ingenuity. 

His death was from a suspected drug overdose, and his lyrics have waxed poetically gut-wrenching with the opening song from Swimming, “Come Back to Earth”: “They don’t want me to OD and have to talk to my mother, telling her they could have done more to help me and she’ll be crying saying that she’ll do anything to have me back”

As I solemnly listened to his music on repeat this past weekend, one song hauntingly stood out; “Brand Name”, from his GO:OD AM album. The lyrics start off with him disregarding the notion of working a “9 to 5” day job as “I’d rather end up either dead or in jail.” Near the end of the song, he seems to foreshadow his demise:

“To everyone who sell me drugs / don’t mix it with that bullshit I hopin’ not to join the twenty-seven club.”

Despite his success in the music scene, he recently broke up with pop singer Ariana Grande, in May of this year after two years of dating. Weeks after the breakup, he was cited for a DUI for smashing into a utility pole with his Mercedes G-Wagon. He was very open and honest about his drug addiction that has haunted him since his high school days, and it was a tumultuous 2018 that had many worried for his health. 

Let’s remember him for all the unique music he provided for all of us, and this quote from “Dunno”, 

“I think we might just be alright / Thank God”

 

A Review of X-Fest 2018

 
 

Headphone Disco, Jell-O Slide among many successful events on campus

It’s the most wonderful time  of the year here at StFX as we welcome the incoming class of 2022 and all of our returning upper year students. This year’s theme for Welcome Week is X-Fest 2018, a jam packed week of incredible events. Orchestrated by the StFX Student’s Union, X-Fest featured highlight events such as Headphone Disco, Playfair, Not Your Grandma’s Bingo, X Factor, the X-Fest concert, and last but certainly not least, Shinerama!

Day 1 – Welcome Day. The day many of our first year students have been anticipating, as it is both their first step of the university experience and possibly their first time living away from home. Welcomed as soon as they drove onto campus by the hype committee of O-Crew, new students began to line up for their registration into residence, unless of course they ran through the Welcome Tunnel first.  From there, students and their parents began to unpack at their respective residences with the help of some of our  X-Men football players and  O-Crew members at each residence. At 2pm the President’s  Welcome began, featuring speakers from our Board of  Governors, and closing off as usual with StFX’s president, Dr. Kent MacDonald. After returning to residence for some introductions with their Community Advisors and peers to discuss important residence information, first year students then met at the auxiliary ice surface in the Keating Millennium Center (KMC) for the Welcome BBQ. With full stomachs and a brief break, O-Crew members then gathered many first year students to attend the first main event, the Carnival! Returning for its second appearance, the Carnival is a favorite amongst students new and old. There is something to suit everyone’s interests at this diverse event. Students could enjoy various carnival style games, snack on popcorn and sweets, dance to the beat of the DJ, relax in several lounging  areas, and even be taken back to their childhood days in a huge ball pit. With such an inclusive and well-rounded event, day one of life at StFX came to a close. 

