C/O Yoohyun Park

It’s been quite the season so far, but which McMaster sports team impressed the most?

What a year it has been in the Marauders return to sport! After a long period of inactivity, in September the Marauders got back on track with their varsity schedules when most of the teams finally resumed their competitive runs. This season, McMaster students were lucky to see many teams perform well on the big stages, such as the Ontario University Athletics championships and even out of province competition to test their abilities.  

As the end of the school year approaches, it seemed appropriate to look back and determine which teams impressed our community the most. The following rankings are based on how far teams made it through the OUAs or any other championship and the competition that they had to face before achieving their spot. Without further ado, let’s look through the Sil’s five most impressive varsity performances of the season, counting down from five. 

5.  Men's and women’s wrestling 

It’s safe to say that this season has been very successful for both the men's and the women's wrestling teams. Last November the teams competed at a tournament hosted in Hamilton, where they collected a total of six medals — three silvers and three golds.  

Their success did not stop there. Just over a month ago, both of the teams competed at the Brock open, where they took on some of the best teams in Ontario. The event proved to be a very successful one for our wrestlers. The men’s team came out as champions and the women’s team placed third. Additionally, Francesco Fortino, a player on the men’s wrestling team won the Marauder of the Week accolade

The grind doesn't stop there for the wrestling teams. Their next challenge will be on April 2, when they will take part in the OUA championships in St. Catherines.  

4.  Women's basketball 

This season the women’s basketball team really made a name for itself in the OUAs. Despite having won the national title just two years prior, the team was widely viewed as being in a transition year due to so many early year players. Despite knowing that the competition was going to be rough and that it was going to take a lot of work for such a young team to make it to the OUA playoffs, they made it happen. 

Although there were ups and downs along the way, the team showed a lot of character in all of their games, managing to finish with a record of 10-7. When they started the OUA playoffs, they swept the Waterloo Warriors 63-45, which guaranteed them a quarterfinal spot. Unfortunately, their luck ran out in the quarters, where the Brock Badgers just narrowly came on top with 49-45.  

Overall, it was a season full of character for the Marauders, which is something which they wish to build on for next season after their exciting first year back. 

Overall, it was a season full of character for the Marauders, which is something which they wish to build on for next season after their exciting first year back. 

3.  Men’s soccer 

The men’s soccer team started playing their competitions in September and finished off near the middle of the first semester. Although it has been a while since we got to see the players in maroon, we can’t forget their astonishing run throughout. During their season, they played eleven games, of which six were wins and only two were losses. 

Much of the effort it took to make it that far came from their star striker, Dusan Kovacevic. The OUA athlete of the week accounted for just over 30% of the team’s goals. Furthermore, Kovacevic scored four times in a game against the Algoma Thunderbirds, which ended 7-0 for the Marauders.  

Although the team did make it to the quarterfinals of the OUA championships, they unfortunately fell 3-1 to the Carleton Ravens, which ended their eventful season.  

2. Men’s basketball 

The men’s basketball team has been very impressive this season. They consistently achieved good results and were even on a five-win streak in the OUA season.  

The men’s basketball team has been very impressive this season. They consistently achieved good results and were even on a five-win streak in the OUA season.  

Throughout the season, they won 12 out of the possible 18 games, which took them to the OUA championship knock-out stages. It wasn’t going to be easy, but the Marauders started strongly with their 12-point win against the Lakehead Timberwolves, thus guaranteeing them a spot in the semis. Unfortunately, that is where their journey ended as they were knocked out by the Badgers, 75-88. Regardless, the fantastic performance of the men’s basketball team this season deserves to be recognized near the top of this list.  

1. Men’s volleyball team 

Where do we start? The men’s volleyball team has been inspiring to watch, to say the least. They have fought their way through the OUA championships with ease, winning the title and making sure that they were the team to be feared, even far away from home.  

They have fought their way through the OUA championships with ease, winning the title and making sure that they were the team to be feared, even far away from home.  

