Women’s gym hour campaign posters vandalized

Posters for a campaign for women’s-only gym hours at Carleton have been torn down and vandalized, according to Sydney Schneider, the programming co-ordinator of the Womyn’s Centre.

Schneider said she received a message that someone had seen a poster being torn down and thrown in the garbage. She said she has also seen posters go missing from the billboards in the University Centre.

“Overall, the support for this campaign has been overwhelmingly positive, but obviously there are a few people who are against it,” Schneider said. “It’s sad that they’re not using proper language calling it segregation, saying it’s not equal for men when what it is, is not segregation . . . It’s offering more alternatives to let women be more comfortable in the gym.”

A petition has gone up on the website Change.org protesting the creation of the campaign, saying, “segregating men and women in any way is inherently sexist.”

As of publication, the petition has been signed by 121 supporters and has been commented on multiple times.

Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s athletic director, said in an email she has not been contacted by those petitioning for a women’s-only gym hour, and that she was unaware of the posters.

Brenning added she thinks there needs to be a discussion before a women’s-only gym hour could be implemented.

“It would be a good idea to have a discussion of the issues and potential solutions. Then we can determine what is feasible,” Brenning said.

Fahd Alhattab, Carleton University Studentes’ Association (CUSA) president, said he feels that campaigns on campus need dissent and that part of the difficulties faced are because students felt there wasn’t that room for dissent.

“I see the criticism when I say that, is that the campaign says that ‘where’s our women’s-only gym hour,’ it doesn’t really say ‘give us your feedback,’ it’s more already stating its position,” Alhattab said.

Alhattab said he is glad discussion is being had on the campaign, but said he wishes it were more constructive.

“This is a campaign to gauge interest and gain feedback, this isn’t a campaign about a proposal,” Alhattab said.

More than 550 people have responded to the campaign’s survey, and according to Schneider, the responses have been “overwhelmingly positive.”

According to Schneider, the plan is based off of Ryerson University’s women’s-only gym hours, which has allocated six hours over the period of a week.

Schneider said their plan for the women’s-only hours would look to get three to five hours across the week, but that currently, they are not sure of the specific hours. She added they are open to discussing the topic with Carleton Athletics.

“We just really want to make sure that people realize that it’s open to all women, both cis and trans women as well as non-binary folks so it’s not as exclusionary,” Schneider said.

Ottawa rivalries extend beyond Panda

Ask any Carleton University student about the University of Ottawa (U of O) and they will gladly bad mouth their cross town rivals.

The Panda Game and the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic are often marketed as major rivalry games between the two schools.

“The Panda Game, the Capital Hoops Classic—and we are about to build up the Colonel By Classic—it brings out a lot of school pride, and alumni, they will be wearing the school colours, get painted up to cheer on Carleton Ravens,” said Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s director of recreation and athletics.

But these aren’t the only sports at Carleton that have big rivalry games against the U of O Gee-Gees.

The Carleton Ravens men’s baseball team defeated the Gee-Gees by a score of 10-1 in the fourth and final game of the O-Train Series on Sept. 28.

Meanwhile, the Carleton Ravens men’s lacrosse team beat the Gee-Gees by a score of 8-6 in the second game of the Capital Lacrosse Clash on Sept. 30.

“Going up against our rivals, [U of O], it feels really good to come out of it with a [win],” said Emeric MacDonald, a first-year lacrosse player. “Even though we aren’t doing the best this year due to injuries . . .  we beat them and now we hold the belt over them till next year.”

While the Carleton Ravens women’s rugby team doesn’t have a special name for their game against U of O, they fell to the Gee-Gees by a score of 48-7 on Sept. 28.

“Just like the other sports it’s always a big rivalry when you’re playing your cross town rival, so there’s always a bit more in the game in terms of competitiveness and playing with a bit more of an edge, a bit more on the line and we like that,” said Ravens women’s rugby head coach Patrick Thompson. “It’s good for our sport and good for every sport.”

While some of these rivalries have received less attention, the Panda Game and MBNA Capital Hoops Classic continue to gain attention and improve.

The Panda Game broke the record for attendance again this year, this time with 23,329 fans, and was broadcasted nationally on City as part of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport “Game of the Week.”

Meanwhile, the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic eclipsed 10,000 fans for the third time last season.

Thompson said women’s rugby is a new program, but hopefully its rivalry series will gain momentum.

“Women’s rugby is generally new as the varsity program just started up five years ago so they don’t have the history, but every year the games are getting more intense, the rivalry is certainly heating up and are looking to see what will happen in the next few years,” Thompson said.

Brenning said she hopes the Rivalry Series will grow over time, and would like to add other sports, such as soccer and women’s hockey as well.

“I think it is important to promote all the rivalry games against [U of O], not only lacrosse—but soccer, football and others,” MacDonald said. “I don’t think there should be an event for everything but I think there should at least be some emphasis on it.”

Women’s field hockey pursuing varsity status

The Carleton University women’s field hockey team has high aspirations—obtaining varsity status.

Entering their second year of existence, the team has been classified as a Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) club. This means that they receive their funding directly from CUSA rather than from Carleton Athletics.

The team has applied to athletics for approval to take the next step towards varsity: becoming a competitive athletic team.

The women’s field hockey team filed an application on June 7, but did not recieve a response until Sept. 28.

They have not yet been informed of a decision, according to Halley Chopra, the captain and president of the team.

“Our goal was to be a competitive [recreational] team by this year . . . it almost feels like we are a year behind,” Chopra said.

