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The Plant's Newest Issue

Here are all of the articles that were featured in our latest issue!

Note: This is not the full version of our issue, it only consists of the articles. 

MAY 2024


The Mohawk Mothers and the Disturbing History of the Old Royal Vic By Clara Frey Staff Writer On October 27, 2023, a group of Indigenous Elders, called the Mohawk Mothers (Kahnistensera in Mohawk), became the first ever self-represented Indigenous Peoples to be granted an injunction in a Canadian Court . The Gazette reported that, after facing McGill University and the Societé D’Infrastructures du Québec (SQI), Justice Gregory Moore granted the Mohawk Mothers a safeguard order, which halted excavation and construction work on the grounds of Montreal’s former Royal Victoria teaching Hospital (affiliated with McGill University). The Royal Victoria Hospital, which closed its doors to patients in April 2015, is now the site of McGill University’s New Vic Project. According to McGill’s website, “The New Vic Project is a revitalization of the site of the former Royal-Victoria Hospital,” which aims to transform the former hospital into “a state-of-the-art research, teaching, and learning hub.” The Mohawk Mothers are concerned that the site of the former hospital, which is located on unceded ancestral Iroquois land, contains the remains of Indigenous children used as test subjects in MKULTRA experiments at the Royal Vic's psychiatric ward - the Allan Memorial Institute - also according to The Gazette. The Allen Memorial is housed in the Ravenscrag, former mansion of Sir Hugh Allan, a 19th-century shipping magnate. Disguised as a project conducting research into schizophrenia, MKULTRA was a covert CIA program. During the Cold War era, the CIA took an interest in Scottish-American psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, Director of the Allan Memorial Institute, for his research into the treatment of schizophrenia. Cameron’s research was characterized by its experimental and unethical methods. His approach involved “depatterning” patients by erasing their memories and reducing them to a child-like state, followed by a reconstruction of their personalities through “psychic driving.” Patients were subjected to repetitive taped messages while immobilized and sedated, sometimes for up to 16 hours a day. Patients also underwent other experimental treatments such as drug-induced comas, the administration of psychotropic drugs like LSD, and electroshock therapy at intensities far beyond normal practice - often simultaneously. Some patients were also placed in sensory deprivation environments and subjected to extreme levels of sedation and deprivation of basic needs. The result was often severe retrograde amnesia, leaving patients unable to recall their past memories and needing to relearn basic skills. The revelation of buried human remains surfaced through a convergence of archival records and the firsthand account of Lana Ponting, an 81-year-old survivor of the MKULTRA mind control experiments. “I was a typical, rebellious teenager,” said Ponting in her defence. “I ran away from home numerous times and finally, one day [...], I got picked up by the police downtown. [...] Next thing I knew, I was in the Allan.” Sent to Allan in 1958, Ponting says she was electroshocked, given LSD and other drugs, sexually assaulted, and made to listen to recordings telling her she was a “good girl” and a “bad girl” for hours at a time. She also describes seeing hospital staff digging graves with red shovels, and the sudden vanishing of her Indigenous friend and fellow patient, Morningstar. “Morningstar was also given shock treatments. [..] I went looking for her one day, and I could not find her. [...] And people said ‘Oh, she's gone.’ Where did she go? I don't know. She was just gone.” The Mohawk Mothers’ case also relied on the research of Philippe Blouin, a McGill PhD candidate in anthropology, who investigated Cameron’s secretive medical procedures. In his affidavit, Blouin wrote: “Given the nature of the treatments at the Allan and its affiliated institutions, there is … a high possibility that Indigenous patients could have died from them, whether from lobotomies, coma shock therapy, electroshock, massive doses of experimental drugs or other potentially lethal treatments.” “There is sadly a high possibility that test subjects having died from experiments would have been buried on site, as was done in residential schools across Canada.” The issue of unmarked Indigenous graves entered the national spotlight in 2021 following ground-penetrating radar discoveries at a former British Columbia residential school, with subsequent findings further amplifying the need for accountability and transparency. After securing the injunction on October 27, 2022, the Mohawk Mothers engaged in discussions with McGill University and the SQI to collaborate on devising an archaeological strategy for the former Royal Victoria Hospital site. As part of the agreement, the Mohawk Mothers have the authority to designate "cultural monitors,'' who will oversee excavations and perform ceremonial duties. On June 29, 2023, cadaver dogs detected evidence of human remains on the premises of the former hospital site. All three dogs signalled on approaching the same area of the wall near the Hersey Pavilion, which served as the hospital's nurses' residence. Despite the absence of further concrete evidence, the Mohawk Mothers Case has the potential to establish a new precedent for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Amidst their ongoing reckoning with colonial legacies and systemic injustices, the Mohawk Mothers say that “the need for Indigenous-led investigations into past wrongs is more critical than ever.” While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report marked a pivotal moment, the recent uncovering of unmarked graves and burial sites of Indigenous children across Canada highlights the necessity to extend our inquiries beyond Residential Schools to encompass other institutions where Indigenous children were placed, such as hospitals, correctional homes, reformatories, and psychiatric wards. Indigenous communities rightfully demand closure, truth, and the opportunity to honour and mourn their lost loved ones properly. Excavation work will resume this summer.

The DSU Should Spend More Money By Winie Coulanges Contributor Since the implementation of the new healthcare plan, the curiosity we feel towards our student union’s finances is not only natural, but it’s also justified. In the past twenty years, several Canadian student unions have been accused of financial mismanagement and fraud. In 2019, Global News reported that Toronto Metropolitan University’s union suspended some of its executives after credit card statements revealed fiscal mismanagement. Four years later, CP24 reported that union executives embezzled 250,000$ to spend on business class flights, Toronto Raptors tickets, virtual reality headsets, and to make payments to third party vendors. In 2011, CBC broke the news that the head of McMaster University's part-time student association was not only getting paid a salary of 126,151$ but also received a 12,000$ bonus and 101,116$ in retroactive pay. University of Toronto’s student newspaper, The Varsity, covered Dawson Student Union’s 2008 embezzlement scandal wherein an executive stole 29,000$ and the union couldn’t account for the 840,000$ it spent since 2005. The absence of bookkeeping, executives having personal access to the union’s credit cards, and the withholding of financial statements from the public for three years were aggravating factors. Since then, all those things have been rectified, thanks to the Union taking accountability for its indiscretions and students expressing their concerns at general assemblies. However, looking over the DSU budget for the 2023-2024 school year, I was shocked by how much money our union had at their disposal and how much of it remained dormant year to year. Last year’s budget left over an astonishing 221,027.50$ that was then funnelled into this current year’s budget, totaling 677,900.75$. The more research I did, the more inconsistencies were revealed to me. For example, the 2021 referendum proposed a 3$ increase in student union dues to keep up with inflation. “The DSU will essentially continue to grow poorer over the years with its current fee. Over time, the union will be able to do less with its budget since costs associated to employment, accounting, legal and of goods will continue to increase. This could result in the union having to offer less to its membership and student groups”. Yet, the audits from 2017 to 2022 reveal that there are always several thousands of dollars in surplus. More specifically, 192,615$ for 2017, 180,093$ for 2018, 75,001$ for 2019, 23,781$ for 2020, 236,789$ for 2021 and 151,950$ for 2022. How can you grow poorer over the years with money like that? Continuing to dig deeper, there seems to be huge gaps in the proposed spending and the actuals from the previous year. For example, 555.49$ was spent for team building last year, yet this year’s budget for that category comes out to 2,000$. Another example is found in the meetings category, which saw 733.50$ being used last year and upgraded to 4,000$ this year. How can these gaps and constant large surpluses be justified? With this information, I emailed the President of the DSU, Isabelo Beli-En David, on March 25th with a list of all the questions stated above, asking for an in-person meeting to clarify the concerns I had. He emailed back on April 4th with written responses to each question instead and ignored my wish for a meeting. Prompted with my questioning on the validity of the fee increase, he responded: “The increase in dues was necessary for the student insurance plan (DSU Health & Dental Plan) which was also voted on in the same year. After pushback from the College, we were finally able to implement the insurance beginning in Fall 2024. The change in the constitution increased the DSU membership fee from $19 to $22 and added a clause for the membership fee to automatically increase in accordance with CPI every two years. The change was instituted because the Dawson Student Union had and continues to have some of the lowest student fees among the CEGEP student associations, which makes it difficult to use our funds in a way that the around 10,000 students of Dawson can benefit. “ This answer offers completely different reasoning than what is stated in the official document detailing the questions and objectives of the 2021 referendum. With conflicting information, it’s hard to decipher what exactly is the truth. If this 6$ supposedly helped pay or paid entirely for the healthcare plan, why doesn’t the union absorb that cost themself when they have so much surplus, instead of passing that cost onto students? When I asked why some categories are overinflated when their actual spending was low the previous year, he answered with this : “Budgets are not necessarily representative of the amount of money which will be spent. If you look at this year’s budget, you will see from last year’s revenue projections compared to their expected spending, they planned to spend around 95% of their projected revenue ((564,800.00/594,091.22) * 100 = 95.07). Their actual spending ended up being around 57% of their actual revenue ((323,942.57/567,602.22) * 100%= 57.07%). There are many reasons teams allocate money in certain areas where the money won’t necessarily be spent. The legal entry, for example, has a lot of money set in case legal threats or proceedings occur. Travel expenses are not usually completely used because the need for them varies greatly from year to year based on many external factors. Same for hiring fees, staff training, etc. Large surpluses aren’t planned for, but they mean more available funds for the next team. Financial responsibility requires responsible accounting and keeping money for next year’s team is often a preferable alternative to spending it on needless things or on overpriced products/services we don’t have time to research or properly account. We are students like you after all.” This “save for a rainy day” attitude held towards this huge budget is frankly uninspired. The evidence shows that the “future” team of DSU executives rarely spends the surplus they have and thus the cycle continues. I’m left wondering why Dawson students are forced to scramble for money to fund initiatives that benefit us, while our money sits idly in a giant piggy bank. Is it absolutely necessary to leave the succeeding team enough money for a down payment every year? I find it interesting how the Union anticipates going over budget so often that they end up not only allocating way more money than needed, but neglect the fact that they have a dedicated category for contingencies if all these emergencies were to happen. Considering that last year with a budget of 10,000$ for contingencies, they only spent 238.50$, it’s not very clear why they feel a need to over-inflate their expected spending. Regarding his statement on not wanting to spend money on “needless things,” and not having the time to properly research or account for overpriced things - the use of the word “needless” is very interesting here, as it implies that the DSU has met every need a Dawson student could possibly have, and that there’s no room for improvement. It’s a weird opinion to hold when there’s a fundraiser every day in the upper atrium. In rebuttal, I would like to offer the following suggestions of things the surplus could be used for, that would greatly benefit students: grants for those doing unpaid internships, a bi-monthly edition of the Plant, daily free breakfast, daily Dawson Dinin’ and free one-time STM passes available to students in case of emergencies. Student unions are accountable to their constituents and they have a duty to work in their best interest. Therefore, I don’t believe paid executive members should be able to hide behind excuses when it comes to using the resources they were given. I understand that we are all students, but if the Union has bitten off more than they can chew, it’s worth reconsidering if this budget is being used to its fullest potential and adjust the following year’s fees accordingly. In the meantime, I can only encourage us to read the fine print and to stay informed on what our elected representatives do with the power they hold.