The men’s volleyball team played 18 games between the regular season, the OUA playoffs and the national playoffs. Of these games, they won 17. In their first 12 games of the season in the group stages of the OUA, they did not lose a single game. Furthermore, the Marauders went on to glide through the OUA knockout stages against teams like the Windsor Lancers, the Brock Badgers and the Toronto Varsity Blues. The latter was the opponent the Marauders played against in the finals, where they clinched their first OUA title in three seasons.  

Things didn't end there for the team, as they went on to play in the U Sports championships in Winnipeg. Although the team did not start well, losing to the University of Calgary, they bounced back and achieved fifth in all of Canada, winning against Queens Gaels and the Manitoba Bisons in the consolation play-offs.  

Sil Time Capsule is a new series that will continue to bring forward student voices

As we near the end of 2020, now is a good time to reflect, especially given how much has changed this past year. 2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but with its difficulties come opportunities for learning and changing, both within all of us as individuals and within our society. 

The COVID-19 pandemic remains the event that will define 2020 for years to come. The pandemic and its regulations have caused tensions, a shift across the board in education and different sectors to a virtual environment and rises in mental health issues due to isolation and other issues faced by many.

This pandemic has brought forth many challenges, particularly for students struggling to make the best of their youth amid a world of isolation and online classrooms. However, it has also highlighted pre-existing issues within our society, such as serious health disparities as a result of socioeconomic status. All in all, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has forever changed our world and how we experience it as individuals and as students. 

[/media-credit] Information from the City of Toronto, as reported by Jessica Cheung of the CBC

 

Next, there was the shooting of George Floyd and the rallying cry against anti-Black racism in North America and across the world. The Black Lives Matter movement, an existing movement against police brutality and anti-Black racism, shifted into the limelight, offering all a chance to reflect on their role in anti-Black racism.

The effects of this were far-reaching, with systemic racism being highlighted across our nation at an institutional and individual level. Beyond discussions on anti-Black racism, there was also a rise in the discourse regarding anti-Indigenous racism. The Land Back protests are a prime example of the important role activism played this year in sparking dialogue on inequities in our society. As students and as a student newspaper, it is essential these events are brought forth and discussed adequately.

[/media-credit] Black Lives Matter protests in Toronto, as reported by Laura Armstrong and Jacob Lorinc of the Toronto Star

 

Finally, there was the 2020 United States federal election. Although American politics can sometimes feel distant, this election caused — and will cause for the next four years — a shift in global politics and marked the end of an era in the United States and North America with Donald Trump as the President of the United States.

Additionally, given the close ties between Canada and the US, the repercussions and changes that will accompany the election and its results will be felt here more than in other countries. 

It is important to note the election, along with all other monumental aspects of 2020 mentioned thus far, was accompanied by a multitude of other important global events. These must — and will — be discussed in great detail in the coming issues at the Silhouette through both this series as well as through our Summer of Activism series in the News section. 

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As a student newspaper, it is important we discuss global events and how they affect us and the McMaster student community. Global events affect everyone in one way or another. COVID-19 is a global health issue but has left deep impacts on the lives of students. It highlighted important issues in our society such as the extent to which income and privilege dictate your level of health and protection. Students are not isolated nor removed from these realities.

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It is also important to discuss the many global events of 2020 as a student newspaper because these are in many ways mirrored by realities in our own community. For example, just as systemic racism and police brutality shifted to the limelight of national political discourse in the United States, realities at McMaster such as the anti-Black racism culture in the university’s athletics department were highlighted in a recent report.

As a student newspaper, we are responsible for informing our peers, discussing these issues and how they have affected our students. As global citizens, we are responsible for raising awareness of global issues, events and inequities. 

More than just being mirrored in our community, these events have also had a profound influence on our very sense of community.

More than just being mirrored in our community, these events have also had a profound influence on our very sense of community. Often exceptional and unprecedented events encourage stronger connections and drive communities closer together.

However, the nature of the pandemic has resulted in the opposite, with many students feeling disconnected and unsupported in these difficult times. As a student newspaper, it is important that we not only inform our peers and raise awareness about global events and issues but also that we do our part to maintain community and facilitate the connection between students.

