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Great Quotes Editorial

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of your- self. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb



- Hermann Hesse

“Be careful. Journalism is more addictive than crack cocaine. Your life can get out of balance.


- Dan Rather

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

- Oprah Winfrey

“T was walking down the street with my friend and he said ‘I hear music,’ as though there’s any other way to take it in. “You're not special. That’s how I receive it too... I tried

to taste it, but i it did not work. bb)

- Mitch Hedberg

“Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.

- Alfred E. Newman


Year in Review

Kudos to you if youre reading this editorial.

‘That means you're either near comple- tion of another semester at UTSC, or, you've snuck into the school from another campus to get some studying done. The latter may deserve an extra kudos because you've actually managed to escape the wrath of the student card checkers.

In a matter of four weeks we will all be able to bust out our flannel pajamas with snowflakes (don't deny it, everyone has a pair) and curl up on the couch watching our favou- rite holiday movies.

Or perhaps, you will join the masses of ruthless soccer moms and vengeful grand- parents clawing their way to the last Tickle Me Elmo, or whatever overpriced and overrated toys children in North America are clamoring over.

If you're one of the lucky few, come the end of the exam period you may be on a plane to Varadero, Cuba to soak up the sun. When you return, there will be - 25 degree weather and 30 inches of snow. But, at least you can shovel with a golden tan.

Perhaps you can put footage of your vacation up on Youtube. The website gets God knows how many hits a day (from ‘The Underground office alone) and was bought by Google this year for $ 1.65 billion dollars U.S. Yup, that’s billion dollars a la Dr. Evil’s pinky finger.

Thanks to Youtube we were able to watch footage from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that would make Peter Mansbridge cry out for Mommy. Technology may have evened the scales of war media coverage, but Harper's Conservative government, elected in 2006, is trying to do everything it can to limit such coverage.

Little to no contact with the media may be benefiting you now Mr. Harper, but limiting the media’s access to your govern- ment just gives them more incentive to find scandal.

Our neighbours to the South tried to cover many political gaffs this year. Who could forget when Dick Cheney shot Harry Whit- tington, a friend and campaign contributor, during a weekend quail hunt in Texas. The move provided much fodder for Jon Stewart and his colleagues on the Daily Show.

While the world came together to point and laugh at Cheney’s stupidity, we also

came together to celebrate the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. It was a show-stopping event, and every two years countries from around the globe showcase their best athletes waiting for a spot on the podium to proudly sing their national anthem.

Perhaps Italy was still pumped from the Olympic spirit, as the Italians took home the hardware at this year’s World Cup. Thousands partied on the streets the day Italy won, proving that whether you were a soccer aficionado or a just a regular Joe off the street, soccer gives ev- eryone the excuse to climb a traffic light without being arrested.

Women around the world raised their glasses to toast Michelle Bachelet, the first female to become the President of Chile, while they honoured the life and times of female activist and author of the Feminist Mystique Betty Friedan who passed away at the age of 85.

In Canada, we as a nation grieved at the Dawson College shootings, as we tried to find an answer as to why our classmates and peers lash out in such violent ways.

It's tragic, but sometimes things end violently.

Anyone want to play a game of Hang- man?

Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death by hanging. Some may argue the former dictator of Iraq deserves such a brutal end, while others debate the ethical issues surrounding government-approved executions.

While we bicker about the end of Hussein's life, we must remember those who have left us this year.

Many of the world’s most influential people have died including female leader and member of the Civil Right Movement, Coretta Scott King; broadcast journalist Ed Bradley; and TV mogul who created such shows as Love Boat and everybody's favourite, Beverly Hills 90210, Aaron Spelling.

But come January first, please add: “no more watching 90210 reruns on Metropolis” to the long list of 2007 resolutions. Scrap that, maybe this year we should make the resolution to not have one. For once, we may be able to stick to our guns.

As 2006 comes to an end, some are sad to see it go, others are glad to say goodbye.

But as Miss O. Winfrey says, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” So take the steps and make it right.