The Plight of Palestinian Political Prisoners By Sanad Hamdouna Cover Artist & Co-E.i.C. Since 1967, Israel has imprisoned almost a million Palestinians, largely on political grounds. These Palestinians are often imprisoned inside Israel’s 1967 borders — a violation of article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention — and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. According to Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, by the end of September 2023, Israel had around 5696 Palestinians imprisoned, including 1310 without charge or trial. A UN report supplements these figures, detailing that — as of July 2023 — at least 160 out of 5000 prisoners were children. These figures shot up dramatically after October 7th. By April 2024, the number of Palestinian prisoners had surpassed 9500, according to Addameer, a Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. This figure includes 200 children and 3660 prisoners being held under Administrative Detention. Administrative Detention consists of arresting and imprisoning someone who has not committed any crime under the pretence that they may commit one in the future. In other words: “just in case.” Palestinians imprisoned in this way can be held indefinitely and are not informed of the reason for their arrest, which Israel claims to be “secret evidence” that is never presented in court as these detainees are denied any form of trial. Considering the infinitely renewable nature of their imprisonment, these prisoners, including children, can be detained for periods ranging from days to several years without ever being charged with any crime. Palestinian prisoners who are afforded the dignity of a trial are tried under military law, unlike Israelis, who are tried under civilian law. Palestinian children are no exception to this, making Israel the only country in the world to systematically prosecute children in military courts. Yet these military court trials hardly present hope for a fair trial as they have a conviction rate of 99.74% according to Haaretz. B’Tselem — amongst other human rights organisations — attributes part of this high conviction rate to the large number of plea deals taken by Palestinian detainees. These plea deals are often seen as the better alternative to Israel’s policy of remand proceedings, which consists of imprisoning the accused persons for the entirety of their lengthy trial, even if they have not been found guilty. In other words: Palestinians are always presumed guilty when they should be presumed innocent. Palestinians may also opt to accept a plea deal even when they are innocent, as the time spent behind bars awaiting their trial will be longer than the prison sentence they would receive from a plea bargain. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, another factor contributing to this high conviction rate is Israel’s criminalization of various peaceful activities such as participating in outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, waving a Palestinian flag, or being part of organisations criminalised under Israeli law. These organisations include Palestinian political parties; NGOs; and human rights groups such as Defence for Children International; an internationally recognized human rights organisation protecting children’s rights; Al Haq, a human rights and international law organisation that is active and recognized at the UN; and The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, which provides programs to empower women and promote gender equality. Regardless of their crime — or lack thereof — Palestinian prisoners are kept in squalid conditions and subjected to endless abuse, amounting to torture. Endless reports and condemnations of Israel’s torture of Palestinian prisoners have been published by human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the UN, and B’Tselem. Additionally, numerous instances of sickening photos and videos depicting Israeli soldiers abusing and torturing Palestinians have been circulated online in the last few months. Many were posted by the soldiers themselves, signalling a culture of complete impunity within Israel and on the international stage. One of these videos, reported on by The Times of Israel, depicts IDF soldiers filming themselves abusing 7 Palestinian detainees screaming in pain, whom they had stripped, blindfolded, and handcuffed. One of the Palestinian men is being dragged on the ground while another is kicked in the head. One of many images analysed by Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence lab depicted three Palestinian men who were stripped to their underwear, severely beaten, and later urinated on. One of the men in the image was identified and gave this testimony to Amnesty International: “One of the Israeli officers who came, approached me and kicked me on my left side, then jumped on my head with his two legs pushing my face further into the dirt and then continued kicking me as I was head down, into the dirt, with my hands tied behind my back. He then got a knife and tore all of my clothes off except for my underwear and used part of my torn clothes to blindfold me. The beating to the rest of my body did not stop, at one point he started jumping on my back — three or four times — while yelling ‘die, die you trash’ … in the end, before this finally stopped, another officer urinated on my face and body while also yelling at us ‘to die.’” Amnesty International also spoke to a recently released Palestinian detainee from occupied East Jerusalem who — along with other inmates — was severely beaten by Israeli interrogators who broke 3 of his ribs. He described how Israeli interrogators would continually hit them on the head while yelling at them to keep their heads down. They would also order the Palestinian prisoners to praise Israel and curse Hamas, but even if they complied, “the beatings and humiliation did not stop.” Imprisoned Palestinian women are not spared from abuse and humiliation. Additionally, they face gender-specific challenges including poor hygiene for menstruating women, medical neglect for pregnant women, humiliation, sexually explicit harassment, and threats of sexual assault. Anhar Al Deek was a pregnant Palestinian woman from the West Bank who spent five months in an Israeli prison and was subjected to solitary confinement, cruel treatment, and interrogation despite being pregnant. She was slated to become the ninth documented Palestinian woman to give birth inside a prison since 1972 until her case went viral and international pressure forced Israel to allow her to give birth under house arrest instead. She spoke to local reporters about her experience, saying: “I was battered severely, even though I said that I was pregnant. They hit me on my head, back, and belly. They didn’t care. It was very cold. Even though I stated that I was pregnant and wanted a bed and blanket, they did not give me anything.” Ibrahim Shaheen, a Palestinian man from Gaza who was released after 50 days of captivity where he was kept in a group that included 4 captive Palestinian women, shared his testimony about the treatment of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons with a journalist from Middle East Eye: “They brought two female prisoners into our division, or inside the detention tents we were in, naked. They only had underwear on. I was one of the men who took off my pants to throw to the girls so they could cover themselves. I was punished for three days consecutively [with] beating.” He also describes seeing one of the women enter interrogation with long hair and exit with it having been completely cut off. Zeina Abdo, an 18-year-old recently released Palestinian Prisoner who was arrested at 16 for posting a Palestinian flag online, spoke to AJ+ about her experience in Israel’s prisons: “They beat, cursed at and assaulted me. I spent six days with no sleep, no food, no water, in a room with four [soldiers] torturing me. They threatened to torture me with electricity and to kill me.” Zeina is far from the only Palestinian child to be imprisoned and tortured in Israeli prisons — she’s also far from the youngest. According to UNICEF, approximately 700 Palestinian children per year, some as young as 12, are arrested, interrogated, and detained by the Israeli military. UNICEF also identified “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized” practices in these arrests “that amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture.” Defence for Children International collected hundreds of affidavits from Palestinian child detainees between 2016 and 2022 (inclusive) and found that: 59% of the children were arrested at night; 86% were not informed of the reason for their arrest; 75% were subjected to physical violence; 55% were asked or made to sign a paper in Hebrew, which they do not understand; 23% were placed in solitary confinement for interrogation purposes for two or more days; and nearly all of them were interrogated without a family member present. The case of Ahmad Mansara presents some of the most horrifying examples of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian children they imprison. Ahmad is a Palestinian from the West Bank who was arrested at 13 years old for being with his 15-year-old cousin, who allegedly stabbed two illegal Israeli settlers and was almost immediately shot dead by another Israeli. Ahmad was then run over by an Israeli driver and severely beaten by an Israeli mob, who fractured his skull and left him with severe internal bleeding. A video of Ahmed gasping for help was widely circulated online in which he was on the ground as the Israeli mob encircling him swore at him, yelling,“Die, son of a whore, die!” among other pejoratives. He was then arrested and eventually admitted to a hospital. A second horrific video of Ahmad was later released, depicting parts of his interrogation by an Israeli officer. The officer aggressively yells at him and points to something on a monitor while Ahmad, with a pained expression and curved shoulders, replies softly before he’s interrupted by the officer’s yelling again. The interrogation goes on like this with Ahmad progressively breaking down under the officer’s verbal assault. Ahmad cries and hits his head in frustration or holds it in his hands, saying, “I don’t remember, I don’t remember, wallah, wallah, I don’t remember anything.” The officer yells at him about moving and tells him to sit properly, Ahmad complies and grips the seat of the chair for support, still crying. “I told you, I told you correctly, everything you said. Stop. What else do you want? Stop.” This treatment is only one example of how Israel tortures and coerces Palestinian children into giving false confessions—a relatively common occurrence according to Defence for Children International. Ahmad was charged and convicted with attempted murder, despite the court acknowledging that he did not participate in the attack. The torture continued in prison, where he was placed in solitary confinement for almost two consecutive years, “in brazen violation of international law” according to Amnesty International. He now suffers from a range of mental and physical health issues including schizophrenia and severe depression. Not only are these Palestinians unfairly imprisoned, they’re also tortured, and their lives are forever changed. They exemplify typical Palestinian Political Prisoner stories, and freeing Palestine must also mean freeing Palestinian Prisoners, both present and future ones. Break the chains—free them all.