Furthermore, this kind of coverage and engagement with global events is something that many, if not most, students are interested and invested in. During the Black Lives Matter protests at the beginning of June, the Silhouette posted a short message in solidarity, but we were challenged by our community to do more. Over the last few months, we have been working to deliver on those promises that were made and are continuing to look for ways in which we can improve.

Across all sections this past semester we have worked to ensure that we address and acknowledge these issues and events and their influence on our community. This article in particular serves as the introduction to a new series. Titled Sil Time Capsule, this series is an opportunity to reflect on this past year and draw attention to the ways in which it has affected our community as well as the wider world.

2020 has been an eventful and unprecedented year and as a student newspaper, we have a responsibility to acknowledge these events, inform our peers and raise awareness about them. We also have a responsibility to address the ways in which they have affected and influenced not only the wider world but also our own community. This time capsule series is one way by which we are working to do justice to the events and issues of this year and their influence on the communities big and small of which we are a part.

Let us preface this guide by telling you that if this period of uncertainty is stressing you the f*&k out, it's okay. There's quite a bit on our minds — reorganization of courses, fears over graduation, lost jobs and co-ops, forced move-outs and the sudden disruption of pretty much everything.

In more ways than one, this time is defining our present and future, and soon it will be just a single moment in our collectives histories. The details of the stories and lessons we will learn are blurry, but there's no doubt that this time presents an opportunity for our communities to re-emerge breathing a new rhythm. So slow down, discover a new pace for yourself and appreciate reflective silences. Lean into companionships with your loved ones, neighbours and strangers — especially our community members who are being disproportionately impacted right now. Nothing about this is normal, and it's okay to feel a little lost.

The Silhouette staff made this guide with McMaster undergraduate students in mind, we hope you'll find it helpful. This guide will be updated as we learn to navigate this period of change together.

(more…)

Photos C/O USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive

If you’re an avid reader of the Silhouette, then you’d know our annual rendition of Sex and the Steel City, much like the paper itself, has evolved quite a bit over the past couple of years.

Putting together this year’s sex-positive publication meant embracing the diverse ideas around sexuality, love and health. It’s about creating a non-judgemental space where experiences can be shared, identities are expressed and art can be enjoyed.

Through Sex and the Steel City we were also able to explore Hamilton’s history, challenge the issues our communities’ face and open eyes to future possibilities with passion and dedication.  

Every word and visual in this issue is also a reflection of the privileged position we, as a publication, are in to unapologetically express ourselves. A position that has been continuously denied to people historically and as of late.

For this reason our cover includes re-creations of stills from the recently discovered film Something Good - Negro Kiss. Directed by William Selig in 1898, the film depicts the earliest on-screen kiss between two Black stage entertainers and challenges the racist caricature prevalent in popular culture. In the 29-second silent film, Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown convey undeniable expression of love, pleasure and happiness.


[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="218" gal_title="Something Good - Nego Kiss"]

Stills from Something Good - Negro Kiss, a silent short film directed by William Selig in 1898 and starring Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown. The film was discovered and restored by University of Southern California archivist Dino Everett and identified by University of Chicago scholar Allyson Field.

 

We hope to continue the conversation around barriers that continue to marginalize identities today while also celebrating everything good they have to share.

Sex and the Steel City is a hopeful expression that love will prevail.

 

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Last year was great. After the results of our Silvision campaign back in early 2016, we started the process of bettering our content with the advice given from readers who took the time to let us know what they think. If you contributed to this, we appreciate it.

Most notably, your feedback helped us with the direction for two of our four current major print sections. Merging Lifestyle with ANDY to create a more conventional Arts & Culture section and refocusing the majority of the content to Hamilton helped raise the quality and relevancy of the paper.

The previously broad nature of Opinion was something that I agreed had to be changed as the section’s editor last year. We believed it was single-handedly bringing down the reputation of the paper.