ARalne Vik vk

Jeannette Rabito & Vanessa Larkey

Staff Writers: Shivani Malik, Muzna Siddigi, Aleem Hussain, Alexandra Lucchesi, |

Iriel Mendoza, Radheyan Simonpillai, Abbas Somji, Stefania Lamac-

chia, Helene Carluen, Jon Brazeau, Philip Smalley, Rosalyn Solomon, Emily Hunter, Fatima Elzaibak, Matthew Carter, Denise Tse, Dayna Boyer, Matt

Lehner, Irina Lytchak.

Cover Photo: Kyle Macpherson

Letters and Submissions Policy

Contributors: Angelique Duncan, Louis Tam, [brahim Ng, Stephen Chan.

The Underground loves letters. Should such letters be submitted to info@the-underground.ca by 5 p.m. on the Editors at The Underground reserve the right to play with submissions as they please, so long as printed playfulness is Friday before the desired publication date, we will likely print it. Letters should be 700 words or less. Writer's name, uly noted as such

student number, and contact information are requisite, though we can withhold names at the writer's request and

editor's discretion. Letters will be edited for length, clarity, and « leanliness, but grave idiocy will be left in for your The views expre ssed in published articles belong solely to the writer, and do not reflect the opinions of the editorial board, embarrassment The Underground, the SCSP, or the university

Article submissions and ideas should pass through the editorial board before writing. Unsolicited articles may be The Underground is published by the Scarhorough College Student Press (SCSP). The SCSP is a non-profit corporation published, but previously arranged and discussed stories have a higher chance of finding their way to print. Articles independent of the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU). The SCSP is funded in part by a direct levy to UTSC will be edited for length, clarity, cleanliness, and style. students, received through the Office of Student Affairs

All submissions become the property of The Underground upon publication, Submissions may be printed elsewhere “he Underground is a member of the Canadian University Press (CUP), a national organization of student newspapers two weeks after publication provided that The Underground is identified as the original publisher the Underground is governed by the CUP Code of Ethics. www.cup.ca



UTSCs Official Student Newspaper

Editorial Directors Vanessa Larkey Jeannette Rabito

Creative Director Stefanie Tenn

Copy Editor Dayna Boyer

External News Editor Alex Gough

Associate External News Editor Rosalyn Solomon

Internal News Editor Laura Redpath

Associate Internal News Editor Abbas Somji

Features Editor Tasneem Yahya

Arts Editor Shivani Malik

Sports Editor Jon Brazeau

Associate Sports Editor Helene Carluen

Editoral Cartoonist Stefania Lamacchia

Photo Editor Kyle Macpherson

Photographers: eRe ps Kevin Wong

Business Manager

Olga Dadabayeva

Accounting Manager

Claudia Louis

Advertising Manager Elaine Manlangit

Advertising Representative

Katie Hawes

Volunteers Coordinator

Dayna Boyer

Contact info: Phone: 416 287 7054

email: info@the-underground.ca web: www.the-underground.ca

Mailing address:

The Underground 1265 Military Trail, Room SL-201 Scarborough, Ontario M1C 1A4

Office Location: Upstairs in the Student Centre Room SL-201

Publication schedule

Frosh - Sep 1 Issue 6 - Nov 23

Issue 1- Sep 14 Issue 7 - Jan 18

Issue 2 - Sep 28 Issue 8 - Feb 1

Issue 3 - Oct 12 Issue 9- Feb 15

Issue 4 - Oct 26 Issue 10 - Mar 1

Issue 5 - Nov9 Issue 11 - Mar 22

Contributions to The Underground must be made by 5pm on the Friday before each listed publication date to be considered for print


e210) = OKO)

Borrowing Sounds

Wanna get your hands on a copy of the latest Peaches disc?

Skip over HMV and_ head straight to your local Toronto Public Library (TPL).

A CD collection featuring all of your favourite hog town artists has been launched by the library. With a few clicks of a mouse and swipe of a card, the very best of Toronto's indie music scene can be in your possession, well, until the discs are due back.

The music was donated by downtown music store Soundscapes, but with so many local musicians, how do you decide who makes the cut?