Everything to know about the Encampments By Defne Aliefendioglu Managing Editor Due to the security and privacy of the individuals interviewed for this article, both interviewees will remain anonymous. On Wednesday, April 27, as Columbia University President Minouche Shafik was ready to address Congress at a hearing on antisemitism on Columbia's campus, hundreds of Columbia students set up tents on the South Lawn of the university, starting the "Gaza Solidarity Encampment," a movement that would soon echoworldwide. Shafik gave the New York Police Department (NYPD) permission to carry out a large-scale arrest the next day. Officials from the NYPD declare that 108 students were taken into custody, making this the largest on-campus arrest at the university since 1968. At that time, 86 students were taken into custody for protesting against the university's discriminatory behaviour towards Black and Brown students as well as its affiliation with the Institute for Defence Analyses, which was conducting weapon research for the Vietnam War. On April 29th, as students begin to demand that Columbia University separate itself from businesses that support Israel's operations in Gaza, Columbia University began suspending students who were active during Wednesday’s encampment. Over the next 13 days, the University witnessed rallies, counterprotests, faculty walkouts, and a shift to hybrid and remote learning for classes and final exams. On April 29th, Shaifk gave the encampment a midnight deadline for negotiations dispersal. As the negotiations failed to reach an agreement, the university announced its decision not to divest from Israel and continued to suspend students who took part in the Gaza Solidarity Encampment. In response to this, the encampments expanded to other parts of the university’s campus, notably outside of Hamilton Hall, Lewisohn Lawn, and Hartley Hall. On April 30th, hundreds of NYPD officers raided the campus, arresting the students and dismantling the encampment. New York City Mayor Eric Adams reported that 282 demonstrators were taken into custody that day. This figure includes those who were at the campground as well as those who had marched from the university to the City University of New York. During these two weeks, students from around the world carried the Gaza Solidarity Encampment to their own universities that were complicit in the ongoing genocide. Some of these universities include Harvard, Yale, UCLA, MIT, Oxford, George Washington University, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Amsterdam, Sorbonne University, Bologna University, University of Copenhagen, and, among many others, McGill University. On April 27th, the McGill encampment began. Students demanded that the university sever its ties and investments with companies that support the genocide of the Palestinian people and demanded full transparency of McGill’s investments. According to McGill’s “Listed Equity Mandates | As at March 31st, 2024,” a publicly available document that lists McGill’s holdings that are above 500,000$, the university invests in nine of the top 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies in the world. Among these companies, the most notable ones that McGill University invests in are Airbus ($2,231,359), Safran ($2,043,634), Thales ($1,258,905), Dassault Aviation Group ($1,965,977), and Lockheed Martin Corp. ($535,531). Since 2018, the aerospace manufacturer Airbus has engaged in a partnership with Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) to develop Heron TP drones, which are utilized in operations targeting Gaza. As per the official website of IAI, this agreement, valued at $600 million, spans nine years and remains active. Next, according to Safran’s 2022 annual report, the French company has an agreement with the Israeli government to support the development of its Arrow 3 hypersonic anti-ballistic missile system. Additionally, Safran has provided surveillance technologies that monitor Palestinians and restrict their freedom in the West Bank, such as fingerprint scanners, facial recognition systems, and mounted camera systems. Thales, a UK-based company, worked with the Israeli company Elbit Systems to develop the “Watchkeeper” drone. Back in 2005, Thales partnered with Israeli firm Elbit Systems and established a joint venture company called UAV Tactical Systems. The Watchkeeper, which was modeled after Elbit's Hermes 450 drones, is a "high-performance, tactical unmanned aircraft system," as outlined on Elbit's website, is the result of the partnership between Thales and Elbit. In 1962, the Dassault Aviation Group designed a ballistic missile on behalf of the state of Israel called the MD 620, Jericho, as stated on the company’s official website. The company was additionally supporting Israel during the Six-Day War, which resulted in Israel taking control of the Gaza Strip. Finally, Lockheed Martin, the largest arms producer globally, openly acknowledges its provision of "superior support" to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) on its website. The company provides the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) with both air and ground weaponry, including the Hellfire 9X Missile, the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, and F-35 fighter planes. With the mission to challenge these investments, what began with 20 tents rapidly expanded into the largest encampment across Canada, drawing the attention of news outlets such as Radio-Canada, CNN, CTV News, and, among many others, CBC News. “It’s grown a lot. I would say there are roughly 75 to maybe 100 tents now,” said a Dawson College camper. According to the United Nations, more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed by the IDF since October, and, within the first three months of the genocide, Gaza was declared “unlivable.” There are no fully functioning hospitals and universities left standing. On May 6th, Gaza’s last safe zone, Rafah, became the target of heavy attacks after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu refused Hamas’ ceasefire offer. In a collaborated post that was published by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) McGill, SPHR Concordia, National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) McGill, and IJV Concordia, the demands of the protestors of the encampment consisted of the following: DISCLOSE all investments in companies complicit in the genocide of the Palestinian people. DEFEND students. No repercussions or disciplinary charges for any actions taken by students of McGill and Concordia in support of Palestine [...] DIVEST from all complicit companies and cut all academic ties with Israeli institutions. DECLARE a statement condemning the ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people and calling on the Canadian government to immediately cease all military contracts with the zionist state. On the fourth day of the encampment, two McGill students filed an injunction request to prohibit protests near McGill buildings, which was taken to the Quebec Superior Court. The following day, Labeau sent another message stating that “the number of individuals who have set up tents has tripled.” In the same message, Labeau claimed: “Last night we saw video evidence of some people using unequivocally antisemitic language and intimidating behavior [...]” 27 videos were included in the injunction that the students sent. One of these videos showed individuals chanting “All the Zionists are racist, all the Zionists are the terrorists” and saying “Go back to Europe.” However, protestors at the encampment have stated that the people featured in the video are not part of the campers.

