JOVAN POPOVIC / SPORTS EDITOR
In one of the most highly anticipated exhibition games of the year, the Marauders lose after four sets against the NCAA division one powerhouse
Last season the men’s volleyball team made a huge statement after finishing the regular season undefeated and winning the Ontario University Athletics provincial title. Now McMaster University’s strongest team is finally getting their new season started.
Given the success from the previous season, the team got the opportunity to have a very meticulous preseason lined up. Prior to the 2021-2022 season, they only played one preseason game against Queen's University, where they were victorious with a three to one result.
This season, however, has been much more exciting for the Marauders. Thus far the team has played four exhibition games to prepare for the OUA season, but the most exciting of the group just took place on Oct. 15.
The big game came against American powerhouse school, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Historically speaking, the team usually attempts to face at least one American counterpart each season, and with the popularity of American college sports, it quickly becomes one of the most exciting games of the school year despite not counting in the standings.
The Marauders would end up losing by a final score of three to one but kept it close throughout with the individual set scores being 20-25, 24-26, 28-26 and 17-25. They continuously showed resilience, as proven by the scores heading north of the typical 25 on multiple occasions.
The Marauders will have a chance at redemption following the winter break in January, when they continue the North America Challenge. This time they’ll match up against the 2018 and 2019 American national champion and 2022 runner up Long Beach State University Dirtbags. The matchups will take place on Jan. 5 and Jan. 7 in Hamilton.
Despite the disappointing outcome of the Buckeyes game, the team remains one of the strongest in the continent. They match up against tough opponents for a reason and look to take the competitive mindset from these games into the regular season as they attempt to go for the gold once again.
It’s the biggest margin of victory yet, but this time in an unfortunate Marauders loss for the Marauders women's rugby team
As the McMaster University women’s rugby team entered week five of competition, they geared up to face the Queen’s Gaels. The Gael’s hold the number one spot on the U Sports women's rugby leaderboard and are the reigning national champions. It was obvious from the get-go that it would be a tough match ahead.
Coming into the week McMaster ranked quite highly themselves, having secured the number nine position in the U Sports ranking. They were coming off a 77 to zero win against the Laurier Golden Hawks and looked to provide a real challenge for the Gryphons.
Unfortunately for the Marauders, they weren’t able to provide much resistance in their battle with Canada’s number one, losing by a final score of 96 to three. Following the loss, McMaster was removed from the U Sports top 10 list.
Facing a top ranked team has proven to be a challenge for most teams. The top five ranked teams have yet to be beaten.
Katie Mcleod, the captain of the women’s team, discussed how difficult it can be facing teams like the Gaels and the strategy that goes along with these big games to ensure the team keeps on moving forward.
“We’ve been focusing on setting goals going into games. Not necessarily score focused goals, but systems goals,” said Mcleod.
She noted her team seemed to know this game would result in a defeat, showing the importance of goal setting to continue measuring progress regardless of the outcome.
“Going into our Queen’s game, we kind of knew it would be a loss,” explained Mcleod.
The game ended going in the way of the Gaels, as was apparently anticipated. Mcleod was the lone scorer for the Marauders.
But why do these scores keep occurring? How do these substantial margins continue to happen game after game and for every team, not just McMaster?
“It comes down to the legacy that teams have developed. Some teams have full time head coaches, which provides for better recruitment,” said Mcleod.
This message seems to ring true, seeing the recent scores throughout the league. It also makes sense that stronger players recruited to only certain schools would lend itself to the creation of uneven scores. Though it looks like McMaster is trying to compete with these top ranked teams with the addition of head coach Chris Jones and his coaching staff.
“Now that we’ve gotten a new coaching staff, I know that recruitment has become something more on the radar. Hopefully in a few years we can be at a higher level,” explained Mcleod.
Looking to finish the season strong, the Marauders women's rugby team will face York and Brock to wrap up the season. It will become very important for the team to keep their focus on the season ahead, despite the prospect of a promising future they may already be looking forward to.
C/O Travis Nguyen
Kicker: After a tough opener against the Mustangs, the Marauders have a big season ahead.