“Tt was important the artists chosen be diverse because Toronto is such a diverse city,” said Lisa Heggum, the youth collections librarian and coor- dinator of the project.

The collection features everyone from Somalian born rapper K’naan, to Toronto indie popster’s the Hidden Cameras, to former Blue Rodeo member Bob Wiseman.

The TPL kicked off the collec-

tion with two concerts, the first being held at the Toronto North York Central library featuring an all Blocks Recording Club artists lineup on Nov. 4 including Final Fantasy, Ninja High School, Hank, Bob Wiseman and the Creeping Nobod- ies.

What's it like playing in the library? Surprisingly, according to Blocks co-founder Steve Kado and Ninja High School member, the acoustics aren’t bad and he'd like to play there again some- time.

He supports the project but would like to see the library branch offer the collection on other mediums, like vinyl.

Heggum said the collection will continue to grow and it is “getting the library talked about in communities were it isnt normally.”

The other concert, happened on Nov. 18 at the Toronto Reference Library and featured the Old Soul, Great Lake Swimmers, Elliot Brood, LAL and Shad.

The project, she hopes, will in-

spire young Toronto musicians trying to . etch their way into the local music scene. : She said it makes being a musician “feel more real” and accomplishable.

Bands who wanted to play the

shows but didn’t get a chance to do so should sit tight. Heggum says other library concerts may be on their way. As the project continues to grow, there may even be a concert in Scarborough. She says the inaugural concert locations were downtown because it was easier for concert-goers to access and they wanted to “make it as much of a party as pos- sible.”

But who does Heggum recom- mend from the collection?

Well, she loves the Bicycles,

Final Fantasy and the Old Soul, but says the collection is filled with excellent lo- cal talent.

Check out the TPL website for more details. torontopubliclibrary.ca/uni_loc_mus_


== Vanessa Larkey


Your World Right Now

UTSC’s Biz Community Goes LIVE

“We push students to think big, and to realize big dreams.”

Thats one of the sales pitches mentioned on the website for LIVE, a two-day cross-country business confer- ence hosted by UTSC.

LIVE, which stands for Leading Innovative Visions to Execution, kicked off on Nov. 9 at the Holiday Inn on King St., in downtown Joronto.

According to the site, “LIVE brings together the brightest and most ambitious undergraduate business stu- dents from across Canada. Built around an intense competition, LIVE allows delegates the opportunity to prove themselves nationally.”

Students from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, to Aca- dia University in Nova Scotia forked over a delegate fee of $150 to attend the conference, which included all meals, so- cial activities and hotel accommodations. Over the course of the two days, delegates attended workshops and sessions featur- ing a wide range of guest speakers from fhe professional community.

The conference also included the 2006 Corporate Connections Evening, which was held at the Rotman School of Management. The networking event hosted 40 of Canada’s top companies, and featured a keynote speech from Phil Sorgen, President of Microsoft Canada. Conference co-chair and founder, Deepthi Guttikonda said the University


of Toronto curriculum was really out- dated compared to schools like Queen’s

University or York Schulich’s School of

Business. “There are few courses that pro- mote practical skills,” said Guttikonda. She also said although having a co-op option provides students with excellent hands-on training, the LIVE

conference can potentially open a lot of


“LIVE puts the campus on the map,” said Guttikonda who noted that certain companies are reluctant to hire students from UTSC over the aforemen- tioned competing schools.

It’s been a long 18-month jour- ney for Guttikonda and her co-chair, Kara Lilly. Selling the idea to stakehold- ers was a major hurdle because the idea was newly conceptualized.

“Very few corporations wanted to jump on board,” said Lilly. “It was also a fairly sizable budget if you considered the costs of hotel, food, marketing, AV, and other expenses.”

Fortunately for Guttikonda and Lilly, several companies did jump aboard. Toyota Canada, Sun Microsystems, and

Microsoft Canada were among some of

the sponsors who LIVE roped in, along with Scotiabank as the title sponsor. Vaseem Baig, a fourth year management student was a delegate at the LIVE conference. Baig said “|The conference] was a good opportunity for

people to come together, to work together in a cross-selectional team. However, too much of the conference was numerically based on Excel spreadsheets, with less emphasis on creative strategy.”