The Economic Threat of Protecting the French Language By Sarah Bensetiti Secretary On Saturday April 20th, organisations such as the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and the Conseil du Patronat du Québec (CPQ) expressed their concerns through an open letter to the Montreal Daily regarding the new regulations introduced by Bill 96. In this letter, they called upon the Legault government to reassess its stance on linguistic matters, emphasising the potential economic repercussions of these new regulatory measures. Despite being active since June 2022, several aspects of Bill 96 remained undisclosed until January of this year. Enterprises are now compelled to adapt to the prescribed changes before June 1st 2024 if they desire to maintain operational status within the province. However, the clear oversight of the adverse economic ramifications entailed by these new regulations raises extreme concern for the Quebec economy, especially considering that it is still suffering from the lingering repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and escalating inflationary pressures. Hence, what do these new regulations entail, and what precisely is their impact? One of the newly introduced regulations bans the use of certain terms, such as “on/off” and “play”, which were, up until now, unaffected by the adopted bill. Given the widespread integration of these terms across various electronic devices, this prohibition poses a significant challenge to businesses that are presently operating in Quebec. Indeed, devising alternative solutions to such terms implies the establishment of industries that produce some goods using only french terms. Thus, the logistical implications simply do not make any sense: the associated costs and complexities may dissuade businesses from pursuing compliance, potentially culminating in their cessation of operations within the province altogether. This discourse finds itself to echo that of select and widely known businesses, such as Hot Topic and Chick-Fil-A. These businesses, having failed to secure exemptions for their exclusively English signage and products, abandoned establishing a presence in Quebec in favour of pursuing profit-maximising opportunities elsewhere in the country. So, due to these new regulations, fewer and fewer businesses will remain active in Quebec. This decrease in diversity obviously causes the emergence of monopolistic tendencies, thereby exacerbating consumer vulnerability in an environment characterised by already soaring market prices. In a desperate time for cheaper alternatives, these regulations would only deplete the market of viable competition, causing greater economic losses for the citizens of Quebec, who are already struggling to pay their day-to-day expenses. The ramifications of the new regulations extend beyond mere signage and adaptability concerns, affecting outdoor advertising practices as well. These practices are particularly vital for medium and small-scale enterprises who will bear the brunt of the newer regulatory mandates. The bill posits that all outdoor publicity must be presented in French exclusively, thus forcing businesses to redesign all their signage within a compressed time frame. This poses significant logistical and financial challenges. Indeed, the upcoming deadline may push the creation of signage that lacks the visual appeal and attractiveness necessary to captivate potential customers. Consequently, businesses risk experiencing a decline in customer engagement due to the perceived lack of effectiveness of their advertising efforts. And this would simply be because they were required to comply with the newer regulations… Moreover, adherence to the bill may compromise the essence and message conveyed by original signage. The translation may undermine its communicative efficacy and further exacerbate the potential loss of clientele. The resultant decline in revenue streams could precipitate the closure of affected businesses, thereby engendering a deleterious cycle characterised by diminished market options and an escalation in monopolistic tendencies, just as would the banished use of certain exclusively English terms... Even more threatening, these constraints exacerbate the inclination of consumers towards online purchases, thereby marginalising physical establishments and precipitating a cascading effect marked by a dwindling customer base and diminished revenue streams. Indeed, as businesses begin to stop their sales in Quebec, some citizens may see their required goods pulled out of their nearby stores. This will lead them to begin online purchases. Consequently, an increasing number of businesses may find themselves compelled to shut down operations. These shutdowns exacerbate unemployment rates and compound socioeconomic challenges within communities that are already struggling to make enough money for basic necessities. In essence, adhering to the new stipulations outlined in Bill 96 could result in significant economic setbacks. While the legislation's regulatory structure prioritises the preservation of the French language, it appears to disregard any other potential ramifications it might pose for the


Academia: Circle-Jerking or Intellectual Progress? By Thomas Frenette Arts & Culture Editor “Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly, Man got to sit and wonder ‘why? why? why?’, Tiger got to sleep, Bird got to land, Man got to tell himself he understand” - Kurt Vonnegut Perhaps the most comprehensive attempt to collect knowledge in the West is academia. Academia is the scholarly environment of universities and colleges dedicated to engaging with the truths of the world through written and oral discourses. Intellectual societies have indeed helped enlighten the educated public in philosophy, politics, economics, sociology and various other disciplines. The essence of all academic pursuits is to argue about other sources in the format of studies, dissertations, and essays. Another scholar engages with the first individual’s material, and so begins a continuous debate over the truth. Everyone cites everyone else; theories on theories, papers about papers, and thinking about thinking to transform them into “new” material. Academics and scholars dedicate their lives to this endless spiral of reasoning and logic to debate, articulate, and refine ad nauseam how knowledge ought to be framed. Inasmuch as these works are mere echoes of each other, they are only applicable in their own closed-circuit system. The knowledge they offer is unfit to be applied to life as much as it can be applied to other knowledge. They are not engaging with reality as it is; they are engaging with a reality contained within the rules that are constantly being redefined by academic works. But such knowledge is largely untested by real-life applications and it alienates us from the material it is supposed to elucidate. Of what use is all of this knowledge if the only relevant context in which it can be applied is other knowledge? In other words, for what use is academia produced other than for the sake of academia? There is a belief in academia that the intellectual progress of its works is engaging with a conclusion on life itself, while its only pride is the consistent inauguration of conclusions upon conclusions. This is what Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 19th-century American essayist, naturalist and philosopher, signaled as the spiraling of knowledge. In 1837, he cautioned academics of nurturing a “degenerate state” of society where one may “tend to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men’s thinking.” Western culture has indeed taken an absurd trajectory that gives more authority to self-gratifying and indirect accounts of a phenomenon rather than lived experience. By participating in academia, other sources of knowledge that have not been or cannot be recorded by academic endeavors are being dismissed. The compulsive search for intelligence through a mechanical and systematic lens results in the rejection of a huge segment of the wisdom of the world. Any form of knowledge which cannot be subjected to revision and republication is discredited as informal and unacademic. Emerson aimed to inaugurate a new perspective on intelligence that is not limited to a lazy exchange of theories, but built upon a duty to raise one another’s quality of life and ability to gain knowledge via trade of observations, experiences and ideas rooted in facts that are active and present in the living world, beyond the appearances and conjectures drawn up by academia. The world is full of pretense; so much is told about reality that it can be tempting to take all of this pretense as truth. Intelligence should not be categorically stored and accessed in written works; the raw material, or the source of the knowledge that academics toil to copy, makes written works pale in comparison. Academic study can only simulate the synthesis of this raw material that substantiates one’s experience of the world. To illustrate this, Emerson likens the absurd attempt of translating academic knowledge to life to “transplanting an oak into a flower-pot.” He suggests that an understanding of the real world must begin with real-life experiences. Doing so teaches not what the world appears to be or what academics proclaim it to be, but of the world as it truly is. Through this exposure of the world may be found endless beauty; Emerson says that “the artist may lose inspiration to paint having seen every piece of art that he can, but the man who lives will lose nothing at all.” Looking outward toward nature and inward without consulting external information teaches an individual to become a student of the world, alert to the beauty of the world and less to the unhealthy and excessive faith placed in academia. All in all, this is not to say that academia is inherently futile and misguided. Critical insight regarding a wide variety of disciplines has indeed been provided by academic works. However, the domination of conversations regarding knowledge by academia excludes too many paths to access and share knowledge. Exploring nature for oneself and not for the sake of academia is healthy for the body and for the mind by encouraging a genuine understanding of the world. Go touch grass, ne

Award Shows: Parading money disguised as talent By Ezra Bucur Creative Writing Editor Every year, from around January to March, millions of people tap into what is colloquially known as “Award Season.” This term is used to represent the myriad of different award shows meant to highlight culture’s biggest accomplishments in film, music, literature, and even science. However, amongst these award shows, the most popular ones gravitate towards easily accessible pop culture, such as The Grammys or The Oscars. Despite this popularity, there are many who spend their time critiquing this phenomenon, especially on social media. One of the most common jabs thrown, although often not meant to be serious, is that a specific nominee was “robbed” of their award. A recent example of this was at the 96th Oscars Ceremony, where Emma Stone won the award for Best Actress over Lily Gladstone. The competition was incredibly tight for this category, and it was only presented at the very end, following many tedious breaks in the show. There is a clear reason for this decision: profits and clicks. As any press is good press, the more the show goes on, the more the spectacle is displayed, the more money and free advertising come from those eager to watch their favorite actor finally get recognized. However, this recognition is manufactured, played up for the sake of constantly grabbing the attention of viewers. The Oscars are a perfect example of this. The ceremony balances both prestige and glamor, creating a sense of excitement that transcends talent being recognized. From the celebrity guest hosts, to the months of anticipation with the nominations, to the extravagant outfits worn on the red carpet, it is all a ploy to garner as much attention as possible. Society is now driven by entertainment, and this entertainment now has a new outlet: the online space. As tweets go viral, as posts get uploaded, and as texts between friends are exchanged, award shows now have to tap into the online market to stay relevant. Notably, the Oscars have declined in viewership over the years, only amassing 18.7 million viewers. However, the Grammys have increased in viewership, getting 16.9 million viewers since the pandemic. Emma Coulter, who writes for the Dartmouth University newspaper, theorizes that this is due to the lack of free time that many younger audiences have. It is therefore easier for them to keep up with music than TV shows or movies, as music can be listened to almost anywhere. Coulter points out that this could also be a factor as to why the average viewership age is 50, adding onto the fact most younger generations lean towards streaming platforms. This explains the need for the glamor, and for the constant presence of famous celebrities: very few people would tune in to an award show featuring unknowns. As a result, those underground artists, actors, and performers are unable to get a breakthrough. If they do, they already had ties to the industry or become viral on social media — a recent example of this being South African singer Tyla with her song Water. Ultimately, award shows are swept in the vicious cycle of virality: to conquer the world, the online world, specifically the American one, has to lift you up. Award shows are also notorious for rarely including works that exist outside of the American cultural zeitgeist. Additionally, even within American popular culture, it is mainly White people who get their work noticed. In the year 2015-2016, all the nominees for Best Actor for the Oscars were white, giving rise to the viral #Oscarssowhite tag. Since then, the Academy has attempted to correct this oversight, yet many feel as though this is done either disingenuously, or not far enough. In 2023, Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian Actress to win best actress, despite the Oscar’s 90-year history. Prior to her win, Halle Berry was the last actress of color to have received the Best Actress award, all the way back in 2002. This year, Emma Stone won, to the dismay of people online. Mant from the general public had hoped for Lily Gladstone, the first Indigenous actress to be nominated for the Oscars. This loss subsequently raised the issue of nominations: what good was it to nominate people of color if White actors were still winning? Additionally, if White actors were still cast as leads, then what good would the awards even serve? However, no matter how disappointing a loss or a victory might be, people will still talk about the Oscars, the Grammys, or any other award show. The parasocial relationships between actors and fans, especially when the latter see themselves in the former. This was exacerbated by the illusion of access that one has to these celebrities. Despite the distance in material wealth, one cannot help but identify themselves with the image they are being fed, which is simply a calculated profit margin.