Although the McMaster Marauders football team started their season with a tough loss against the Western Mustangs in their opening game, the reigning provincial champions are confident of progressing through the year with considerable success.
The opening game against the Mustangs was the first game the Marauders played in over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the Ontario University Athletics association cancelling numerous championships to curb the spread of the virus. McMaster had won the 2019 Yates Cup prior to the cancellations, having beat the Mustangs 29-15 in London, allowing the team to come into the opening game with full confidence.
The Marauders did not start the opening game well. Within the first quarter they were trailing 7-0. Things did not get better for them within the second quarter either, at which point they were losing 14-0, with Keon Edwards scoring the first two touchdowns in the game. Although the Marauders’ state did not change much in the second quarter, Jackson Cooling managed to hit back with a six yard touchdown.
The closest the Marauders got to a lead was in the third quarter, where they played significantly better, scoring two field goals. Both field goals came courtesy of Adam Preocanin, who managed to bring the game to only a four goal difference at the end of the third quarter. Although the Mustangs’ Brian Garrity hit back with a 45 yard field goal mid-quarter, the Marauders narrowed the Mustangs’ lead by the end of the quarter to a score of 13-17.
In the fourth quarter all went south for the Marauders, as they found themselves in their deepest hole yet. After a hopeful third, the Mustangs put their efforts on display, as they scored several touchdowns and one field goal in just 15 minutes. The start of the disappointing quarter began 16 seconds into the play, where Keon Edwards scored a touchdown (his third of the game). Just four minutes later, G. Campbell scored yet another touchdown for the Mustangs, this time from a long 25 yard pass from Jackson White. The last touchdown of the game came from Brett Ellerman, who put the Mustangs ahead in a big lead of 38-13. The final points of the game came from Brian Garrity, who scored a 25 yard field goal, concluding the scoreline to a brutal 13-41 defeat for the Marauders in their first game of the season.
While the game did disappoint, the Marauders are still confident that their season will continue on good terms; they are keeping their heads up. Ryan Leder, the Marauders defensive end, stressed the importance of the team keeping their spirits up, noting that the first loss has not affected their morale.
On the topic of returning to play after substantial time off, Leder didn't hesitate to show his sheer excitement for the comeback of the varsity sport after a year and a half.
“It almost seemed like [COVID-19] was a never ending off season . . . It was a very tough time but I am extremely excited to be back and playing. On our first game against [the Mustangs], the audience was amazing and it's truly something that we all missed,” said Leder
The next game that the Marauders play comes against the Waterloo Warriors, on Oct. 2. Although it is their second game of the season, it will be the first time the Marauders will play in front of a home crowd after over a year. As such, the event will also be considered as a homecoming. When asked about the homecoming and the fans, Leder invited all McMaster students to come and support the team.
“It's been a very long time, all of us are very motivated to do well. We are all excited to finally play in front of a big crowd and we need your support. McMaster has been on the forefront with COVID-19 and I am certain that the game will be a safe environment for all,” said Leder.
The tickets for the homecoming game against the Warriors are on sale now, and are available on the Marauders Website.
By: Areej Ali
This past November marked the launch of “Tax-Free Tuesdays,” an initiative proposed by McMaster Students Union president Ikram Farah during the 2018 presidential election.
The pilot project, created in collaboration with McMaster Hospitality Services, entailed offering students a 13 per cent discount at La Piazza during the month of November.
Farah initially created the initiative in effort to promote food affordability on campus.
“Food insecurity is real. The MSU invests in the operations of the MSU Food Collective Centre to offer immediate food support to students,” said Farah in a Silhouette article about the project from November.
With the winter semester coming to an end, McMaster Hospitality Services director Chris Roberts has confirmed that “Tax-Free Tuesdays” project will not continue in the future.
The aim was to have increased traffic flow in La Piazza, which would offset the financial losses resulting from giving students the discount.
According to Roberts, La Piazza did not see increased traffic in November.
“The data clearly showed that our transactions on the Tax-Free Tuesdays were no different than previous Tuesdays ,which resulted in a significant loss in revenue over the course of the pilot,” said Roberts. “This indicates that students continued their usual habits regardless of the discount.”