Baig agreed that for its first time, the conference had minor flaws that could easily be corrected for next year. He said that if he had the opportunity to attend the event again, he would, but without having high expectations.

“If you go [to the conference] with high expectations, youre setting yourself up for disappointment,” said Baig, who was pleasantly surprised to have a meeting with a representative from Scotiabank.

‘The LIVE executive committee, particularly the co-chairs, said the feed- back from the conference has been very positive.

“There were so many instances of déja vu,” said Guttikonda, who couldn't help but notice how many parts of the event were executed just as she had envisioned them.

“We were nervous about run- ning the event for the first time,” said Guttikonda. “But the project was our baby. There’s a part of you that wants to believe it will work out regardless and

it did.”

= Abbas Somiji

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SCSU’s New Additions

They have been at UTSC for less than a semester, but the SCSU’s two new- est first-year reps have already become familiar first-hand with the issues they want to work on.

“T find that I end up walk- ing around looking for study space. I spend time doing that more than actually studying,” said Shazwan Mohammed Khan, who got 59 votes from his fellow froshies.

“Even the study spaces that you find, people are always talk- ing...so hopefully we can get more study rooms around here, even some group study rooms,” said the 18-year- old co-op management student.

Khan’s fellow representative has a few ideas of her own.

“The cafeteria is closed on weekends, which doesn’t really make sense...the only thing that’s open on the weekends is Tim Hortons [and A&W,” said Ruby Lau, who is study- ing co-op management and came in third place behind Khan with 50 votes.

Lau was ratified as the second first year rep after another candidate was disqualified by the fall elections committee.

The two representatives said they plan to bring these issues to the SCSU’s board of directors.

So, having gone through the

elections process, how do these repre-

sentatives feel about their experience with the SCSU?

“My first taste was a pretty bitter taste,” said Khan. “Hopefully the rest of the SCSU is not as disorga- nized as the election was...the election was pretty badly done.”

Members of the fall elections committee responded to requests for interviews, but were not commenting on the elections.

Since the SCSU and board of directors initially voted down the elections committee’s report, outlin- ing which candidates had won, it had seemed as if there would be no first year reps for the 2006-2007 year. However, the results were adopted more than a week later at an emer- gency board of directors meeting.

Due to the delayed approval of the election results, Lau and Khan have missed out ona taste of the SCSU that is traditionally given to first year reps, having missed a $6,000 weekend retreat partly designed to allow new directors to become familiarized with the organization and its processes.

The SCSU’s annual general meeting, on Novy. 15 had members vote to remove the organization's elec- tions policy, until the spring elections are held in 2007, when a new version

will be adopted.

= Kevin Kwok Wong

One, Two, Skip a Few

SCSU Recounts Election Results

The SCSU intially threw out election results for first-year reps claiming ballot counting was flawed. Such a move would have left UTSC without first-year representation on its student union’s board this year.

The SCSU BOD chose to

throw out the election results entirely and deny the positions to all candi- dates. “There were issues with the elections policy and following the process,” SCSU_ chairperson Susie Vavrusa said.

She referred to election regu- lations that bar appeals from disquali- fied candidates after three days.

The candidates who initally won, Sajjad Jafri as a Management Director and Zuhair Syed for first- year rep, were disqualified from the election. Jafri broke election regula- tions after receiving an illegal club endorsement, providing advertising copy for the club endorsement, and posting campaign posters that had not been stamped individually by the Elections Committee as required.

Syed was disqualified for receiving a club endorsement and for participating in a campaign where he also recommended fellow candidate, Sean Kanjijal, for the other manage- ment position. These violations led to

disqualifications, therefore allowing third-place ranking candidates Ruby Lau and Sean Kanjilal to director positions.

Syed and Jafri raised issues with the three-day appeal deadline as their disqualification notices came too late.

The BOD voted again at the emergency BOD meeting on Noy. 14. The directors voted to accept the election results, minus the disqualified candidates.

