Re: Closing the STEM gender gap

I would like to respond to the article “Closing the STEM gender gap” by Chantelle Dubois, published in the Nov. 4 issue of the Manitoban. Dubois provides her opinion on the broadly studied STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) gender gap, and closes her article with the incredible sentence “The gender gap will fix itself with time.”


Mandatory courses: who, and why?

There’s been discussion recently about imposing additional mandatory courses on students at the University of Manitoba. In the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) Annual Survey, students were asked if they support an Indigenous Studies course requirement.

Graphic by Jondell Coombs.

Legitimate pain and antisocial media

Blue, white, and red. Over the last week my Facebook feed has been filled with profile pictures tinted in those colours. It’s not only the images, though; everyone seems to have something they want to say to address the tragedy in Paris in which roughly 130 people were killed by ISIS terrorists.

Graphic by Evan Tremblay.

The journey of the poppy

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow…” A hundred years ago, these familiar lines by John McCrae first showed the connection between our fallen soldiers and…


‘World-class’ is going a bit far

In a full-page trumpeting of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) executive’s accomplishments, UMSU president Jeremiah Kopp refers to the renovations begun and planned to the hallway on the third floor of University Centre as a “marquee, $1.4-million, world-class capital project.”

That’s the kind of hyperbole (some might call it bullshit) that makes me blush, and then write an article about it.

Jondell Coombs_Comment_Mental health extra_Web

Vacation is not a treatment

I fully support an UMSU campaign on mental health. Public health insurance does not fund most mental health services, particularly preventive ones. The university offers limited student counselling, but it’s not the university’s role to operate as a pseudo-healthcare system. As such, students may be unable to access the care they need when they need it.

Graphic by Evan Tremblay

Putting poutine in its place

You may have noticed that, for some time, there’s been a food truck parked on campus. A welcome relief from the unrelenting mediocrity of campus food services (though I’ve yet to actually see anyone buying poutine there), the Poutine King is inarguably an asset to life on campus.

The whole point of a food truck, however, is that you can park it anywhere; the specific spot the truck currently occupies is not only inappropriate, it is offensive. The truck should be moved – perhaps more importantly, whoever told it to park there should have known better in the first place.


Building momentum for Shoal Lake 40’s Freedom Road

This past September, nearly 1,000 Winnipeggers gathered at the Legislative Building to participate in the Winnipeg Water Walk, an event which called for hard commitments from the local, provincial, and federal governments towards the building of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation’s “Freedom Road.” At this event, Premier Greg Selinger announced that Freedom Road would be included in the next provincial budget.

Graphic by Evan Tremblay

Legalize it – and by ‘it,’ I mean ‘all of it’

Commanding a majority of the seats in the House of Commons, and with the already-established support of the courts, there is no reason the incoming Liberal government cannot make good on its promise to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of marijuana. The ending of the prohibition on marijuana is the proper time to reconsider our society’s stance on other drugs as well.

Many drugs, like marijuana, are not illegal because they are inherently addictive or harmful – the arguments put forward as justification for the legalization of marijuana apply to them also. There is no reason (other than the weight of tradition and old attitudes) that a significant part of currently outlawed substances cannot be legalized, taxed, and sold.

Graphic by Justin Ladia

Don’t be an idiot

One of the first articles I ever contributed to the Manitoban was an indictment of one individual who on Halloween of 2013 chose to hit Stereo Nightclub in blackface. The photo of the individual was shared hundreds of times on social media, according to the CBC. The image was posted as a part of Stereo’s promotional photography albums. Thus the establishment also came under rightful fire for allowing the individual in.

This Halloween, save everyone the grief and the media circus.

If you, as a non-black individual, want to dress up like a culturally iconic black celebrity such as Jimi Hendrix, then I’ll applaud your right to do so, but only if you leave your face the colour it is.