Day 2 – Pancake Breakfast! To those students who forget to set their alarms, O-Crew had them covered. The infamous Pan-cake Break-fast cheers flooded the halls of each residence bright and early to start off day two; who doesn’t like a delicious pancake breakfast? With the first year students filling the stands of the KMC, StFX was pleased to have Roz Kelsey of the Man Up initiative give her talk about sexual assault and safety. Following the eye-opening presentation, a panel of community members who specialize in sexual violence        prevention and rehabilitation took the stand to answer questions asked by students anonymously over text message. The panel provided students with answers to very important questions concerning sexual  violence that are invaluable tools to know should a case of sexual violence affect themselves or someone they know.  To lighten the mood from such a deep discussion, students were guided to the rugby field  in front of Bishops Hall to begin  X Games. Organized by the  Run N’ Gun committee of O-  Crew, X  Games  kicked  off  with a mass game of freeze tag before featuring an array of activities from egg/water balloon  toss, dodgeball, and many other creative field games. Following X Games, students joined together with their residence groups to run over to the main field for the class-wide X photo.  Entering the field through a tunnel of O-Crew members, first year students were organized into a large X in the center of the field for the annual photo. What followed was the residence cheer off, where students cheered loud and proud for their new residences in  hopes to be dubbed the winner of the competition. Ultimately,  Fraser house took the title of champion, and meanwhile O- Crew ran back to the rugby field to set up our most unique Welcome Week activity, the Jell-O Slide. The premise is simple: hold a tarp on a small hill, fill it with water and soap to make it slippery, and add  Jell-O, because what other  university has a Jell-O Slide? Soon after, students formed a line that would rival any line at Disney World just to slide down our Jell-O Slide. One by one, students had their chance to experience the unique slide for themselves until physics conquered, and tarps broke. Both tarps ripped open a handful of time until O-Crew could no  longer use them, but after a short wait new tarps were brought in and the Jell-O slid  on. Following the Jell-O Slide, there were a couple events held in residence, which were followed by yet another unique take on a classic event, Headphone Disco. Gone were the  ear-numbing beats of a traditional DJ, and in were... headphones. Students walked in the Mackay room confused at the relative silence of such a large dance party until they put on the headphones themselves. The headphones featured  three channels: blue, red, and green. Blue mostly had EDM music, red featured hip-hop, and last but not least, green  played smooth jazz. As more and more students arrived, it became a battle between blue and red, with the DJ duo on stage each controlling one of the colours to curate the best set of music. Students danced to whichever channel suited their tastes, singing along with the music and personalizing their experience at such a  unique event. The best part of the event was when the headphone came off, students could hold a conversation to get to know others, and likely discuss the pure comedy of witnessing so many people dance to silence.

Day 3 – Academic Day. By this point, first year students may be forgetting the  fact that they are indeed, students. Enter academic day. Beginning with two different sessions, incoming students were acquainted with important information concerning their degrees as well as getting the chance to meet many other students that were in the same program. After a short break for lunch, students were encouraged to attend the faculty social, where over 80 faculty members as well as plenty of experienced upper years students were in attendance to share their knowledge of the classes in their respective programs and tips on student life.  For those students who attended both events, their names were filled out on a ballot to win one of two Apple iWatches! Students walked away from the event with important knowledge to remember in  their studies, and two lucky students had some new wrist wear as well. At 6pm, students made their way to the University Chapel to take part in the Xaverian Welcome. This event is the first of many traditional ceremonies that are held at StFX each year, which include  such events as house banquets, sports banquets, graduation and the Xaverian Farewell, and this little thing called X-Ring.  While the Xaverian Welcome may seem bizarre at first, it all comes full circle at the Xaverian Farewell, the culmination of  a student’s time at StFX. To  get students back on their feet after sitting in the chapel for so long, Playfair takes the stage as  the final event of day 3. First  year students enter the KMC through a long tunnel of O-Crew members and join in to  form an even longer tunnel of O-Crew and first years. Shortly after, students dispersed into  smaller groups to partake in the many ice breaker games that are the staple of Playfair. Just as Playfair came to a close, the first year students and O-Crew members were asked to sit alongside the wall furthest from the stage. It’s Flash Mob time! Prior to, and throughout Welcome Week, O-Crew hid themselves away on campus to practice a flash mob for the first year students. The dance began with the O- Crew executives leading their part, and shortly after all of O-Crew came running onto the floor to take part in the dance. Once the surprise was finished, day 3 drew to an end.

Day 4 – First Day of Classes. The day we’ve all been waiting for! Incoming and returning students roam the campus, searching for classrooms new and old to begin their year of studies. For first year off-campus students, there was an event at the Golden X Inn specifically for them to discuss services available to off-campus students as well as to meet their peers. Following various events held in residence, the evening capped off with Not Your Grandma’s Bingo, an educational sex toy bingo where students learned safe-sex trivia and what proper consent looks like. This event was a resounding success. The attendance was incredible and the energy of the room was certainly greater than that of your grandma’s bingo.

Day 5 – X Factor. The second day of classes for students was a relatively quiet day for Welcome Week. There were free money and budgeting sessions held in Morrison Hall and the Wellspring centre throughout the day, an outdoor movie night held in the MSB courtyard, and finally the talent show, X Factor, held in the KMC. The event featured many group performances, interspersed with  some amazing solo and duo acts which showcased the talent of our incoming class of 2022.