A close vote of six against five saw Ruby Lau and Shazwan Khan installed as first-year reps, Alex Ousti- nov and Sean Kanjilal as management directors and Racine Mandradge as the social sciences director.

“Show me one example,” said Rob Wulkan, SCSU’s vice president of academics, “where the election results were affected by any problems with following the process.”

Wulkan challenged claims of improper ballot counting noting that votes were counted correctly even if the total number of ballots received were inconsistently tabulated.

Following the acceptance of the four candidates as representatives, SCSU directors Mustafa Jilani and Madiha Vaid called for reconsideration of the decision, and were rejected.

Shazwan Mohammed Khan - one of two SCSU first year representative talks about the expensive cost of parking at UTSC.

% fs Pe av r Ruby Lau, also elected as an SCSU first year representative shares her two cents about the lack of avaliable food outlets that are open during weekends at UTSC.

Photos by Louis Tam

New social sciences director, Racine Mandradge, expressed displea- sure with the uncertainty of her position and relief that it had been secured.

“T ran a clean campaign and won my position,” she said during the emergency board meeting. “Throwing out my votes is undemocratic.”

Following the decision to accept the elections, she said, “I feel very good. I think justice was done.”

le Ibrahim Ng

v.26 1.06

No Halal Food at UTSC... Yet

Halal meat on campus almost became a reality in July of 2006 but, bureaucratic red tape has held up the process.

Initially, a vendor approached Guy Brisebois, the SCSU’s business manager, with plans to open a hot dog stand at UTSC. The vendor agreed to sell Halal meat products, and the cart was to be set up in front of the Student Centte.

The proposed venture was brought to UTSC president John Freed- man, who supports the idea but has yet to give his approval.

The cart could be expensive. There are issues of heat, waterlines and electricity. And that’s besides the fact the venture has to be approved by the Food and Beverages Department, and Jack Martin, the director of Hospitality and Retail Services before making its way to Freedman.

“It’s in the process of getting approved by the administration,” said Senthooran Uruthiralingam, the SCSU’s vice president external.

Uruthiralingam says that alter- natively, Aramark would be “the best people to provide quality halal food on campus.

“They have numerous food sta- tions and they should be able to provide the students with halal food,” he said. “It is not acceptable...there’s roughly about 1500 to 2000 Muslim students on cam- pus, and out of ten thousand students it is a big amount, so it is significant that Aramark should provide to this group.”

He says another reason that Aramark is the ideal candidate is because they have a separate refrigeration space, which addresses the worry of cross contamination of Halal food with that which is not Halal.

Aramark did attempt to sell Halal food some time back, but few students knew about it then and it was not a profitable venture. Since then, 800 students petitioned for Halal food, organized by the Muslim Students As- sociation (MSA), bringing to Aramark’s attention that there were at least 800 potential customers.

“Everyone can eat Halal food, not just Muslims,” said Jenna Hossack, SCSU’s vice president of students and


On Nov. 9, Hossack hosted a UTSC hearing, led by the Canadian Federation of Students task force on the needs of Muslim students. The students raised the Halal food concern.

Students brought up problems of having to stay on campus the whole day without having access to food they can eat. Vegetarian food is not an option either, because it is prepared alongside food that is not Halal.

But, Hossack offers words of advice for students campaigning for Halal food options.

“Be persistent, so that it doesn’t get forgotten about or become less of a priority. Keep talking about it. Keep ask-

ing questions. Keep making it an issue.”

== Fathima Feroze


Zo 106

Students Concerns for the Next Liberal Leader

The race is on as the Liberal leadership can- didates charge through the country securing delegate votes for the convention that is just around the corner.

“(The Liberal) party could be choos- ing the next leader that could run the country in the next couple of months,” said Stephen Clarkson, political economy professor at the University of Toronto.

With a poll by Decima Research in early Noy. showing that Alberta is the last re- maining Tory supporter at 31 per cent nation- ally and the Liberals leading support over the Tories in every other region of the country at 28 per cent nationally, according to the Nov. 8 Toronto Star article titled, “Tories trail Liberals everywhere almost” making this convention even more important to the Liberal candidates and supporters.