He cites Union Market’s elimination of their boxed water, suggesting that McMaster Hospitality Services must continue to operate in a financially responsible manner.
As such, the “Tax-Free Tuesdays” project will likely not resurface next year.
When asked for her comment on McMaster Hospitality Services’ decision, Farah did not provide a response to The Silhouette.
There is a lack of clarity with respect to McMaster students’ feedback from the project, including whether or not they believe there was sufficient advertising from the MSU.
Farah and the MSU have also yet to publicly respond to Roberts’ comments and McMaster Hospitality Services’ decision.
“I believe there are other initiatives that we could look at that serve the needs of students who are financially challenged that will not affect our financials in a negative way,” said Roberts.
An example of one such initiative is Bridges Cafe’s new “Cards For Humanity” program, a pay it forward initiative through which students donate to other students.
According to Roberts, students can expect to see various food accessibility initiatives emerge, but “Tax-Free Tuesdays” will no longer be one of them.
On Jan. 30, 2017, the McMaster Students Union announced plans to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles from Union Market as part of a strategy to work towards a more sustainable campus.
However in the fall of 2017, the newly elected board of directors decided to return single use bottled water to Union Market. Soon afterwards, boxed water was pulled from shelves.
Proponents of the boxed water project say that it was the first step of a plan to work towards sustainability on campus. According to others, the project was doomed from the beginning.
Former MSU president Justin Monaco-Barnes introduced boxed water as a more environmentally friendly alternative to bottled water. Monaco-Barnes was elected on a platform of sustainability, and had included the implementation of boxed water in his campaign.
Boxed water cartons are recyclable and made from well-managed forests. Furthermore, less energy is required to ship, produce and package boxed water bottles.
Prior to making the decision to phase out single use plastic water bottles, the MSU Advocacy team, led by Blake Oliver, had compiled a research report considering the sustainability, marketability, and financial considerations of implementing boxed water.
According to Monaco-Barnes, boxed water was meant to be the first step in a long-term plan to push the university to eliminate single use plastic water bottles altogether. By taking a moral stance against single use plastic water bottles, the board of directors hoped to encourage the rest of the university to follow suit.
Monaco-Barnes stated the next step in the project would have been to implement a water bottle filling station at Union Market complete with options for adding flavour and carbonation.
“By selling plastic water bottles again and undoing this ban, the MSU has effectively undone not only the work that was put into this effort, but has also undone the planned multi-staged process by removing the underlying principle,” stated Monaco-Barnes in a letter responding to the decision.
According to Jeffrey Campana, the current Union Market manager, the main issue with boxed water was the financial losses. Bottled water had been one of Union Market’s top selling items, and the switch to boxed water led to revenue losses resulting from both a lack of student interest and a lower profit margin on boxed water.
Campana was a cashier at the time that boxed water was introduced. He stated that the lack of interest in boxed water was a result of a higher cost, reluctance to purchase an unfamiliar product and an ineffective advertising campaign.
Boxed water was more expensive than the least expensive bottled water. For example, Eska was sold for $1.13 for a 500 mL bottle, while a box of water the same size cost $2.49.
Additionally, Campana noted that students were hesitant to purchase boxed water due to its unusual design. Since there were other places on campus that continued to sell bottled water, consumers were not forced to make the switch to boxed water.
Campana also stated that students were not effectively incentivized to purchase boxed water. In early January the MSU produced posters and infographics giving information about the environmental impact of bottled water. The graphics were displayed in Union Market.
However, according to both Campana and the 2016-2017 Union Market manager, a more robust and long term marketing campaign might have made boxed water sell more successfully.
The previous Union Market manager stated that she had not been properly consulted when deciding to phase out bottled water and market boxed water. The decision to transition to boxed water came as a directive from the board of directors instead of being a result of collaboration with Union Market Management.
Generally, the part time manager of Union Market is responsible for deciding what items to stock. However, since Union Market is owned and operated by the MSU, the students union president and board of directors can make decisions about what is sold.
If she had been consulted, the previous Union Market manager stated that she would have worked towards a long term advertising plan in preparation for the introduction of boxed water.