Day 6 – Society Night. Yet another busy day of activities that were held in residence, the third day of classes included sessions on stress management, consent, positive space training, as well as Reslife karaoke. The Tastes of the World dinner which was slated to be held outside the KMC was moved to the Mackay room due to the rain, although things got on without a hitch. Students were able to sample a diverse range of foods unlike what they may typically eat here in Nova Scotia while a group of incredibly talented dancers showcased their talents and taught students the dances as well.  Finally, Society Night was held at the KMC for all students to attend. With such a vast selection of societies, there is sure  to be something to suit everyone’s taste.

Day 7 – X-Fest Concert. It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for our headline show, the X-Fest Concert! The event featured some of our very own talent from students Matt McGlashan (FDM) and Thomas Shelby (DJ Babz) along with our headliners, DJ Goliath, Waves, and Felix Cartal. The dance took place in the evening with students of all years joining the fun all the way until the doors closed at 12:30am. Before the concert began, students had the opportunity to attend the LGBTQIA2S+ BBQ to hear from the president of the X-Pride committee, Robert  Chatterton, and our Gender and Sexual Diversity Advisor, Bre O’Handley. Featuring some beautiful student performances, the event served to foster the positive and inclusive environment that is promoted on  campus.

Day 8 – SHINERAMA . If first year students thought waking up for the pancake breakfast was rough, O-Crew proved them wrong. Just before 8am O-Crew flooded the halls of each residence armed with whatever loud noise they could muster. From yelling and cheering, to a lifeguard whistle, and even a saxophone, students were woken up to attend Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraiser, Shinerama. Beginning with a quick breakfast, students heard talks from the Shinerama executives of O-Crew, as well as Rachael Turner, a fourth year student who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and the mother of an incoming student who also has CF. Shinerama is a fundraising campaign to find a cure for, and provide aid to those affected by  cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that effects the ability of the lungs to remove mucous build up. This results in difficulty breathing, as well as several digestive issues, and lastly a multitude of medicaments and physiotherapy techniques must be undergone to treat the disease. These talks serve to give purpose and perspective to the first year students in their fundraising efforts, as CF is a cause that is close to home at StFX. Following the speeches, students were assigned to one of many fundraising sites all across town, and some even had the opportunity to get on a bus to fundraise in New Glasgow. Students fundraised and spread awareness for cystic fibrosis from 9-1pm, raising approximately $25 000 for Shinerama 2018! And with that,  Welcome Week came to a close.  To  all  first  year  and  returning students, there are no better words than this: Welcome Home.  

 

The Rise of Food Trucks in Antigonish

 
 

The Frankenstand: A spookily delicious hot dog stand

At the back of the Shoppers Drug Mart Parking lot, on the edge of the river, lies a peculiar looking food truck emblazoned with green, black and orange colors. Its aptly named The Frankenstand, and it’s the home to foot long hot dogs… with a twist. A Caesar salad on top of a hot dog? Yep. Chili, bacon, sauerkraut? That too. For owner Kirk Jones, the name is based after his favorite childhood character. 

 Photo: Bowen Assman

Photo: Bowen Assman

“I love Frankenstein, everything about it. That is why everything is based off of it. All of our menu items have some relation to Frankenstein, such as The Bride, and the Thing.”

For Kirk, his stand opened at the beginning of May and is most certainly a family affair. His wife Tracy and children work the truck, preparing food and collecting the money. It is a great educational tool to teach his son. 

“We do not keep a calculator, so when he takes orders, he has to calculate the pricing and give back the correct amount. Because of this, it has improved his math skills”

He wanted to appease to the younger crowd, mainly the students. The idea of having a hot dog stand is unique to Antigonish, a town densely populated by pizza joints. As of now, the menu consists of hot dogs, burgers and onion rings. As young as the truck is, the plans for the future are wide ranging.

“My plan is to buy a six-wheeler, so I can have a bigger shop, and move our current truck to a permanent spot on the beach. We have been in talks with the city to have this whole parking lot become a sort of food court, with an array of choices from different food trucks dotting the lot.” 

In terms of new menu ideas, the idea of a foot-long French fry is in the works. Yes, a singular foot long French fry, something that would blow up the traditional fry culture, if done correctly. 