The convention will be held in Mon- treal on Dec. 2 and 3. Several thousand Lib- eral supporters including riding associations, women’s associations and Young Liberal clubs will cast their votes that will decide who will be the next leader.

Replacing Paul Martin, the next leader is hoped to strengthen the party leading them to the next federal election and winning.

The leading four candidates are: Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Stéphane Dion and Gerard Kennedy.

In a survey of 20 students from diverse backgrounds and programs at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the top three concerns for students were education and tuition, envi- ronment and Canadian troops in Afghanistan. The leading candidates had ia to say:

Education & Tuition:

“If you get the grades, you get to go,” said Ignatieff, former Liberal MP for Et- bicoke, on his website, michaelignatieff. ca.

“No student will be left behind on account of their financial or family circumstances,” says Ignatieff, if he were to become leader.

Rae, former NDP Premier of Ontario, says, “Every qualified student should have access to college and uni- versity. No one should be loaded down with debts they can’t afford.”

Dion, former Minister of the Environment of Canada, says he propos- es such initiatives as the Interdisciplinary Sustainability Fund. The initiative is to create an envelope of funding which will be available to students, researchers and graduate students.

Yet for Kennedy, former Educa- tion Minister in Ontario, he says, “...no matter where you live in this country, I think you should have access to your

otential. We've talked about this before, ie what I would do is commit to very Tees targets that would prove that that’s taking place.”


“Saving our environment is the most se- rious bread and butter issue of our time” says Ignatieff on his website.

According to Ignatieff, he will ensure a strategy for clean air and water, to become global leaders in protecting and restoring biodiversity and to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent or more by 2050.

Rae, who puts his focus on cli- mate change, says, climate change is the gravest environmental challenge facing


© News

our planet this century. We must commit to coming as close as possible to achievin Canada’s Kyoto objectives for 2012, aa establish firm targets for subsequent peri- ods.”

Former Minister of the Environ- ment in the last Liberal government, Dion, says, “...for the good of the country and the good of the planet, I will stand up as prime minister and fight climate change.”

Dion says ie aims to achieve the Kyoto target in 2012. His plans also ine energy and climate, cleaner air, water, health and environment, innovation and commercial plans, plan for aboriginals, and nature protection.

Lastly, Kennedy also wants to meet the Kyoto commitment by “make(ing) Canada a clean energy super power by 2020... creating very specific mandatory requirements for business, incentives for hybrid cars, and achievements towards environmentally proven alternative fuels.”


Ignatieff, who supports the extension of Canadian troops till 2009, says in his address to Saint John Board of Trade that Harpers government needs to stick with the Liberal agenda.

“We are there serving Afghan needs... I supported the renewal of the Afghan mission ... (but) the conservatives must remain consistent with the Liberal mission, Ignatieff says.

According to the Toronto Star article “Where Liberals Stand” on Sept. 21, this includes a balance between the reconstruction, humanitarian and human security components.

Rae on the other hand says Canada’s policy on Afghanistan needs to be reassessed and evaluated.

“This does not mean Canada should abandon Afghanistan. But we need to approach our policy on the basis of at least hee criteria: Is it working? Is it consistent with our experience of what can work? And is it balanced?” Rae says.

For Dion, “I support the participa- tion of Canadian troops in Afghanistan... (But) I believe that it is the responsibility of parliament to deliberate carefully on if cade we send our troops into harm’s way to preserve peace.”

eeeds who has made the Af- ghanistan issue a key one, wrote an article in the Toronto Star titled “It’s time for a new strategy on Afghanistan” on Sept. 1, saying, Sustainable peace in Afghanistan cannot be achieved by military operation alone.”

According to Kennedy, there are three crises for Afghanistan: opium, devel- opment and security. And that the first two need to be solved first before security can.

Despite their differing or similar positions, and whether you agree or dis- agree, one thing is for sure, one candidate will be the next leader after the conven- tion. And with roughly one-third of all delegates as youth delegates, according to Young Liberals of Canada, students have a large voice in who will be that next Liberal leader.