Zombies: More than a Fictional Fear By Emma Caspi Voices Editor Zombies have become typical horror-movie tropes and Halloween costumes, but I bet you that you do not know the true or accurate meaning of the word zombie. The definition We have coined the term zombie with the living dead who have risen from their graves, seeking the taste of human flesh or brains. The picture we paint of them resembles Hollywood’s heavily CGI-ed or prosthetic-covered characters, played by famous actors and actresses. But what if I told you this portrayal is not exactly accurate? Only a few rare films, such as Victor Halperini’s White Zombie (1932), which portrays a Vodou priest in Haiti who ‘zombifies’ a young woman, accurately depict the origins and facets of zombies. George A. Romero’s movie Dawn of the Dead (1978), and subsequent films such as World War Z, Zombieland and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies created and perpetuated this now-traditional idea of what zombies represent. The world has ignored and whitewashed a crucial piece of history to make lucrative profits in theatres and costumes. Since the zombie myth is rooted more deeply in history than in American pop culture, it is time you know the even darker side of zombies. In reality, zombies symbolize the inhumanity of slavery and the misery endured by African slaves from 1625 to 1800. The idea of a zombie is a mixture of old African religious beliefs and the pain of slavery in French-dominated Saint-Domingue (modern Haiti). Zombie concepts were imported to Haiti from Africa through the slave trade. Slaves in Saint-Domingue in the 17th and 18th centuries were under French rule and worked to death on sugar plantations. Slaves were abased and abused: hunger, exhaustion from constant exploitation and intense discipline. They pined for solace. They believed that suicide was one of the only means to escape the sugar plantations. When they died, the slaves hoped to be transported back to Africa, or Ian guinée — this literally translates to Guinea or Africa in general, and figuratively means heaven or freedom). Only through Baron Samedi, the lord of the cemetery, could one navigate their way to this leafy green paradise. It was the only way to become remotely autonomous over their bodies. This way, there would be no more sugarcane to cut, and no orders to heed. Slave owners dispised when their slaves would commit suicide, believing it was thieving them of their proper service and property. However, the fear of becoming a zombie dissuaded slaves from committing suicide and their hoping for an escape. There was a good chance that those who took their lives would not reach Ian guinée but would be trapped in the Hispaniola plantations forever. Thwarting or offending the God Baron could prevent the voyage. They believed that once Baron rejected their souls, they would be trapped and given to mortals. Their souls would be toiled and ruled beyond death forever, being denied peace and tranquillity within death. They would, therefore, become zombies. Consuming salt was the only way to ensure that one's soul would return to Ian guinée. Slaveowners, aware of this condition, would serve bland foods to their slaves. This zombie myth gave rise to many aspects of the Vodou religion where shamans or Vodou priests reanimated corpses after the Haitian Revolution in 1804. Vodou was a mixture of West African religion and catholic rituals of the local population. There were multiple spiritual systems across different ethnic groups on the continent. Vodou was practised in Haiti, but also in the Caribbean, Brazil, the American South and other places with an African heritage. According to Haitian folklore and some parts of Vodou, sorcerers called Bokor held the power to create and manipulate zombies. Vodou was a unifying religion among African slaves that has been misinterpreted as sinister and harmful by modern-day popular culture. Haitian Americans are trying to combat stereotypes by clarifying that modern Vodou respects nature, remembers ancestors, and focuses on energy, vibrations and rhythm. Most of us have been inadvertently ignorant about zombies, as we had no choice but to believe what we grew up seeing. It seems appropriate to say that the modern-day zombie has been severely misconstrued, appearing as a costume you wear or a fictional character. However, the history of zombies is anything but fiction and serves as a constant reminder of the perpetual suffering the Haitian slaves endured. Eternal unrest can mean simply living forever in a decayed body, but it represents more precisely the horrors of slavery and the fear of its return. Zombies may be our imaginary fear, but they caused truly crippling horror among Haitian slaves.

Challengers: Beyond Tennis By Gloria Badibanga Staff Writer I remember when I first sat down at the movie theatre on the release date of Challengers on Friday, April 26th - one of the first things my sister and her friend jokingly said was: “What if this movie is only about tennis? ” Let me tell you, this movie was a lot more than just tennis. Challengers is a sports and romance movie directed by Luca Guadagino, set between 2006 and 2019. The story follows the three main characters of the movies; Tashi Duncan, played by Zendaya, Patrick Zweig, by Josh O’Connor, and, finally, Art Donaldson, played by Mike Faist. Tashi, who was once an outstanding tennis player that everyone had their eyes on, who turned coach due to an injury, has transformed her husband, Art, from an average tennis player into a worldwide known grand slam champion. She forces him to compete in a challenger event, which is akin to the lowest tier of competition on the pro tour, in an attempt to shake him out of his current losing run. When he finds himself across the net from his former best buddy and Tashi's ex-boyfriend, Patrick—who was once promising but is now burned out—tensions quickly rise. The director does a great job at using flashbacks and flash-forwards to connect all three main characters and to explain how the two best friends came to be well acquainted with Tashi Duncan (it was obviously because of their love for tennis and perhaps both of them finding the young Tashi incredibly attractive). At the very beginning of the story back in 2006, it’s just the two high school childhood best friends Patrick and Art, but the dynamic between them soon comes to a shift as a result of meeting Tashi. The star tennis player, well aware that both Art and Patrick are infatuated with her, makes a promise to offer her phone number to the winner of Patrick and Art's junior singles match. Patrick ends up winning and dating Tashi, but it’s very short-lived due to her and Art eventually blaming him for Tashi’s injury that would later end her tennis career. Between this event in 2006, and 2019, Art and Tashi come together to go on and live their life, build a family and completely lose touch with Patrick. The plot of the movie isn't the only well-executed element of this sports romance. A few other aspects of this film that make it a phenomenal masterpiece are the score, acting, and, most importantly, the cinematography. The way certain scenes of the tennis competitions were filmed invoked an immense feeling of anticipation and anxious suspense, and made you feel entranced. Not only did it make you feel like you were witnessing a tennis match in real life, but it made you feel like you were a part of the competition. A New York Times article explains how the director, Luca Guadadingo, was a neophyte when the production of Challengers first started: “I was completely ignorant about tennis,” he said. Perhaps that's why he was able to envision unique shots, like one that is below the net, or another where the camera is the ball, giving a spinning view as it hurtles across the court. I personally believe that Guadadingo’s initial lack of knowledge he had when he went into creating this movie made it so that it was enjoyable for both viewers who have no prior knowledge of tennis and viewers who are tennis fanatics. At the very end of the movie, the long-lasting feud between the childhood friends ends with Art scoring the winning point, an embrace between the two players, and a scream from Tashi - just like she once did after winning a tennis match in her adolescence.

​​Quiet on Set: Uncovering the Unsettling Cycle of Abuse By Sabina Bellisario-Giglio News Editor Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV is a docu-series directed by Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz detailing the hostile, and often abusive environment on the set of Dan Schneider’s popular television series’ on Nickelodeon from 1990’s to 2000’s. I sat down with Marie-Pierre Gosselin, the profile coordinator for the Psychology program at Dawson, to talk about the way abuse has effects on the development of a child as well as how abuse at a young age could trigger a cycle of abuse to form. The docu-series focuses on the pattern of profiles for these abusers, producers, vocal coaches, trusted people on set, something that Gosselin agrees is not uncommon when dealing with child abuse. “You're always likely to be abused by the people who are closest to you… somebody that has some kind of power over you,” she commented, noting the lack of regulation or safeguarding rules regarding the presence of adults on set. Former child actor Alison Sweeney also commented on the documentary in an interview with Fox News, explaining that “parents are really intimidated by production schedules and directors.” Gosselin reiterated how, unfortunately, this intimidation that keeps parents compliant and children unprotected leads to harsh problems cognitively. “We see lower IQ… attention problems… all the structures that are involved in memory,” she explains, highlighting the way executive functioning and self-control are severely affected. However, she points out that every abuser, as well as every victim, are different. While Amanda Bynes’ story is told by those who were surrounded by her at the time, Drake Bell relays the emotions and aftereffects of his abuse directly in the series, stating, “I think [Brian Peck’s abuse] led to a lot of self-destruction and a lot of self-loathing. I would try and just escape with alcohol abuse, substance abuse, really just anything to escape.” The depiction, or rather trope, of former child actors with substance abuse issues has been around since the Golden Age of Hollywood. Actors from different cinematic spheres, from Macaulay Culkin to Amanda Bynes have dealt with drug addictions. Paul Petersen told the Toronto Star, “Fame is a hard drug and when you are removed from the things that make you famous, you begin to seek alternatives. You’re looking for that high and drugs are a cheap and ill-considered means to gain that high.” Child actors are often susceptible to these harmful coping mechanisms due to their unstable family environments. Shauna Springer, a licensed psychologist, told Complex that parents of child actors who rely on their child’s income for financial stability can cause these issues to arise. She explains, “exploitation by a legal guardian — financially or emotionally — can lead to mental health or substance abuse challenges in a child star. The worst kind of abuse would be for a guardian to then take these challenges as evidence that the child needs to be managed by the very person who betrayed their trust in the first place.” The issues that arise when looking into abuse, especially in children, is the idea of comorbidity. Gosselin noted the globalization of research pertaining to abuse makes it difficult to pinpoint symptoms, whether they manifested at the time of the abuse or afterwards, are due to their experience or other factors. Therefore, the abuse that these child actors face could either mimic, or enhance, symptoms that they may have already been experiencing prior. Despite the individuality of these situations, childhood trauma, especially abuse, could have an impact on relationships formed into adulthood. Psych Central reported different ways this could manifest, whether it be “attachment styles, trust issues, communication styles,” or mostly notably, “trauma reenactment.” Gosselin provided an interesting perspective into the cycle of abuse when discussing the situation of Drake Bell. In 2021, he pleaded guilty to child endangerment after a fan allegedly claimed he groomed her from ages 12 to 15. Regardless of pleading guilty, he still denies these claims, however it provides an interesting point of view into how these abusive tendencies sometimes manifest into those who were previously victims. In a study with The National Library of Medicine, it was concluded, while understanding that every situation is different, “having been a victim [of childhood maltreatment] was a strong predictor of becoming a perpetrator, as was an index of parental loss in childhood.” These distressing traumas, as seen in the docuseries, are life-altering and could unfortunately manifest in self-destructive behaviours for the victim and sometimes those around them as well. While Robertson and Schwartz highlight as many voices as they can, detailing stories from inappropriate jokes, sexism, racism, and abuse