The section hasn’t had bad or even average editors in the past, far from it, but it was an unfocused mess that meant nothing except an article or two to be embarrassed about publishing every week. Focusing on McMaster and topics related to McMaster students has resulted in a large deal of success.

We respect that this was only the beginnings of laying the foundation. You should expect those sections in particular to continue to improve in the future.

However, I anticipate there would be a few issues with doing a similar feedback campaign now. We might do it later in the year, don’t get me wrong, but hear me out for a second.

The main worry is that we have no real way of getting feedback from the average reader. If you have cared enough to reply about feedback in any situation, then you have cared more than the majority of people.

We received a decent number of responses, but it was low compared to the thousands of copies printed per issue and the stupidly high amount of people who use the website. Maybe investment in the product has increased since retailoring the sections, but I don’t want to get trapped continuously catering to our hardcore readers and forgetting a silent majority.

Let us experiment and take the initiative for a bit. The promises and plans for the upcoming year are based on a few educated guesses about what you like.

We swapped out a News Reporter position and added another Production Coordinator position. Our news content should not suffer as we can accept more volunteer pieces than last year, but the quality of our layouts will increase. The quality of articles should also increase as section editors will have more time to dedicate to writing, editing and volunteer management.

A full-time CFMU/Sil position will be hired. This person will aid in video, graphic design and online to increase quality and quantity across the board while increasing collaboration with partners around campus. You should expect more videos and lots of other multimedia to come.

Our online schedule will no longer be bound by our print. Instead of a mass of articles on Thursday, you will see new articles uploaded Monday to Thursday during the fall and winter terms. This one will take a bit of time, but we’ll get there.

Those are the big ones. We are not planning a complete revamp like last year, but we are going to improve on the fundamentals and see what happens. The bottom line is that you should continue to expect more.

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Every few months, we get a message from a student or alumnus who wants us to take down something they’ve written for the paper. Our policy around removal has always been that if the published article poses a safety risk or creates any other form of danger, we’ll take it down or take your name off the article as requested. Otherwise, we will work with the person to find alternative ways to mitigate their discomfort with having the article published.

Sometimes their requests are unreasonable — for example, requests to take the article down because the writing was bad, the author no longer agrees with an opinion article they submitted or that a true fact published in the paper will damage someone’s reputation. I understand these concerns. Now that all of The Silhouette’s articles go online, student’s writing, or the news about their on-campus activities is no longer just under university-wide scrutiny. Anyone around the world has access to it. This has been great for many of our writers and articles. We get readers from unexpected countries (as far as Australia!), and have expanded our readership significantly. It also means we get more complaints from people who don’t want the articles they wrote or are mentioned in to show up in their Google searches.

Wanting to delete articles you’re not proud of is fundamentally misguided. It speaks to a lack of understanding of individual growth. Whether it’s because your writing wasn’t as good as it could be, or you said something you don’t believe anymore, your acknowledgement of both shows how much you’re grown and improved as both a writer and a person. Publishing a controversial opinion in any online platform is an important decision. You have to be prepared for the backlash and the feedback, and be ready to defend your point of view. If you change your mind later and realize that you don’t even know the person who wrote those horrible things, then it’s up to you to own up to it.

Wanting to delete articles you’re not proud of is fundamentally misguided. It speaks to a lack of understanding of individual growth. 

If you fear a damaged reputation because you reported true facts, all I can say is: that’s too bad. The Silhouette won’t censor itself to help you clean up your public image. These situations can vary in severity, but they all speak to the need to act ethically, kindly and wisely in all aspects of your (public) life. This is especially true for student politicians.

While student newspapers and organizations are less serious and more forgiving than their “real world” counterparts, they’re still no joke. It’s a reality that’s not meant to scare you, but to inspire you to make the best of your time here. Put a lot thought into what you write and how you act. Stand up for things you believe in, but be open to changing your mind. If you make mistakes, the best thing to do is to own up to them. Even if we delete your article from our servers, rest assured that the internet at-large is not such a forgiving place.