“(Furthermore) this convention is particu- larly ees because nobody can tell who will win,” Professor Clarkson says.

= Emily Hunter

Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leadership Candidate. Sachin Aggarwal. (2006).

he Gerard Kennedy, Liberal Leadership Candidate.

Stéphane Dion, Liberal Leadership Candidte.

Work on Campus - Earn $10/hour!

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is looking for students with great RESPONSIBLE : x na 2 A enti interpersonal skills to assist with Know the Score, an interactive awareness Counc program designed to prevent gambling-related problems among young adults.

The program will visit University of Toronto Scarborough campus from January 22 - 25. Students must be available to attend a paid training session on Sunday, January 21st from 11 am - 2 pm.

Apply online before January 12, 2007 at www.knowthescore.ca/on/jobs.cfm

Plans itm as Hloobers

Like gymnasts and guitar players, hula hoopers must develop some serious stomach calluses. And the injuries don’t end there. Toronto hooper, Sadie Yancey, says she’s gotten stomach, neck, and face bruises from swinging her hoop.

Although a dangerous past time, hula hooping is picking up speed in the Toronto underground scene, in what some call hooping’s second revolution. All kinds of people are getting hooked on the hoop; clubbers, hippies, dancers, and even soccer moms.

“Hooping can have a big impact on the world at large...it brings people together and anyone can do it,” says

Philo Hagen, one of the founders of


Although tracing history back to find the inventor of the hoop is literally akin to finding the inventor of the wheel, _ Egypt is one of the first places noted to play with hoops on the ground about 3 000 years ago. Adding hula to the hoop came from

sailors in the 18" century visiting Hawaii and noticing similarities

between their dancing and

hooping. In en- bets


the garage of Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin in 1948. The founders of Wham- O Inc. got their whimsical name from the sound their first toy made when it hit something, the sling shot. Next came the Frisbee, and then the Hula Hoop trumped them both. Inspired by kids in Australia using bamboo rings as toys, Knerr and Melin launched the Hula Hoop in 1958.

25 million were sold in four months says wham-o.com.

The second revolution of hoop- ing can actually be traced back to a relatively unknown band, String Cheese Incident. A 90s jam-band, these guy started throwing hee into the audi- ence during their shows, says Hagen.

The second revolution spawned different kinds of hooping and created a massive hooping scene in San Francisco, where Hagen lives.

Hooping.org gets about 10,000 readers a week says Hagen, who's been hooping and running the site for four years.

“We just combined all the info floating around on the internet about hooping and it basically became the source for all things hooping,” says Hagen. He has readers from as far away as Australia and Belgium.

Every Sunday, a group of hoop- ers takes over a park in San Francisco to share tricks and mingle with other hoopers. All kinds of people are drawn _ to the hoop. . “The hippie hooper probably never would have started web-

i Ol

site,” Hagen laughs. Hagen uses the hoop as an extra element when he dances, which seems to be the most common kind of hooper.

Belly dancer and U of T student, Sadie Yancey says hooping has actually made her worse at belly dancing. As a dancer for four years she mainly uses a belly dancing hip circle move going counter clockwise when hooping.

“Now when I belly dance I can’t go the opposite way,” Yancey says.

She says a lot of people don't know how to react to dancing in public, if they should be serious or laughing. But hooping always gets a much more playful, happy reaction from people.

“Sometimes when little old men see me with my hoop they just point and smile and do a little hooping shimmy motion. It's much better than being grumpy and just passing people by in the street, Yancey says.

The Toronto hooping scene is slowly building momentum. During the summer a group of hoopers congregate around Cherry Beach. Although Yancey, who is from Virginia, says Torontonians are a lot colder to trying new things and approaching one and other.

No matter how small, she loves the openness of the hooping community to sharing. Every once in awhile she'll leave her hoop somewhere and someone will pick it up, run off and play with it, and then bring it back to her.

“I like that my hoop can go on adventures without me,” Yancey says.