“I don't think it would have had the same results had I been a part of it like effectively,” she stated.
In addition to being more expensive for consumers, boxed was also more expensive to produce. This meant that Union Market made less money off of each unit of boxed water sold than what they made off of bottled water.
“I think it's a great product, I just would never sell it. Simply because I don't make money off of it, the MSU doesn't make money off it,” said Campana.
For Monaco-Barnes however, the overall purpose of the campaign was not to sell more boxed water. Ideally, students would switch to reusable water bottles and would therefore stop buying water from Union Market altogether.
Monaco-Barnes had anticipated that a revenue loss was likely to occur. However from his perspective, the environmental considerations outweighed the financial losses.
“Because it's such an important cause, becoming more sustainable and reducing carbon footprint, I think it's okay if it's going to take a bit of a financial hit,” said Monaco-Barnes. “That's the crux with sustainability […] if it was an easy, cheap, simple solution, everyone would be doing it," he added.
To help offset some of the financial losses from the removal of bottled water, the board of directors decided to raise the costs of other best-selling items at Union Market such as chocolate milk. In 2017, the price of chocolate milk increased from $1.86 to $2.25.
According to MSU General Manager John McGowan, prices were raised so that Union Market could continue to financially support its cost centres. However, they not raised to the point of recoupling the lost revenue from bottled water, as this would have made prices unaffordable.
According to the Union Market manager at the time, however, this price increase was not enough to make up the losses from bottled water sales.
Bottled water has since been reintroduced, meaning that Union Market is no longer facing revenue losses resulting from its absence. However, the price of chocolate milk has not been brought back down, despite being raised to help compensate the loss of bottled water.
Campana noted that the price of chocolate milk may still have increased due to inflation.
“$1.86 is miles away from being financially sound in 2019,” stated Campana.
Monaco-Barnes noted that the structure of the MSU makes continuity difficult. Due to the high rate of turnover in student government, long-term projects often do not get seen to completion.
While the overall project was ambitious, the implementation gap and lack of year to year continuity meant that the boxed water plan was short-lived.
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After weeks of ogling from afar, everything seemed like it went well when you finally met in person. You dressed to the nines. You felt like you made a connection. You radiated confidence, proved you were educated on all the relevant topics and you laughed at all the right moments. But they still haven’t called you back. You wait a day, then two, then a week. Still nothing. You start to wonder if maybe you didn’t come off as great as you thought you did.
Even worse, maybe they’ve found someone else. You think about nudging them with something along the lines of “I was wondering if you thought any more about last Saturday,” but eventually decide against it. You don’t want to look too desperate. And when they finally do reply, it’s with the words you’ve always been dreading. So you pull out that pint of ice cream and bawl in front of last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, trying hard not to question your self-worth. You just weren’t good enough for them. You didn’t get the job.
I’ve played out this scene so many times that, if I lived in the Harry Potter universe, it would be probably be my Boggart. In fact, I used to be so terrified of rejection that for the majority of my first year at McMaster, I kept my head low, and I refused to apply for anything and everything. Consequently, while my friends volunteered in Peru or earned money from either part-time jobs or their co-op term, I spent much of my summer in a slump. Only one good thing came out of it, and it wasn’t the abysmal grade I received from sacrificing my June and July to the godless art of physics: it was my determination to make the following summer fruitful.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that you simply cannot escape some kind of application for most of the things you encounter over the span of your university career. If you need a summer job, you have to apply. If you want to become a Welcome Week rep or a CA in residence, you have to apply. If you’re looking for a research position in a professor’s lab, you have to apply. Whether it’s a co-op job, an internship or even a higher-level entry program, your fate is inevitable. One way or another, you’ll have to apply.
Taking the initiative to apply for new opportunities can be daunting. For someone who lacks confidence or struggles with social anxiety, the mere thought can be incredibly off-putting, if not insurmountable. After all, what’s the point of going to the trouble of applying for something, if you aren’t likely to get the position anyway? Why waste your efforts, when they can probably be better spent elsewhere? Why set yourself up for what can only be imminent disappointment?
