Photo by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter

By: Alannah DeAngelis, Contributor

Dates can be a fun way to get to know your partner better and try new things together. Between school, catching up on all your Netflix shows and hanging out with your friends, it can be tough to make time for date nights. Try out these five date ideas where you can stay on campus and avoid breaking the bank! 

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Planetarium Show

The W. J. McCallion Planetarium, in the basement of BSB, is an out-of-this world date idea! Shows run Wednesday nights and there is a new theme each week. Learn about outer space, stars, planets, comets and more. For more information, check out the McMaster Planetarium website.                                                                         

Cost: $7 per person.

 

Photo by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter

Video Game Room in Lyons New Media Centre 

Get your game on in the Video Games room on the 4th floor of Mills to find out which of you is the “Mario Kart” champion! There are five game consoles that you can choose from: Wii, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4. They offer many games to play, all of which are available to rent for free. Bookings for this space can be made for up to 2 hours per day for all McMaster students.

Cost: Free! Just bring your student card to rent the controllers and games.

 

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McMaster Museum of Art

Check out some cool art with your partner at the McMaster Museum of Art right on campus. The museum is recognized internationally for its European paintings, drawings and prints. It is also known for its specialist collection of early 20th century German prints. This highly notable museum is just steps away from the Student Centre.

Cost: Pay what you can (suggested donation is $2).

 

 

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Trivia Night at the Phoenix

Test your knowledge at the Phoenix Bar and Grill’s Trivia Night, which happens every Tuesday at 7 p.m.. The theme changes each week, so you are sure to never be bored. Top teams will win gift cards to the Phoenix; perfect to use for another date night! 

Cost: Free when you purchase food or drinks.

 

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Hike at Cootes

McMaster is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails with breathtaking views. Go for a hike at Cootes (start at the trail behind the Alpine tower) and explore what nature has to offer in McMaster’s backyard. Notably, the Sassafrass trail includes a lookout platform onto Lake Ontario. Who knows, maybe you will even see some deer along the way! 

Cost: Free! 

 

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Photo by Kyle West

Following recent snowstorms that deposited as much as 40 cm onto Hamilton streets, some Hamilton residents are using social media to bring attention to the issue of snow-covered residential sidewalks.

Currently, residents are expected to clear snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours of a “snow event.” If residents fail to comply, the city will issue a 24-hour “Notice to Comply,” followed by possible inspection and a contracting fee for the homeowner.

However, residents say both residential and city sidewalks are still not being cleared, either by residents or by the city.

The Disability Justice Network of Ontario has encouraged residents to participate in the “Snow and Tell” campaign by tweeting out pictures of snow or ice-covered roads and sidewalks using the hashtag #AODAfail, referring to the Accessibility for Ontarians for Disabilities Act.

https://twitter.com/VicBick/status/1087879002092646401

McMaster student and local community organizer Sophie Geffros supports the campaigns and says it a serious issue of accessibility and justice.

Geffros uses a wheelchair and knows how especially difficult it can be for those who use mobility devices to navigate through snow-covered streets.

“It's people who use mobility devices. It's people with strollers. And it's older folks. People end up on the street. If you go on any street after a major storm, you'll see people in wheelchairs and with buggies on the street with cars because the sidewalks just aren't clear,” Geffros said.

https://twitter.com/sgeffros/status/1087384392866123778

Snow-covered sidewalks also affect the ability for people, especially those who use mobility devices, to access public transit.

“Even when snow has been cleared, often times when it gets cleared, it gets piled on curb cuts and piled near bus stops and all these places that are that are vital to people with disabilities,” Geffros said.

https://twitter.com/craig_burley/status/1088798476081741824

Geffros sees the need for clearing sidewalks as non-negotiable.

“By treating our sidewalk network as not a network but hundreds of individual tiny chunks of sidewalk, it means that if there's a breakdown at any point in that network, I can't get around,” Geffros said. “If every single sidewalk on my street is shoveled but one isn't, I can't use that entire sidewalk. We need to think of it as a vital service in the same way that we think of road snow clearance as a vital service.”

Public awareness about the issue may push city council.

Some councillors have expressed support for a city-run snow clearing service, including Ward 1 councillor Maureen Wilson and Ward 3 councillor Nrinder Nann.

I just don’t find it all that complicated. Cities are for people. It is in our best interest, financial and otherwise, to plow sidewalks. It’s also a matter of justice. I await the city manager’s report and ensuing debate

— Maureen Wilson (She / Her) (@ward1wilson) January 29, 2019

A city council report issued in 2014 stated that a 34 dollar annual increase in tax for each homeowner would be enough to fund sidewalk snow-clearing.

Recently, Wilson requested the city council to issue a new report on the potential costs of funding snow-clearing service.

Geffros sees potential for the current discourse to open up to further discussions on other issues of accessibility and social justice.

Hamilton’s operating budget will likely be finalized around April. Until then, Geffros and other Hamilton residents will continue to speak out on the issue.

 

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By: Jennifer La Grassa

“Stand up. Stretch. Take a walk. Go to the airport. Get on a plane. Never return.” This is one of the more popular memes about studying to pop up in everyone’s least favourite month, November. I dare you try to escape the flood of study memes during this year’s exam season. In that sleep-deprived, “what is life?” state, study memes are the university student’s main form of solace. During fall finals the urge to just hop on a plane is almost unbearable. As temperatures plummet into the negatives and the amount of sunlight continues to decline, the darkness of exams is a repelling force that is enough to push anyone onto a plane headed for a warm destination. Thankfully, the force of “you will fail life” tends to be stronger, and usually acts to keep those within the university population firmly rooted.

Believe it or not, as unhelpful as the above tip may seem, there lies within it a noteworthy statement: “take a walk.” Whether you regularly exercise or not, a mere five minutes of moderate exercise is all it takes to enhance your overall mood. Just think of all that this insinuates; actually don’t think, rest your academically distraught brain and let me delve into the realm of possibilities that this statement holds.

All those times that you end up walking during exam season (be it to the library or grocery store) and feel that your chosen method of transportation is wasting precious study time, think of Jim Carrey’s Grinch waving his hairy green finger while saying “wrong-o.” You may just be doing more good than harm to your studying. That stroll you are engaging in is considered to be light physical activity, which not only counteracts many detrimental health risks posed by long periods of sitting, but also boosts your mood and creative potential. Endorphins, which are one of the countless “feel good” substances within the brain, are released during exercise and are active in reward systems to create a sense of pleasure. Numerous studies claim that being in good spirits can enhance your productivity — mix this with coffee and your studying efficacy may just reach an all-time high.

A properly timed workout session of moderate exercise is known to show a more pronounced effect. Regular exercise promotes brain growth within the hippocampal region (a part of the brain dedicated to memory formation) and prevents brain deterioration. Committed exercisers may also find a stronger sense of satisfaction at the end of a workout. Regardless of how much exercise you normally engage in, just know that even small amounts can help. Amidst the countless hours of studying you will undertake during this year’s upcoming finals, do not feel guilty for the many walks you may take to the fridge for another snack. Instead, consider extending this journey into a light stroll around the house before reaching your food destination. The benefits of that walk could be doing more for your studying than the snack you will grab.

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