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This marks the end of my second year writing for The Silhouette. Last year was the first time I ever got my feet wet in the world of sports writing. It was something I wanted to get into since high school and McMaster gave me a great outlet. This year I was the Sports Reporter for the school paper and got a better feel of what sports journalism as a job felt like in a university setting.

This opportunity has allowed me to have conversations with people I never thought I would talk to and develop a love for my school I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. It has opened doors that would’ve remained closed. I don’t know what my McMaster experience would be like if I didn’t walk into The Silhouette’s office in September 2014.

A little initiative on my part went a long way.

One of the first things I learned at The Silhouette was that my job wasn’t to write recaps or “gamers.” That’s boring and it would be a waste of my time and your time. As a student writer on a university campus that has teams that participate at the provincial and national levels in the OUA and CIS, I have a landscape full of potential content awaiting me. Access to student-athletes, coaches and games were at my fingertips. I have unique inside access to these things because I am a student here. Outside journalists don’t have this access.

I had classes with student-athletes and made friends with them even before getting this writing job. I learned right away from my former Sports Editor Scott Hastie that I should not hesitate to take advantage of the opportunities I have right in front of me. I started to meet with coaches and student-athletes regularly and quickly learned that, while they do hold respected positions in the sports world, they are human beings with stories.

They are not that much different from you and I.

This opportunity has allowed me to have conversations with people I never thought I would talk to and develop a love for my school I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. It has opened doors that would’ve remained closed. 

The more I talked to these people and wrote about them I started to see it as more than a job. I genuinely enjoyed getting to hear their thoughts and understand their perspectives. As time went on my interviews felt more and more like conversations, which by the way, is how it’s supposed to be. I remember being nervous before some of my first interviews back in 2014, but now I just embrace each one as another chance to understand a person and their profession. Scott Radley, from The Hamilton Spectator, told me that a good sports writing piece will have the ability to make someone who wasn’t at the game or someone who knows nothing about sports want to read what I wrote.

Regardless of age or background, humans like to read about other humans. Telling human stories is when the best writing comes out. It doesn’t even have to be sports. Sports Reporter is my job title, but what I’m doing is telling the stories of human beings through the language of sports — a language I just so happen to speak.

This year I came to this realization: it’s about relationships and people.

It always has been and it always will be no matter what my job title is.

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In honour of our 85th anniversary, I spent two days this week going through archived issues of The Silhouette looking for content for our special edition.

The last eight and a half decades have been host to quite a number of important international events, changes to campus and the university’s structure, and my personal favourite: controversial and no holds barred Silhouette journalists.

While flipping through pages, I came across an editorial from Aug. 30, 1968 by then Editor-in-Chief, Albert Cipryk. The article was from a Welcome Week preview issue and was titled “Should ivy walls a prison make?” Already from the title, you can guess that this guy was about to share some takes. A section of the article read:

It would be nice to put out something to make you laugh and say what a groovy place Mac must be and I can’t wait to get there because it says right here in this paper that kids don’t do nuthin’ but smoke pot and drink coffee and give the Kampus Kops a ruff time after all what the hell am I leaving home for anyway if it ain’t goin’ to be fun.

No, Virginia, it’s not quite like that. The articles inside have a definite purpose. They are for you to read and digest. Hopefully they will incite thought. Hopefully they will let you know that the ivy walls can house a prison, and intellectual bloody stalag.

I will be the first to say that this is phrased a little bit abrasively (likening the university to a prisoner-of-war camp was a tad harsh), but these words bring up an important point. The Silhouette is not just a newspaper that advocates for all of the university’s (and the city’s) plans, it is the voice of informed and educated students who wish to hold their university accountable for its actions. These articles hope to incite thought and serve a definite purpose, even if it means facing a few harsh Twitter mentions every now and again.

Looking at old issues it became clear that the paper is a time capsule that houses the wisdom that students wish to impart on their future counterparts, and is the only historical archive of the university from a student’s perspective.

So take this article as a reminder that you are responsible for inciting change at your academic institution, and The Silhouette can be your canvas. If you have something to say, say it before these ivy walls begin to tell a different story.

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