I’ve been ignored a handful of times, and I’ve been rejected far more than I care to admit. I’ve had interviews where I tripped on my words, only for them to untangle once I left the room with my reputation unsalvageable. I once had an interviewer laugh at me because I was so unprepared, and there have been times where I didn’t end up with the position even when I felt that my interview had gone better than I could have ever hoped for.
I can say with the utmost certainty that I detest applications with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, and yet I still continue to put myself through it at the expense of my own comfort. While that might just mean I have masochistic tendencies, the more I face my old fear of rejection, the more it becomes clear to me that getting rejected isn’t my Boggart at all: my Boggart is never knowing whether I would or wouldn’t be rejected because I couldn’t find it in myself to try.
The worst thing we can do to ourselves is to let our own self-doubts dictate what we believe we’re capable of. Just because you might not get a job doesn’t mean you won’t ever get a job, and just because you weren’t considered good enough for one position doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough, period. You are. If there’s something you’re interested in, you have to try. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself, and if you don’t, something else will come along. Whether it’s in the context of other people or your career, while rejection is an inevitable part of life that everyone has to deal with at one point or another, it’s not the end of the world. Armageddon is. And when it arrives, I know I’d like to have something to show for it.
Photo Credit: Flazingo
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Banner dreams will have to wait another year for McMaster.
At the OUA Final Four at the University of Toronto’s Goldring Centre last weekend, the Marauders got a tough semi-final draw getting matched up against Toronto — the best team in the OUA and the No. 2 team in the nation.
McMaster pushed the Varsity Blues further than any OUA team had all year. Mac came out of the gates firing and dictated the match early on. The Marauders were playing well and looking energized while the normally unshakable Varsity Blues looked out of sorts.
McMaster’s first set win was the first time Toronto trailed since Oct. 31. Toronto took the second and third sets handily before Mac responded late in the fourth set with a comeback, but Toronto muffled McMaster’s furious comeback with a 30-28 fourth set win. Just a week removed from their unforgettable 36-34 second set win over Windsor, McMaster almost pulled off another wild set win.
The comeback wasn’t in the cards this time around.
Just two points away from sending Toronto to their first fifth set of the year, McMaster fell in four. The 3-1 match score doesn’t display the incredible fight the girls showed. They started the match on a good note, but Toronto just outworked them to the end. In fact, that’s what Toronto did to every team this year. That’s why they’re 21-0 entering CIS Nationals.
Head Coach Tim Louks had nothing but praise for the Varsity Blues, who ended up capturing their second consecutive conference title.
“Toronto was great, but Toronto has been great all year long,” said Louks. “We weren’t good enough. That’s as good a team as I’ve seen in a long time.”
Third-year libero Carly Heath confesses that Toronto wasn’t themselves at the start.
“They made an abnormal amount of unforced errors in that first set. We just took what they gave us. We stayed consistent,” said Heath. “They’re very efficient, very smart, and play very clean volleyball and they did not play that way in the first set.”
The rest of the match presented a stark contrast with Toronto taking the next three sets. and ultimately, the match.
“They were a completely different team in those sets,” Heath said.
Heath played a crucial role in keeping the Marauders afloat after Toronto seemingly threw the kitchen sink at the Marauders defense. Heath racked up an amazing 25 digs and was locked in defensively all match long. Whenever it seemed like Toronto had put a ball out of reach, Heath’s lightning quick agility and polished technique would keep the rally alive. The libero looked like the glue that held the Marauders together through the Varsity Blues’ onslaught.
She won player of the match because of her performance.
“I have a job and I know what I need to do to do it. We switched our whole defensive scheme for this match. Defense is what I do,” said Heath. “I knew Toronto was a strong hitting team. I knew that I would have a big job to do and I was excited to do it.”
Heath finished the weekend with 49 digs over two matches.
Coach Louks pointed out a trend in his libero’s gameplay.
“In the biggest matches of the year, Carly usually answers the bell,” said Louks. “She always does for the big ones.”
“It was unreal. It was probably one of the most exciting games I’ve been in. The energy in the gym was unbelievable. All of us were just feeding off adrenaline,” said Heath. “It was a lot of fun. Everyone was playing 110 percent and it honestly just didn’t work out in our favor.”
