Issue 5: Darts & Laurels

Each digital release of the Journal will feature weekly darts and laurels, listing what should be celebrated and criticized from the previous week in news and campus culture.

Darts:

Graduate students displaced to Confederation Place Hotel

Some graduate students are being housed in a hotel that is a 25-minute walk from campus for the second year in a row. It’s unfortunate that these students are excluded from the excitement of being near campus. While Queen’s only has a short term arrangement with the hotel, it’s likely that this state of affairs could go on indefinitely as Queen’s enrolment increases and residence rooms get even more scarce. While the students currently being housed in the hotel agreed to be there, and many of them are satisfied with their arrangements, university administration should not get complacent with this solution.

Misogynistic chant at the University of British Columbia and St. Mary’s University

The chant that was used during frosh week at these universities is completely unacceptable. The content of the chant is blatantly offensive and students who claim otherwise insult the intelligence of everyone involved. The fact that UBC students were told not to yell the chant in public is beside the point – the idea that someone uncomfortable with the chant would be made to yell it is especially troubling. It’s good to see that some student leaders have apologized and stepped down over the controversy.

The Underground’s opening

The rebranded Alfie’s nightclub had a solid opening night and the current student leadership should be given credit for beginning the year with an exciting event. However, the rebranding from Alfie’s to The Underground seems superficial as the decor had already recently been changed. Moreover, student government had an opportunity to consult with students when choosing the new name and decor for the nightspot. Doing so might have fostered a renewed student connection with the space and would have served as a good marketing opportunity. The Underground will probably continue to face the same fiscal challenges until a visionary student leadership actively learns from the mistakes of previous changes.

PM Stephen Harper’s handling of the Keystone XL pipeline

Facing the possibility that the Keystone XL pipeline to the United States could be rejected due to environmental opposition, Harper told Barack Obama that he would agree to new emissions regulations on the oil and gas industry. Needless to say, it should not have taken Harper this long to look out for Canada’s interests. Questions also remain as to why Harper is advocating so aggressively for a private pipeline.

Laurels:

Queen’s football

Queen’s football team beat McMaster 31-24 on Sept. 2. The Gaels now sit pretty at 3-0. Monday’s victory was particularly sweet as Queen’s had not beat McMaster in five games, including two tough playoff losses. An early record of 3-0 in an eight-game season virtually guarantees the Gaels a top spot in the OUA. The Queen's Gaels are no longer “rebuilding”, they’re the real deal. This year, Queen’s might get its first real taste of playoff football since the magical 2009 season. This success is coming at an opportune time; it could attract necessary attention to the poor state of our football facilities.

New bike lanes on Princess St.

It’s great that the City of Kingston is encouraging bicycling. Cyclists will now feel safer and more welcome in the limestone city. The many students who ride their bikes downtown to do shopping or errands will undoubtedly have an easier time. Bike lanes are not without their fair share of problems; many accidents are caused by cyclists swerving to avoid the terrible conditions on the side of the road. It’s a good thing that the relevant road sections are being repaved.

New Frosh Week mental health initiative

It’s great to see the new mental health initiative taking place during Frosh Week. The evidence-based approach is very impressive, and the fact that it will be developed over five years gives it a sense of continuity in what can sometimes be a fleeting and repetitive campus environment. If Queen’s is going to take the mental health of its students seriously, then engaging with them early on is critical.

Greater regulations for oral contraceptives

Both the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada are requesting that the federal government put greater regulation in place so that Canadians do not receive faulty oral contraceptives. There’s no excuse for the fact that deficient contraceptive pills are ending up on the market. Society must hold pharmaceutical corporations to high standards. This issue should have been addressed much earlier but this late plea is much better than nothing.

- Journal Editorial Board

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