While he has a lot of future ideas, he is more than content with where he is right now. At any point during the days, and the numerous times I was present at the truck, there was no shortage of children, students, and locals all coalescing with Kirk near the truck. The friendly atmosphere really belies their slogan of “Monster-sized food, friendly service”. The real powerhouse is Tracy, who tirelessly works behind the BBQ in the heat to provide the food to everyone. 

What Kirk touched on repeatedly was his insistence on giving back to the customers who visit his truck, and helping those who are in need. 

“If someone is hungry, just come by the shop and you will be fed. I do not want to see students go hungry, they pay enough for tuition and textbooks.”

 Photo: Bowen Assman

Photo: Bowen Assman

Across the parking lot is an elder statesman of the food truck industry, Little Asia. The truck opened way back in 2016, and has enjoyed relative success, albeit spotty in it’s customer base. Little Asia’s owner, Melvin is happy that they have an outlet to serve their native food to anyone who is interested. Having the ease of a food truck makes life easier, with cheaper rent, and less maintenance costs then a brick and mortar storefront. 

What is clear is that the rise of food trucks greatly decreases barrier-to-entry costs, forging the opportunity for more trucks to pop up around town, and maybe, just maybe, take a slice out of the Kenny and Wheel student stranglehold for late night eats.

 

Saudi Students Seek Asylum

 
 

Ongoing diplomatic feud sparks unrest

The ongoing political conflict between Saudi Arabia and Canada has taken another victim outside the financial sector – university students. Several from Saudi Arabia have requested asylum in order to remain in Canada for the duration of their studies; according to the CBC, there are at least 20 Saudi students attempting to obtain asylum. Many fear they will be arrested upon their return, given their critique of the Saudi government on social media during their tenure abroad. The requests come after tension between the Canadian-Saudi governments escalated in the beginning of August, due to a twitter spat initiated by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland. In a tweet, Freeland condemned the Saudi government for jailing sibling activists Samar and Raif Badawi; Raif was arrested in 2012 on charges of “insulting Islam through electronic channels” and jailed in 2013. Samar was initially jailed for six months in 2010 due to a missed court date relating to a feud with her father over marriage rights. According to Amnesty International, she was arrested and briefly detained in 2016, although the Saudi Government denies her arrest. Most recently, Samar was arrested on July 30th, eliciting the aforementioned response from Minister Freeland.  

“Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.”

  This initial call to action was followed by a second tweet by Freeland one day later:

“Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.”

In response, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release condemning Canada for meddling in internal affairs and publishing comments that were “not based in any accurate or true information”. In the same press release, the Saudis recalled their ambassador, and declared the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dennis Horak, a Persona-Non-Grata, giving him 24 hours to leave the country. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced a hold on all new business and investment transactions with Canada. 

This initial cessation of diplomacy was followed by a sell-off of all Canadian assets by the Saudi central bank, regardless of whether this resulted in a net loss to the Saudis. Oil trade between the two countries is one of the only sectors which has retained status quo. The widespread halt of trade has been taken by many as a sign from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman that the international community should abstain from meddling in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs; the nation is clearly comfortable brandishing its’ political and financial capital in order to deter others from towing the Canadian line. 

While diplomatic relations between the two countries remain in limbo, the Saudi students who remain in Canada are left with few options. The Saudi Arabian government has granted an exception to 1 000 medical trainees who have been authorized to stay in Canada until “alternative assignments can be arranged”; all other students have been ordered to return home or continue their schooling in other countries. Although the students are allowed to stay in Canada until their visas expire, many are studying under the King Abdullah Scholarship Program. The Saudi government announced in early August that it would be revoking scholarship funding for students who remain in Canada, making it financially unfeasible to remain. 

 

Former Coady Director Going to Court

 
 

James (Jim) Marlow is alleged to have stolen $264 000

Following an investigation by the RCMP and an external audit by Deloitte, former Coady International Institute Finance Director, James (Jim) Marlow is being accused of defrauding the Coady Institute of more than $200 000 dollars over a period of several years. 