Ageism and Ableism Leads to Maltreatment of Residents in Quebec’s Long-term Care Institutions By Amaya Leduc Vega Contributor The COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to look at a crisis that had been left in the shadows for a long time in Quebec: the maltreatment of residents in long-term care facilities, known as CHSLDs (“Centre d'Hébergement et de Soins de Longue Durée” in French). In fact, in the first wave of the pandemic, Quebec witnessed the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in Canada, with a staggering 91.9% of deaths occurring among people over 70 years old, 66.3% of which occurred in CHSLDs. This high mortality occurring in CHSLDs highlights the dehumanizing conditions of life seen in those institutions, such as outdated facilities, insufficient ventilation, and insufficient staffing. This gap between the elderly and the rest of the population is due to ageism. Former Quebec Health Minister, Réjean Hebert, mentions that during the pandemic, CHSLDs ultimately became blind spots and people forgot about them. Hospitals were prioritized for resources such as masks and COVID-19 tests. Ultimately, the elderly were uncared for compared to the rest of the population. What struck Hébert most during the pandemic was the way that everyone seemed indifferent to how the elderly were treated in specialised centres. He remembers even hearing people mention during the pandemic that “the elderly should isolate themselves,” since they were the ones at risk. Others asked, “Why should the rest of the population suffer?” Not only did the government's complete disregard for the elderly in CHSLDs exemplify an ageist political decision, but also the lack of concern from the rest of the population reinforces ageist attitudes. Hébert, who is now a professor of Health Policy Analysis at Université de Montréal, points out that, even before the pandemic, “there was a re-allocation toward other priorities,” which was created by an exodus of doctors and nurses outside of CHSLDs. These faculties stopped becoming the priority, and hospital care was prioritized. This ageist government decision in a time of crisis favored funding for the care of the younger population and left the elderly in understaffed residences, with caregivers unable to meet residents’ basic needs adequately. Even now, in the post-pandemic period, maltreatment in CHSLDs remains an issue. A living example of someone who is suffering from this injustice is Daniel Pilote, a 56-year-old man with muscular dystrophy. He lives in a long-term care institution in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and he reported that he’s “been rough-handled by staff that has about 10 minutes to wash and dress him each day.” Pilote also expressed fear that “no one [would] get to him in time should his breathing machine fail.” His fear highlights the grave consequences of understaffed CHSLDs created by insufficient government resource allotment, causing the possible death of patients. Another case is Brigitte Lavoie, the sister of a resident from Residence Floralies LaSalle in Montreal, further exposing the reality of CHSLD residents. She says that whenever she would visit her sister, who has been staying in Residence Floralies since 2020, it was like “living a nightmare.” Her sister, who is intellectually disabled and incontinent, would have clothes on that weren’t hers, feces stains would be on her bed, her feet were extremely dirty, and her diaper was often unchanged. As we can see, not only have ageist government policies contributed to this poor quality of care, but caregivers are also at fault for ableism and discrimination in favor of able-bodied individuals. Since Lavoie’s sister is intellectually disabled, busy caregivers took advantage to provide her with less than the bare minimum of care. Despite Brigitte Lavoie’s complaint in February 2022 concerning ageism and ableism to the Regional Health Board’s Complaints and Service Quality Commissioner, nothing was done to improve the situation. Two months later, still nothing had changed. This reflects the systemic failure to prioritize the well-being of residents, and how neglected they are compared to the rest of the population. Despite complaints, no authority figures took any significant action to improve the quality of care of CHSLD residents. The crisis that is happening in CHSLDs requires a concerted effort to address ageism and ableism in society. CHSLD residents are as worthy of adequate care as any hospitalized patient. It is imperative that, as the younger generation, we value CHSLD residents and recognize that they have the same rights of care as anybody else. Even if they are older, or physically or intellectually disabled, it is unjust to provide care that is any different or any less than anyone else because, after all, “Old Age Matters” too.

Slavic Melancholy: Harvesting Hope After the Fall of Yugoslavia By Sophie Dugas Contributor In an interview with a psychoanalyst, famous performance artist Marina Abramović described the notion of “Slavic melancholy,” this supposed intergenerational and built-in struggle shared amongst those living in former Yugoslavia, and their descendants. Yugoslavia was a single state combining Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina that fragmented after Croatia and Slovenia’s fights for national liberty. Historically, tensions between the previously united countries have always been high. Some leaders demanded the maintenance and success of the unique state, while others’ ethnic nationalism preached to form an independent nation. However, this is far from the only driving force separating these nations: ethno-religious wars, disputes in political ideology, and the reclamation of certain territories contributed to the fall of Yugoslavia and to the sentiments of hope amongst separated communities. As a third-generation Croatian immigrant, questions about Slavic identities and Yugoslavian values have been a part of my vocabulary for as long as I can remember. I can recall books entitled “The Truth Behind Yugoslavia,” “Yugoslavian Inferno,” and “The True History of Croatians in Yugoslavia” filling my grandparents’ bookshelves when I was a kid. My grandmother narrated stories about how Yugoslavia was the true evil, and anything reminiscent of the Communist era could only evoke struggle and warfare. My grandma’s disdain for these events was unsurprising; she grew up poor in a small Croatian village that was prone to constant bomb threats and attacks. When entering early adulthood, she fought hard for her place in university and her right to a religious marriage. While state-mandated laws repressed religion and spirituality, my grandparents secretly hosted a midnight wedding at church to avoid attention from suspicious soldiers. Yet, her main concern remained her right to live. Shortly after WWII, prejudice spread like wildfire amongst the Slavic nations. Slovenia and Croatia condemned the Serbs’ one-state wishes, and Serbia criticized the smaller countries for refusing to ally their forces for “the greater good.” Multi-ethnic marriages in Yugoslavia were then nearly impossible; families even abandoned their children over differences in political views. The Yugoslavian separation war in the 90s is an example of a two-sided conflict; Slavics acknowledge each other’s pain, yet fail to define themselves. One could describe this as a thorny “love and hate” relationship in which communities wished the best for one another while simultaneously bombing their ethnic counterparts. Harming those once so close to their own became the price of creating a national identity. Decades later, after immigrating to Canada for my grandpa’s engineering job, my grandparents realized this conflict was far from over. Mass violence erupted during the Croatian War for Independence in the early 90s. Balkan tensions reached an all-time high when the Croatian resistance opposed Yugoslavian forces controlled by the Serbian government. My grandmother and grandfather spared a tear for the daily calls from home informing them that a loved one had been incarcerated, injured, or killed. The remaining relatives they had in Croatia huddled in a small apartment in Zagreb, drinking Rakija and praying they would live to see the morning. My family members who were lucky enough to leave the country rushed to Canada to wait until Croatia recovered from the looming threat of violence and insecurity. Others impulsively sought shelter in Hungary via a car that held young kids and all their belongings. Everything was scary: “Remember Sophie, we fought to be here. They fought to get away.”

