Campus Beat

Environmental Awareness Week reminds students to respect their environment

Environmental Awareness Week is set to return to campus again this year, with events taking place March 14-18. The week of activities is organized by University of Manitoba Recycling and Environmental Group (UMREG), to educate and inform students and staff at the U of M about environment issues.

“We want to get people who are active on environmental issues to learn and become positive,” said Lisa Maskus, a representative for UMREG.

This year’s events include several workshops that cover topics such as bike maintenance, eco-driving basics and indoor gardening. An awareness workshop is aimed at exploring and training each participant to acquire requisite skills that will assist them to manage, protect and make judicious use of every available resource within their immediate environment.

The event will afford all students and staff of U of M the opportunity to meet with organizations that have been involved in local environmental issues. Students can also find opportunities to volunteer.

“Rip the Strip” to see profs and student waxed for a good cause

Rip the Strip will see three men from St. John’s College have their legs waxed to fundraise money for cancer research.

The annual event, organized by the St John’s College Students’ Association, began three years ago and this year is held in memory of Erin Palamar, the college’s registrar for 18 years, who battled cancer. The three men up for the challenge are St. John’s College professor and dean of studies, Chris Trott, Bernie Beare, SJC council chairperson, and Nik Akkerman, a first-year SJC residence student, all of whom will be waxed in the Fireside Lounge in University Centre on March 15.

The organizers said that the waxing will be done by professionals from Clash Hair Salon, so there shouldn’t be too much pain. The sum of $1,400 was generated the first year, while over $2,100 was raised last year. SJCSA is hoping to hit the $2,000 mark again.

“By getting staff and students involved we hope to get as many people out to the event as possible,” said SJCSA senior stick Jessica Persson.

Coin boxes have been set up in the college at Espresso 101, the Daily Bread Cafe and the General Office. Persson said that participants can make donations online, which will be counted towards Rip the Strip’s total until Friday, March 18.

Adolescent on-ice aggression traces back to coaches, not parents

A recent study by Canadian researchers has revealed that compared to parents, coaches are more likely to have an influence on levels of violence displayed by teenage hockey players.

The study, which looked at 183 players, averaging thirteen years of age, was published in the journal Leadership Quarterly. Researchers from the University of Manitoba, the University of Regina and Queen’s University observed sixteen recreational hockey teams in Ontario.

The study also revealed that when parents and coaches of players encouraged aggressive behaviour, players were less likely to view them as worthy leaders. Another finding concluded that more aggressive teams won fewer games.

“Although parents are not particularly influential in our study, I do not think the behavior of some, like banging on the glass, is vindicated,” says Nick Turner, one of the study’s authors and the associate dean of the U of M’s Asper school of business.

“What should really be taken away from this study is that we should really think carefully about the selection of team coaches and the messages that they send their teams.”

The research team measured teenagers’ perception of their coaches and parents’ leadership. They also measured the players’ penalty minutes throughout the season while measuring team performance.

The ultimate goal of the study was to discover what motivates people to play well. The study found that the team dynamic was decided by the coach’s leadership style. Coaches who demonstrated a transformational leadership style had less aggressive teams.

Islam Awareness Week at the U of M

The University of Manitoba Muslim Students’ Association (UMMSA) is hosting Islam Awareness Week, which includes informational and entertainment oriented events around campus throughout the week.

The week-long event will feature interactive games, videos and discussions about various topics in Islam, as well as guest speakers.

The last event will be held this Friday in the Engineering Information and Technology Complex, which will include a slam poetry performance by Boonaa Mohammed, a critically acclaimed Oromo poet, writer and playwright as well as entertainment by comedian Baba Ali.

Sarah Ragoub, a member of UMMSA and one of the organizers of the event, said the goal of the week is to provide the Canadian public with accurate information about the religious and moral beliefs of Muslims around the world.

“Islam Awareness Week is a way for Muslims to eliminate the popular stereotypes and clarify all the misconceptions portrayed by mainstream media,” she said.

According to Ragoub, this is the first time in many years that such an event has taken place at the U of M.

Annual ditchball tournament reveals a tradition with spirit

Last week, students from the faculty of architecture at the U of M teamed up against each other in a fearless game of ditchball outside of the architecture building.

Ditchball is an outdoor game that consists of two five-person teams inside a 10-foot ditch made of snow and ice. The object of the game is to get the ball out of the ditch and into the hands of the team’s goalie. The goalies lie on a plank, set near the top of each end of the ditch.

The Annual Ditchball Tournament carries a long history, having been created by architects 35 years ago.

“It was just a few restless architecture students waiting for their professor; [ . . . ] they just started playing in a frozen ditch and it turned into a sport that we’ve been playing ever since,” said Sean Gallagher, a fourth-year architecture student and one of the organizers of the event.

“It’s a painful game and it’s tough, but it’s a lot of fun,” said Gallagher. Players use a large, 29-sided leather ball to play the game.

Ian Stephens, a third-year architecture student and ditchball participant, said that the event has become an important tradition of the faculty. He joked that for him, the game is about “pride, glory and blood.”

Although participants must be architecture students, the event is open for anyone to watch. This year, the players, who were clad in helmets and full hockey gear, saw no shortage of enthusiasm from spectators cheering from atop the icy ditch.

Womyn’s Centre celebrates 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day

In 1911, the first International Women’s Day was held to fight for women’s rights to vote, work, be trained, hold public office and to end discrimination.

This year, events organized by the Womyn’s Centre on the University of Manitoba campus for International Women’s Week helped mark the 100th anniversary of first event.

Bilan Arte, the new women’s rep for UMSU council, said having a week’s worth of events on campus built on the concept of having one day of solidarity amongst women.

“I think for anyone who isn’t in women’s and gender studies, this might be a good way to learn about women and women’s perspectives [ . . . ],” said Arte.
Events last week included an anniversary celebration held in the Women’s Centre located in Helen Glass and an info session on the local FemRev Collective and Pan-Canadian Young Feminist Gathering, which is being held in Winnipeg this year.

Womyn’s Centre coordinator Jen Portillo said that while she can’t speak for all women on campus , she felt that often women’s issues often weren’t equally acknowledged on campus.

“[ . . . ] There’s a lot of events or even our classes where there’s a lot of focus on men’s history, and I don’t think there’s ever room for women to break away from that,” she said.

She also pointed out the influx of images on campus that projected a very stringent view of how women are supposed to look, noting the number of bars postering on campus with female models.

“I think that that does contribute [ . . . ] if you’re walking around and seeing these posters everywhere; you kind of need to self-reflect and be like ‘Is that me?’ [ . . . ], which is like three per cent of the campus population. No one looks like that,” said Portillo.

Arte explained that since it was first celebrated in 1911, International Women’s Day has grown to recognize the complex essence of why women experience oppression.

“You may be able to vote, but what if you can’t get to the polling station because you have kids and you have to stay at home and take care of those kids, or if the politics aren’t relevant to you or don’t pertain to your life,” she explained.

“I think in that sense it’s grown a lot, because it’s grown to recognize other systems of oppression [ . . . ].”

Portillo noted that considering this year marked the day’s 100th anniversary, it was also a cause for celebration.

“A lot of it is a celebration of the achievements that women have made, and a lot of that seems to get lost in these battles, [ . . . ] so I think just taking a moment to recognize that women have come so far and to celebrate that fact, [ . . . ] I really think that that’s a big part of it,” said Portillo.