Marlow had been with the Coady Institute since 2007, until his dismissal following a review and audit of the institute’s finances and invoices from vendors. It is alleged in court documents obtained by the Xaverian, that Mr. Marlow had been creating fake invoices from three well-known third party vendors used by the Coady Institute in the past. Each invoice faked by Mr. Marlow would then have a cheque made and ‘held for pickup,” at which time Mr. Marlow would pick up the cheque or have it delivered to him under the trust that it would delivered by hand to the vendor, but instead was deposited into Mr. Marlow’s personal account. The amounts of each cheque are unknown at this time, but sources speaking with the Xaverian acknowledged that these were small amounts relative to the alleged total of the fraud committed by Mr. Marlow.

The alleged fraud was only uncovered when one of the cheques marked “hold for pickup,” by Mr. Marlow was inadvertently mailed to the vendor who then notified the institute that an error had been made and they were not due any payment. An audit of the institute’s finances was made where a number of fraudulent invoices, totalling $264 098 made out by Mr. Marlow, were discovered. Mr. Marlow was relieved of his duties and dismissed by the Institute and the University on July 19, when it was announced to staff and faculty that a breach of trust had occurred and the RCMP would be involved. 

Court documents show that the auditing firm, Deloitte, discovered 32 fictitious invoices, of which only two were not cashed, valued at $20 125, and a separate amount of $14 950 is, as of yet, unaccounted for and will be the subject of further investigation.

Given the nature of the fraud and the common practice of holding cheques for later pickup instead of mailing them directly, it is possible that had the Institute not been informed by their vendor, that the alleged fraud of Mr. Marlow could have continued unnoticed. 

After speaking with Andrew Beckett, the Vice-President of Finance & Administration, the administration is now working closely with Deloitte fraud investigators to create a list of recommended changes to prevent this kind of fraud from happening in the future. Mr. Beckett says that the administration is now in the process of finding a replacement for Mr. Marlow. The administration having received the resumes of potential candidates and in the coming months a position will be offered to a capable candidate, until such time however, the duties of the former Finance Director are being assumed across several capable positions. 

StFX has begun legal proceedings against Mr. Marlow, seeking damages, repayment, in excess of $243 000 and has asked the courts to prevent Mr. Marlow from liquidating any assets, including a property purchased, that may be under his name, should the courts determine the guilt of Mr. Marlow. 

All charges and accusations made against Mr. Marlow are alleged and have not been proven in court, neither has Mr. Marlow commenced with a defence against the allegations, although he has 15 days from the August 28 filing of the charges to do so.

 

Your Fall Guide to Sports at StFX

Athletic events occurring in September for students to attend

As the new school year comes into focus, so too does university sport, and StFX is not short on great athletic teams. 

Men’s soccer gets their regular season started with a three-game homestead starting September 8. Moncton, UNB and Cape Breton come to town for these matches. StFX looks to avenge their semi-final loss to Cape Breton from a year ago. That Caper team ended up winning the national championship, besting the Montreal Carabins. Expect a tight battle, as both vie for first place in the conference.

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On the women’s side, the squad looks to better their fifth place showing in the AUS a year ago. Their games are played preceding the men’s. One interesting note is that the coach of the soccer program: Graham Kennedy, coaches both the men and women.  

The inevitable beast that is X-Women rugby, begins their assault on the AUS competition at home against Saint Mary’s on September 7. Last year the team finished with a perfect 6-0 record, however they were bested in the semi-finals of the national event by Laval. The Rugby program is the most storied in StFX athletics, having claimed a mesmerizing 19 of the last 20 AUS titles, and four national championships since 2010.

StFX football has already begun, and it began with an unfortunate loss against St Mary’s. Luckily, our home opener is August 31 in a game against our vaunted rival, the Acadia Axemen. The team looks to improve upon it’s .500 record last year, and the hope is that they can get some key contributions from their rookies, as well as improvement from all returnees. The biggest game of the season is Homecoming, on September 29 vs. Saint Mary’s. This is the day all students, past and present cram into the bleachers to see the fired-up X-Men compete. 

StFX cross country had a surprisingly efficient 2017 campaign, buoyed by Angus Rawlings, who won the 10km event last season. The teams will be under new leadership, with Olympian Eric Gillis taking over the head coaching duties. The season begins September 15 in UPEI, followed by StFX’s own invitational on the 22 of September. 