Mind Over Matter: The Rise of AI and the Decline of Human Cognition By Raluca-Mara Mare Staff Writer Imagine a world where our thoughts are no longer our own, one where our cognitive processes have been corrupted by artificial intelligence. Imagine a world beyond the mind’s capacity for understanding, a world where there is no necessity for introspection or reflection. The technological revolution reached mind-blowing peaks since ChatGPT’s release in November 2022. This seemingly innocent and simple-minded chatbot can quickly and succinctly write hundreds of words on any topic. In addition, it can answer and explain any question, respond to endless prompts, and propose useful information at any given time. In times like these, the term existential threat is often employed in society to describe the fear of the future, particularly the one in which artificial intelligence is slowly setting in. The terrifying risks of science gone mad might include cyberattacks, deepfake disinformation campaigns, and autonomous weapons that can shoot without human supervision — terrifying threats that would make modern weapons seem archaic. Furthermore, as Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, warns, AI systems make it "relatively simple to construct" deadly biological diseases. My take on it is far from surprising. As much as I love the practicality of chatbots and the efficacy of the fast answers generated, I cannot help but be disappointed in myself whenever I turn to these tools for guidance. Developing an overreliance on these sophisticated chatbots could result in a loss of creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities as people grow accustomed to machines offering instant answers. Also, it can lead to skill loss, such as relying on spatial memory when navigating using traditional maps instead of navigation apps or knowing how to target important information when reading a book. AI reliance might also cause problems in human cognition through constant stimulation and instant gratification, causing shorter attention spans and a significant decrease in the ability to keep focus for an extended period. This cognitive decline can particularly affect memory retention as the nervous pathways won’t work towards committing facts and knowledge to memory and the world but rely instead on fast-powered engines at their fingertips instead of internal cognitive processes for recall. As for Chat GPT’s place within education, it can represent a big subject of conversation, particularly in cheating. Artificial intelligence has two sides when it comes to it. On the one hand, AI-powered technologies can facilitate cheating by giving students instant access to answers or even by handling assignments for them. This can promote shortcuts over real comprehension, undermining academic integrity and devaluing learning processes. However, AI can also be used to successfully identify and stop cheating. Artificial intelligence systems can identify possible cases of academic dishonesty by examining trends in student behaviour, such as abrupt increases in performance or resemblances between turns in work. AI-powered proctoring systems can spot suspect behaviour by analysing a student's eye movements, browser activity, and motions throughout a test; AI see

Boxed Identity: The Relevance of Personality Tests By Khadija Fatima Copy Editor The last one stares back at me from the screen, Question 54: Does this statement apply to you: I'm happy to follow the group with whatever they decide to do. I disagreed. The screen loads for a little too long — it's Dawson Wi-Fi after all. Your Enneagram is 9w8, The Advisor. That's another one to the list: INFJ, Ravenclaw, and now 9w8, The Advisor. I promptly share my newfound insight with friends, eager to compare results. As one of my friends delves into the associated description of my Enneagram type, I am met with a familiar refrain: “That’s so INFJ of you.” It is as though these boxes are all that define me, yet, within them, I find visibility. It’s human nature to seek understanding through defined borders: we want neat boxes to instill clarity in a world that can often seem chaotic. To define something means to make it clear, and you can quote your Humanities 101 teacher on that one. In a way, as we seek to define the world around us, we also seek to define the people in our lives. To understand and to be understood — this dilemma can be distilled into a handful of letters with personality tests with just a few taps on our phones. The options are endless and accessible: the Myers-Briggs Test, the Big Five, the Color Test, Enneagrams, you name it. Test-takers hope “that they will reveal previously unknown information about ourselves,” explains personality psychologist Simine Vazire. The Big Five, for instance, is a personality test that places people on a spectrum of five common dimensions. Truity lists these on their website as “Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.” Typically, users respond to inquiries about themselves and their behaviour given different social situations. They are then categorized accordingly based on the answers. For many, these tests offer a sense of belonging and validation. When asked about the meaning of belonging in the context of Personality types, a Dawson student, opting to stay anonymous, added: I think we’re all obsessed with these tests because we struggle to be part of communities as Gen Z — I mean, we want a sense of identity without that identity being problematic for once. And, to have that be a little more scientific than traditional astrology. Yet, PhD psychologist Jaime Lane Derringer notes that there is allure in reducing complex individuals to simple labels as “it would save a lot of time.” It is a promise of efficiency, a way to understand and to be understood, without a need for genuine connection. After all, it’s comforting to know that other people think and act similarly — you are an individual grouped into a community. Even so, our society has evolved beyond using these metrics for individual introspection, and since encompasses societal needs in the workplace for efficiency. Christian Much Svendsen, a change management consultant, highlights that recruiters argue that considering one’s personality is a more holistic approach to the application process, while also reducing time spent reviewing every candidacy as these tests can be eliminatory. A team knows what they need, therefore HR costs can also be reduced by hiring candidates that would inherently fit into the workforce. However, as society increasingly relies on these metrics, we must confront their limitations. The MBTI, for instance, known as a popular tool in recruitment agencies, has been criticized in professional fields as it does not guarantee consistency of results over time. Studies reveal that 50% of re-testers obtain different results in the second iteration of the test. As test-retest is one of many ways to verify the validity of a personality test, the MBTI test fails to be recognized within the field of psychology. The problem, it seems, lies in our cognitive bandwidth, a term encapsulating the human ability to reason, focus, and resist impulses. As our attention is limited and divided among stressors, external factors can render results inconsistent and unreliable. A lack of sleep or a family emergency can impact your results and thus give you a different result than your calm, reassured self. Hence, Svendsen argues that recruitment should not be based on personality tests alone. While the pursuit of self-understanding through psychology means categorizing with labels, it holds evolutionary value in navigating social dynamics. Individuality, however, must transcend standardized tests given specific contexts. How do we benefit from

The Fig Tree Dichotomy: Pursuing Passion or Pragmatism By Victoria Ormiston Contributor Recently, I came across a trend on TikTok. No, it wasn’t anything self-deprecating or cringy. It was an actual trend that made me think. To give you some context, around 56,000 people have posted videos to the sound of a woman narrating an analogy about a fig tree, from Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” (1963). Each video starts the same. The first slide is usually a picture of the person who posted the video, and the second slide is a generic picture of a fig tree. However, each fig in the picture is embellished with text that represents a different career aspiration or life goal the individual has. Furthermore, the interconnection between fig trees and career aspirations may seem out of the ordinary for those who are not familiar with the analogy being referred to. So, to explain it briefly, in Sylvia Plath’s novel, the main character, Esther, expresses her vision of a metaphorical fig tree that represents her life and the different aspirations she has. In essence, this analogy refers to the dichotomy of having to pick between what you love and what is realistic. It animates the feeling of longing for things that are simply unattainable and unsustainable. That being said, the online TikTok trend rips this analogy out of the book and transcends the barriers of literature by using it to reflect on our possible paths. While I enjoyed going through the rabbit hole of posts and watching each individual discuss their aspirations for the future, I started to notice something. Each fig tree was decorated with goals of becoming artistic directors, models, poets, authors, writers, musicians, and dancers, whilst also having more conventional careers like lawyers, teachers, scientists, paediatricians, and psychologists. Each caption was fabricated with the similar sentiment of really wanting to pursue one career, while simultaneously fearing the financial consequences of those actions - wishing that we could have many lifetimes to pursue and achieve as many things as possible. That being said, this trend also reveals the desires of the human species. It exemplifies our willingness to pursue dynamic careers that entertain our curiosity and push us to be creative, instead of having to work nine to five jobs, seven days a week, in plain grey office buildings. As a species, we yearn to have our minds fed and freed from the shackles of capitalism and the corporate economy. Yet, our institutions make it increasingly difficult to save ourselves from capitalism by divesting from the art programs and career sectors. In turn, this discourages children, students, and even adults, from following their desires because they are repeatedly shunned from ever thinking about it, being told it would ruin their life. So, instead, we put up constraints and pick careers that we think will make us happy, while also making us money. But don’t be fooled; the path to making these rational, yet heartbreaking decisions is monumentous. Though those decisions are infuriatingly difficult, they are also necessary. As described by Esther in the last lines of the analogy, “She saw herself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because she couldn't make up her mind which of the figs she would choose. She wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as she sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at her feet” (Plath 73). The closing remarks of this analogy marks an important realisation: that, yes, this decision is hard, but it must be done. It is not just something we can hit the snooze button on or pretend to forget about. Life does not wait for us.

Redefining Friendship One “Girl’s Girl” at a Time By Saima Mazumder Contributor After an eventful night of gossiping and getting tipsy, 18-year-old Tasnia Alam and her girlfriends wandered, hand in hand, through the streets of Montreal. As they ate ice cream and comforted each other through their breakups, Tasnia watched her friends yell excitedly about how they would always be there for each other. She realized that that is the true essence of friendship; supporting one another. That is what being a “Girl’s Girl” means. “It’s femininity at its peak,” she says. The “Girl’s Girl” trend is rising in popularity across various social media platforms. However, it gains most of its popularity through TikTok. It is a trend that encourages girls and women to have each other’s backs and uplift each other. In a society where women are often pitted against each other, this trend is one that truly changes the course of female relationships. Many women have indeed noticed the impact this trend has had on them. “Before, I was very toxic,” said Tasnia. “I would be jealous of [other girls], I would compare myself to them. It was always a competition. Whether it was grades or looks, there was always something.” Tasnia also says “Now, in my “Girl's Girl” era, there’s no competition. My friends and I support each other and we’ll hype up each other.” However, it is crucial to note that the idea of being a “Girl’s Girl” has changed a lot over time. 19-year-old Zuljinnah Syed attests that, “When we were younger, there was no such thing as a ‘Girl’s Girl’. However, there was the term ‘Girly Girl,’ which is someone who embraces her femininity. But it was really looked down on, back in the day. Girls were encouraged to be more masculine and tomboy”. The term ‘Tomboy’ is frequently used disparagingly to refer to girls who exhibit masculine traits. Hence, it unknowingly diminishes the power of girls. It is referring to a girl who likes “boy things,” as if it is better than “girl things.” The “Girl’s Girl” trend challenges traditional gender norms, especially in the context of feminism. The trend serves as a framework for fostering a community of empowered women who acknowledge and advocate for each other's rights and well-being. The true context of feminism does not imply that women are better than men. It simply gives a space for women to set aside petty differences and come together as one. “Women, for a very long time, have been conditioned to serve men, to do things for them, to present themselves for them,” explains the 19-year-old Dawson Feminist Union Executive, Grace Shone. “The ‘Girl’s Girl’ trend is really perpetuating that you should be doing these things for yourself and for women around you, instead of putting that energy into men.” Despite the fact that, from the surf