The following night, McMaster played rival Western for OUA bronze. They controlled most of the match until failing to finish the job in the fifth set. McMaster finished fourth in the OUA.
“There’s only one thing you can do in OUA women’s volleyball to go to nationals: win the conference title. We took our shot in the semis. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get more out of a couple people, but I was pleased that others stepped in and did the job,” said Louks.
McMaster improved this season finishing 17-5 overall and making an OUA Final Four appearance. They were a set away from potentially upsetting the No. 2 team in the country. Last year they finished 15-5 and lost at home in an OUA quarterfinal. They took it a step further this year and hopefully that trend continues.
“I’m very pleased with these girls. Great year,” said Louks.
“It’s unfortunate how everything panned out results-wise, but I think we definitely improved as a team and we’re going to keep improving,” said Heath.
McMaster is also saying goodbye to three key graduating cornerstones in Mira Krunic, Taylor Brisebois and Lauren Mastroluisi.
Heath admits it’ll be different without this core group of girls.
“Those girls have had a huge, huge impact on and off the court. I don’t know the team without those girls. I live with them. I see them everyday,” Heath said. “It’s going to be really, really weird to see them go.”
“Those girls have made a good contribution to the program. They’ve represented themselves and their school well,” Louks said. “Those are the kinds of players and people we want to have here. It’s a good legacy.”
Photo Credit: Jon White/ Photo Editor
Stress manifests itself in many ways. During my transition to first year, I worried so much about my grades that my acne breakouts became worse than ever before. I lost ten pounds from eating irregularly and never had a proper sleep schedule. But none of these things particularly worried me: I had concealer for my pimples, breaks in between classes for naps, and losing weight, despite the probable long-term health consequences, was more preferable than the dreaded “freshman fifteen.” What plagued me the most was that I seemed to be losing a great deal of hair.
My hair would come out in clumps in the shower, to the point where I’d be glad for my near-sightedness. It littered the sink whenever I used my blow dryer. It created massive hairballs that collected on my carpet, and every time I cleaned out my comb. I began dreading visits to my hairdresser, mainly because he would always comment on how much less hair I had in comparison to the last time I had gone to see him.
I consulted my doctor, only to find she was equally baffled; my blood tests suggested everything was perfectly ordinary. She initially suggested iron supplements, but told me to stop after my iron levels became adequate despite no visible effects on my hair. I spent two and a half hours waiting in a walk-in clinic to get a different opinion, only to have my concerns dismissed. I switched shampoos, included more protein in my diet, and even stopped using straighteners and hair curlers altogether. But no matter how hard I tried, losing hair was the one thing I just couldn’t compensate for. I became acutely afraid of the inevitability of premature balding, for which there appeared to be no cure.
Most websites suggest hereditary reasons as the main cause of baldness. In addition to inheritance, they mention illness and of course, stress, which also tends to be the main explanation I get from friends after haranguing them with my complaints. But then I stumbled across a Marie Claire article on dealing with female hair loss, which mentioned roughly 24 percent of women equate losing hair to losing a limb. I began to wonder: what exactly constituted the exaggerated fear of losing all my hair? It wasn’t so much vanity as the abnormality with which we viewed female baldness.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I told myself how much easier it would be to deal with hair loss if I were a man. This is not to say that it isn’t also a concern for men, but to point out that male-patterned baldness is generally more accepted, particularly as we age. Dwayne Johnson is bald. Patrick Stewart is bald. Homer Simpson is bald. Even Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender is willingly bald. The problem is that my mind stalls when I try to think of female icons without ample amounts of hair as a part of their regular appearance. If 40 percent of people who deal with hair loss are women, then why do we have this perception that women losing hair is both uncommon and unseemly?
Yes, losing hair is an issue. It may even be an important indicator in terms of signalling that something is wrong with our physical health, or that something is wrong with our lifestyle, and it should definitely be addressed to the best of our abilities. What needs to change, however, is the level of apprehension with which we view it. In the words of Cersei Lannister as she commences her walk of shame; hair grows back. And if it doesn’t?
I will not cringe for them.