On the ice, both teams get their regular season going in the beginning of October. However, there will be some preseason events taking place. September 18, the men’s team play Moncton in the Auxiliary Arena, followed by a matchup against Saint Mary’s on the 29, taking place in the local Antigonish Arena. On the women’s side, expect back to back nights of games on the 21 and 22 of September in the Auxiliary Arena, as they face off against Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s. 

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On the hardwood, both basketball teams have their regular season begin the first week of November. StFX hosts their own invitational tournament in the preseason, on October 5 and 6, with the women’s event on October 12 and 13. 

Track and Field does not begin until late November, with a meet in Gagetown, NB on the 24. 

StFX has more than just varsity athletic events, as they have a slew of recreational athletic teams. Curling, baseball, cheerleading, dance, field hockey, lacrosse, men’s rugby, rowing, swimming, equestrian, badminton and ultimate frisbee. The mens rugby team has had a very successful run, and the curling team has also held it’s own against other AUS programs. Cheerleading is a staple at football matches, while the rowing club has consistently produced solid outings, that is if you are ok with waking up at 4am! Keep an eye out at society night for the sign ups for these sports, and if you are feeling extra ambitious, create your own sport society. 

For more information regarding StFX athletics, please visit goxgo.ca 

Welcome to StFX’s Orientation Week

Advices and more regarding the secrets to living a healthy O-Week

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Welcome all to orientation week at StFX. Have a safe week ahead and let’s party hearty together.

As a New-Brunswick scholar in university since 2013, I witnessed 6 orientation weeks, including this upcoming week. From parties with the University of Windsor to StFX, here are some practical orientation-week advices:

1. Join a society on campus. Societies always welcome new recruits early in the semester.

2. Log into Moodle and read the syllabus for each class this semester. In my opinion, a head start on the year’s readings and assignments facilitates the transition from Summer to Fall.

3. A nap is suggested in the medical science of my mind to revitalize the senses.

4. Go to activities organized by the university. Should the activity lead to getting frisky, practice our strong consent culture and get permission from the other participant.

5. Attend off-campus events hosted by fellow students and friends. Contributing burgers or sausages usually gives you access to a local party-house barbeque.

The best advice I can give to our reader is to retain the information that speaks to them from these advices and experience their own version of orientation week.

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As I enter my final year at StFX, one thing remains abundantly clear: This school is way too friendly. 

I met so many friends I can not recount a time when I have walked across campus and did not come across someone I knew. The tight-knit community is just one reason why you will enjoy being here. With that being said, here are some tips I have learned on how to make your O-Week amazing:

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1. You will be meeting a ton of people, and that can be quite nerve-racking; however, everyone is in the same boat as you, and simply talking with someone can help ease their nerves. 

2. StFX Book Buy and Sell on Facebook. Join that group and you can get your textbooks for considerably cheap. It is way better then getting gouged by the StFX bookstore.

3. Water is your friend. Seriously. I was never a huge water fan until I discovered the magic of sparkling water with brands like Perrier, Montellier, and if you are feeling really lavish, Voss Sparkling. This amazing drink is most important on those mornings when you wake up parched like a Sahara desert in the midst of a drought. 

4. Attend a football game. These games tend to bring out alumni, faculty and student-alike. Even if you don’t know what a first down or interception is, simply coalescing with others will make your time there worthwhile. 

5. Be active! StFX has a host of fields and trails to satisfy your athletic body. There are tennis courts located on Main Street and Columbus Field and several trails for running around the outskirts of Antigonish. 

 

Lawrence Hill speaks at StFX on October 19

 
 

Get your shorts to Schwartz Auditorium for an evening with a great Canadian novelist

 Photo: Lisa Sakulensky

Photo: Lisa Sakulensky

Lawrence Hill will speak at Schwartz Auditorium Friday October 19th, 2018. Thanks to the StFX event sponsors Committee for Aboriginal and Black Student Success, African Descent Affairs and the Department of English, the Canadian novelist and professor of creative writing at Guelph University is scheduled for a first public speaking event in Antigonish this Fall.