Welcome to the Olympics! By Jade Gagné Sports Editor From boxing to basketball and surfing to football, we have all seen the unique dance moves behind the “Official Olympic Dance of 2024” somewhere. The dance was created by the choreographer Mourad Merzouki and is not the only thing being discussed when the 2024 Summer Olympics are mentioned. The last time France welcomed the Olympics was in 1924. This year, the infamous French country is trying to set the bar high by hosting the Olympics again, which will begin on July 26th and end on August 11. Anticipation mounts as it is touted as the greenest Olympics, starting with a four-hour opening ceremony on the Seine. “What’s the Seine?” For those unfamiliar, It’s a 777-kilometre-long (483-mile) river in northern France that flows through Paris. The same river will welcome the Triathlon and distance swimming events—well, that’s assuming the events do not get delayed because of health issues. Last year, the Olympics’ organising committee cancelled the marathon swimming test and any swimming test events in August due to high water pollution levels. This year, 14 tests were completed on water samples taken from two spots in the Seine by the Surfrider Foundation Europe charity. In April, the same foundation warned that the samples showed harmful bacteria, including E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis, a bacteria found in human feces. “We know what the Pont Alexandre-III and the Eiffel Tower represent, but I think that the health of the athletes must come first [...] The organisers must accept that perhaps it will, unfortunately, not be possible to hold the events where they want to.", said the swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha to ADP on the sidelines of a competition on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach. Nonetheless, officials of the events are confident that the river will be clean by the time of the Olympics, considering that they do not have a plan B. I mean, who wouldn’t want to swim in human feces, right? It is safe to say that the event will bring light into those dark waters! As athletes voice concerns over health risks, visitors planning trips to Paris during the Olympics may also face challenges. If your summer plans include a trip to Paris, consider the economic changes the event will bring. From July 20 to September 8, the metro prices will double. A standard ticket (2 euros today) will cost 4 euros. For the whole day, it will be 16 euros instead of 8, and for an entire week, it’ll cost 70 euros instead of 35. This translates to $5 for one ticket, $23 for a day, and $103 for an entire week. The journal New York Times reported that the average cost of a one-night stay in the Île-De-France region that rings Paris is about 700 euros during the Olympics, compared to 169 euros last summer. Many Parisians are unhappy and do not recommend visiting France for the summer unless you’re ready to lose lots of money. France's government is striving for perfection for their star city— Paris. “The first step?” The social cleansing of the whole town. The government evicted hundreds of migrants and homeless people from a building in Vitry-Sur-Seine. As they left the building, they were encouraged to board buses that would take them to other parts of France. Over 50% held a refugee status, with many being employed. They were forced to leave, and in exchange, they participated in the “beautiful refining” of the capital of France. Another drama surrounding the Olympics involved French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura, who has the potential to perform at the Paris Olympics. However, her performance wouldn’t be of her songs but a remake of a song by the famous French singer Edith Piaf, which caused lots of backlash from far-right groups in France.


Sustainable Summer 101 Amanda Ajeneza Bana Science & Environment Editor Farah Hamami Contributor Sustainable summer? You’ve heard of sustainable energy practices and electric cars, but what do you know about a summer that’s harmless to your entourage? In the heart of Westmount, Dawson fosters over 890 species on its grounds, soon to be a thousand as Dawson College has joined the 1,000 species in 1,000 days initiative started by the Campus Biodiversity Network. From eagles to beetles, many organisms coexist just in the Peace Garden at Dawson College. Take a look for yourself this summer! When the gloomy clouds of finals and winter finally disappear, the Peace Garden is your best bet for a calming break between classes. As college students and the leaders of tomorrow, we should all practise sustainability even when we are outside of a school that promotes it. With summer approaching, it is especially important to practise sustainability to help combat climate change. Knowing that we should act is great, but it is even better to know how, where and when to make a difference. With that said, let’s take it one step at a time and explore sustainable practices together. One must first know what sustainability is. Sustainability is generally seen as the ability to support and maintain a process, activity or project over time. When talking of climate sustainability, however, the definition is much more complex. Being sustainable would mean changing our energy consumption so as not to contribute to the changing climate. The goal is to not only reduce our greenhouse emissions but to adopt new habits that promote eco-friendliness. If the 1.4 million Canadian undergrads all decided to start biking, walking or commuting in an eco-friendly manner to school, the impact would be astronomical. Imagine the influence these newly adopted habits would have on not only future generations but older generations too. Humans are intrinsically followers, so setting a good image for our neighbour might just be enough to get a domino effect going for years on end. We interviewed sustainability specialist, Chris J. Adam, for advice on how to be sustainable this summer. He has been head of the Sustainability/Living Campus Office here at Dawson College since 2008. Mr Adam is an inspirational and involved member of the faculty with awards such as the “Teaching Excellence Award” from Dawson College (2004),” Governor General of Canada Meritorious Service Award” (2022) just to name a few. Through Chris’ concept of Living Campus, not only has Dawson College taken the initiative to be carbon-neutral forever, but it has also become a model of sustainability and well-being according to The Governor General of Canada’s website. He helped us better understand how the importance of sustainable living is crucial to combating climate change. Emphasising the personal responsibility that we all have in taking initiatives, as small as they can be, Mr. Adam affirmed the need for mindful decision-making when choosing transportation methods, energy usage, consumption habits and waste management. He also encouraged educating ourselves on what practices we could do in groups, like cooking old family recipes. In an interview, he also shared some scoops with us. Chris revealed that the college had successfully reached its goal of officially being scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon neutral. He assured us that the school had met the UN climate crisis action goals of 2030, given in 2021-2022! He said that it was only achieved thanks to the student's and staff's involvement through the management of every single item that was bought and used on campus. In another interview, this time with CBC Radio Canada, he said: “We’re trying to show that nature is a catalyst to stimulate reading, writing, and memory development because it reduces stress.” His brilliance had been called upon in April to demonstrate the progress attained by some of the sustainable programs and projects of the school. So, what can Chris tell us about sustainability, tips, and practices for the summer?

Jane Goodall and the Ethics of Conservation By Xavier MacLaren Contributor The domain of ecology, a field of study largely based on the work of twentieth-century scientists, such as Jane Goodall, investigates the relationships between different species of living organisms and their environment. The work done by ecologists, less chemical and experimental and more often statistical, political, and ethical, involves making decisions as to which species are most important to protect in a threatened ecosystem, which natural ecosystems and bioregions should be protected at what cost, and finding the most effective ways to protect targeted species while minimizing harm done to them. These wide-ranging challenges often come into conflict with social values, human development, and industry, and one of the first researchers to face an issue of this magnitude in the field was Jane Goodall. Born in 1934, this English primatologist and anthropologist conducted extensive research in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, examining the social and family life of chimpanzees and their interactions with their food chain. One of the most important ethical dilemmas faced by ecologists is balancing the necessity of conserving endangered species with the external pressures of deforestation, the trade of wildlife, and biomedical research for the sake of economic development. Often, the strategy employed by ecologists to counter the extreme pressure placed on whole ecosystems by agriculture-related deforestation, wildlife trade, timber production, and the innumerable other causes of habitat loss, is to protect a single species at a time. These species are often keystone species, meaning that their numbers are relatively low in a given environment, proportionally to the ecological impact they have: this can apply to seed-dispersing primates and birds, apex predator fish, and insect pollinators, and the benefits of conserving these species are often not only much more significant than protecting other species, but are more effective and realistic ways to preserve ecosystems in the face of human development in sensitive areas than an all-or-nothing blanket conservation approach. Gorillas and chimpanzees are often described as falling under this category, being indispensable seed dispersers, and the conservation work of Jane Goodall in Tanzania, alongside her peers Dian Fossey and Biruté Galdikas, has been essential to protecting not only these Great Apes, but also their environments, in ways that the local communities around them are able to develop within certain boundaries. The work of Jane Goodall, one of the eminent ethologists and wildlife biologists of the twentieth century, in chimpanzee conservation in Tanzania, was confronted by multiple ethical quandaries during the thirty years that she conducted research in Gombe National Park. The sale of primates for biomedical testing, the importance of the bushmeat trade to the region’s economy and nutrition, and the formerly unstoppable expansion of agricultural areas into rainforest, all raised important questions about the role of a British scientist becoming implicated in local politics and land use of a formerly colonized African people undergoing rapid economic development. However, the utility of the TACARE program’s education, cooperative land-use planning, and development of forest-friendly economic opportunities, alongside the duty that humanity has always had, but feels now more than e

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