New Brunswick hooper, Andrew Tidby says a lot of east coat hooping is done at music festivals. That’s how he got interested in hooping in April 2006.

Photo by Kyle Macpherson

“Basically I went into the forest near my house with a hoop and I said ‘Tm not coming out of here until I can get this hoop around my neck’, and it Wet: me about 20 minutes,” Tidby says.

He says the trick to hooping is just body memorization; doing each move as slowly as you can and build up speed. He uses the hoop outside of his body as much as he is inside the hoop. A self-proclaimed bad dancer, Tidby uses the hoop instead of having to bust any kind of awkward moves on the dance floor.

“It’s different than dancing because you have a prop which acts as a shield. It’s a bit of a distraction, so you're not quit as exposed,” Yancey says.

Hooping in B.C has become more popular amongst the mainstream crowd, even going so far as being taught in gyms. hires Gilee founder of Hoop Play in Vancouver has been teaching hooping workshops and classes since January 2006. She says her parents have been * ‘spreading the hoop vibe” by get- ting their seniors’ fitness class in on the hooping trend.

Although there are no gyms currently in Toronto teaching hoop- ing, there is a budding online Toronto hooping community on Tribe.net where hoopers can arrange to meet up with other hoopers and do what they do best; hoop it up.

Check out Andrew Tidby al '

ing the-underground.ca

Dayna Boyer


Director Dives Into Shark Fim

t almost seemed like he was patting a dog on the belly, as if it were an old friend. But Rob Stewart's friend isn’t your typical four-legged, domestic compan- ion. Stewart dives hundreds of feet underwater to meet his finned pal. At five feet long, Stewart's buddy is none other than one of the most feared ocean predators -- a shark.

“Pye spent so much time underwater, I began to understand sharks,” says Stewart, director of a new documentary called, Sharkwater.

In the opening scene of the documentary, featured at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, Stewart uses a patting technique that puts the sharks into a trance, which makes them docile.

Stewart, 26, who has spent a large portion of his life diving, turned his fascination with sharks into passion to combat the practice of shark finning around the world.

Shark finning is the process where long lining entraps or kills sharks, then they are taken up on a ship. While onboard, most sharks have their fins cut off and then the rest of their bodies are tossed overboard - whether they are alive or not.

While working as an under- water photographer in the Galapagos


Islands, Stewart gota first-hand account of how shark finning has morphed one of the ocean's deadliest predators into prey.

“Virtually everyone can get a boat and shark fin,” says Stewart, who graduated from Western University. “It’s so cheap and easy to do.”

According to D. Dudley Wil- liams, a marine biology professor at the University of Toronto, approximately 100 million sharks are killed annually.

Many experts argue that this dramatic decrease in shark populations is linked to the practice of shark fin- ning.

“Some populations have declined by 95 per cent in 15 years,” says Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid.

WildAid is a non-profit orga- nization that works to end the illegal trading of animals.

According to Knights, the Basking, Great White and Whale sharks are threatened species.

Stewart says a healthier shark may take up to two days to die at the bottom of the ocean once it has been finned. .

But this hasn't stopped poach- ers from finning sharks.

“The shark fin industry has boomed since 1986 when China started

e There is still no international ban on shark finning. But you can support |

WildAid (wildaid.org) Shark Trust (sharktrust.org) Shark Project (sharkproject.org)

All photos are the property of Sharkwater Proc


g Issue in New Documentary

rading with the rest of the world and he word got out that sharks meant noney,” Stewart says.

Although shark fins are sold nd bought mostly in China, the lemand has also increased in countries ike Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, ac- iording to Knights.

National Geographic’s webite sstimates that shark fins retail up to 3880 US per pound. One reason the ndustry is profitable is because dried hark fins do not need refrigeration.

‘The fins are primarily used for hark fin soup and are a high ranking lelicacy. Typically used at banquets ind weddings, fins are being eaten by he wealthy because some believe they }epresent the ‘emperor's food.’

However, the demand for shark fins may result in the extinction of shark }pecies in 20 years, said the executive Hirector of WildAid.

“The few places in the