Lawrence is the grandson and son of African-American soldiers who served with the American Army during WW I and WW II, respectively, and is working on a new novel about the African-American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway in northern BC and Yukon in 1942-43. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, and lives with his family in Hamilton, Ontario and in Woody Point, Newfoundland. 

Earlier this year, Lawrence was interviewed by Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School senior students who had completed a novel study of The Book of Negroes. Lawrence’s critically-acclaimed novel won various awards including The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and two-time winner of CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. The Book of Negroes was made into a TV mini-series in 2015. 

 Photo: Jenn Priddle

Photo: Jenn Priddle

The questions crafted by senior students deconstruct some key elements of Lawrence’s literary devices like imagery. Senior student Timothy Matthews asked, “How did you come up with imagery for all the different settings?” 

Lawrence replied, “It’s really hard to write about a place, isn’t it? Let’s think about the ways you might write about a place and the kind of images you might use. It might be the image of a tree or nature. It might be the image of sound. What is Aminata hearing? What kind of language is being used around her? It might be the image of history, the social or historical setting of the place.” 

The evening with Lawrence at Schwartz is some four hundred kilometers away from where the novelist did his research in Shelburne, Nova Scotia when writing The Book of Negroes. Shelburne is an important place in Lawrence’s novel, especially since the book fictionalizes the 1784 riots that depicts a fragment of the Black Loyalist experience and resiliency. 

Senior Lauren Breen asked, “How much did you fictionalize the narrative when representing historical events like the Shelburne riots?”

Lawrence responded, “I gave myself every liberty to play with or exaggerate or contort minor details for the purposes of dramatic effect. I didn’t make what I would consider to be any major deviations from my understanding of the grand lines of the transatlantic slave trade.”

The full interview with Lawrence, published on May 31st, is available on The Xaverian Weekly’s website under the Arts and Community section.

Lawrence is author of novels Any Known Blood, Black berry: sweet juice and The Illegal and essays “Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book”, “Is Africa’s Pain Black America’s Burden?” and “Act of love: The life and death of Donna Mae Hill”. 

The later essay, published this year, is a heartfelt personal story that calls for Canada to reform its assisted suicide policies. 

Kalista Desmond and a drum group led by Morgan Gero will perform as opening acts for Lawrence on October 19th. Kalista has performed powerful spoken word poetry as an opening act at last year’s Youth Activism Conference headlining event with Desmond Cole. Morgan’s drum group also performed wonderfully as opening act for special guest Cole during his visit to campus last year. 

The title of Lawrence’s speaking event “Faction: Merging history and fiction in The Book of Negroes and The Illegal” hints that the author will dissect the intersection where fact meets fiction in his literature. Arrive at the October 19th event early to get the best seats in the Auditorium for an evening with special guest Lawrence Hill.

 

Summer Stabbing Devastates Antigonish

 
 

Unsettling domestic violence leaves woman and three-year-old with injuries

Antigonish’s reputation as a quiet, quaint town was put into question this summer when a stabbing occurred on the morning of July 25, 2018. 

A woman and a three-year-old girl were injured when stabbed by a 41-year-old man inside a home on Brookland Street. According to Chronicle Herald, the man is reported to be the husband of the woman. 

The woman was the first to escape from her house and alerted her neighbour Karen Boyle. Karen heroically ran into the house and brought the 3-year-old to safety.

Thanks to Karen, the woman and child were able to escape and call the RCMP around 8:30 am. 

The victims were sent to hospital via ambulance but are expected to recover. 

Shortly after the police were called, the man (who police have now identified as Shajev Thomas) was arrested outside the Brookland Street home where the incident occurred. 

He is now facing two counts of attempted murder for his attack on the woman and young child. Thomas appeared in the Port Hawkesbury courthouse on Thursday, July 26 and was subsequently sent for a 30-day psychiatric assessment. 

The accused’s next court appearance set for August 24, 2018 got rescheduled until which time he will remain in custody.

“We do everything we can to keep students safe. We patrol on campus and StFX residences off campus.” said John Gormley from Safety and Security Services. 

Shajev’s next court appearance is scheduled for September 18 at the Antigonish Justice Centre.