Tom Huisman, the manager of interuniversity sport and interim club commissioner, headed the committee this summer that chose which teams would be promoted from CUSA club to competitive club.

He said the five key aspects considered during this procedure are potential risk, mission and goal, student interest, leadership, and what sort of competition would be available for the team.

Huisman said that in term of the length of the application process, this is a unique case, and could not commit on when it will get resolved, but expects it to be sometime before the winter term

Chopra, a fourth-year civil engineering major, helped start the team and said they are ready to take it to the next level.

“We honestly have all our ducks in a line. We have the funding, we have equipment, we have everything—all we need is basically athletics’ permission,” Chopra said. “Just being known and having athletics supporting us is going to play a huge role in other universities taking us seriously too.”

Chopra added they have also recruited the talents of two-time Olympic field hockey player Ian Bird to act as head coach.

Being a Carleton club that falls under the umbrella of athletics has many benefits, including receiving additional funding and support, as CUSA is primarily an academic association. Additionally, as they are not technically an athletic club, the women’s field hockey team cannot call themselves the Carleton Ravens.

Carleton’s director of recreation and athletics, Jennifer Brenning, said they are currently embarking on a review this year to determine if sports clubs are being categorized properly.

Huisman said they will review the service levels they provide, the structure of the application review process, and the general model, while adding there is no strict limit for the number of varsity teams the university can have.

To get approval for varsity status, Brenning said the team needs quality coaching, an adequate competitive budget, facilities, and enough quality student athletes.

Carleton athletics and Chopra met at the end of September to review the team’s development, as well as the application filed in the summer.

According to Huisman, athletics is determined to see how they can support women’s field hockey, and if they can now grant them competitive club status, though they will not commit to anything at this time.

“There are still a lot of unknowns to work through . . . this is the start of the process,” Huisman said.

Although she is excited about the prospect of being on a varsity team, Chopra said she understands the necessary process.

“I do feel like we are ready [for varsity status] now, but being a competitive club could definitely help with our adjustment,” Chopra said.

Despite the frustration that resulted from a long summer of doubt, the two sides are focused on moving forward.

“We are relieved,” Chopra said. “The potential that our goal is one step closer to being reached is exciting.”

Original Pedro the Panda trophy found

The Carleton Ravens football team successfully protected Pedro the Panda on Oct. 1 at the Panda Game when they defeated the University of Ottawa (U of O) Gee-Gees by a score of 43-23.

After the game, the Ravens were presented with the Pedro trophy, which is actually the third version of the trophy since the Panda Game began.

The original Pedro was created in 1955. Bryan McNulty, a U of O student, asked a local jeweller to donate a stuffed panda to the school. It was to be used as the Carleton versus Ottawa mascot and act as a promotional aspect for the game itself.

The decision had an immediate and profound impact. Not only did Pedro help make the game wildly successful, but the mascot took on a life of it’s own, running for president of Carleton’s Student Council and travelling to multiple campuses across Canada, according to the Carleton Archives and Research Collections.

At the age of 24, plush Pedro was retired and replaced with a copper trophy. Plush Pedro was then sent to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton.

However, a series of “Panda-nappings,” most notably by Queen’s University, left the whereabouts of original Pedro in question.

That was until Sept. 28, when Josh Lemoine of apt613.ca published an article that uncovered the mystery of the plush Panda.

Lemoine obtained a picture of Pedro, and confirmed that he was in the hands of an old friend of a prominent Gee-Gees alum.

“I was able to get confirmation that the bear is in Ottawa,” Lemoine said. “I don’t actually know who the keeper of the bear is . . . but my contact is a close personal friend to this person—a prominent former Gee-Gee.”

How or why it ended up with this person is unknown. There were rumours that it had been at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, or in one of the university’s archives—both of which proved to be false.

“I believe he was inducted [to the Hall of Fame] but was never in their possession,” Lemoine said.

Carleton’s director of recreation and athletics, Jennifer Brenning, said she believes that the owner should return it to Hamilton for display in the Hall of Fame.

“I hope that eventually he would donate it,” Brenning said. “It’s just such a historic symbol, not only for Ottawa, but for football in Canada.”

The importance of the plush bear prize for winning an extremely violent game of football has been well-documented.

“It’s a very important plush animal,” Lemoine said.

Wherever Pedro may be residing, the revival of the game in 2013 has been a resounding success.

“There’s just something about the rivalry and football in the fall,” Brenning said. “The whole thing is a tremendous show of school spirit and school pride . . . the response from students and alumni has definitely brought a sense of community back.”

Carleton unaffected by NCAA recruiting

Isiah Osborne was preparing for a dominant season in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) with the Windsor Lancers. The 6’5” guard was a top prospect and looked to be a dominant force for the historically strong Windsor team.

That was until the University of Texas El Paso Miners saw him play in the preseason, which prompted them to sign him, according to a report from CBC.

Despite Osborne signing a letter of intent with the Lancers, he signed with the Miners only two days after they saw him play.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has rules in place to prevent bigger programs from recruiting players from the smaller ones. However, those rules don’t include Canadian universities.

“NCAA members have not implemented any current rules requiring coaches to request approval before contacting current student-athletes at Canadian universities,” said Meghan Durham, NCAA assistant director of public and media relations in an email.

“The NCAA is a membership-driven organization, meaning member schools and conferences propose rules and vote on whether or not to approve them,” she said. “At this point, NCAA members have not proposed legislation to extend that rule outside of NCAA and [National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics] schools.”

Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s director of recreation and athletics, said she hasn’t heard of any player as notable as Osborne leaving Carleton for an NCAA school.

“I think that’s one of the first that I’ve heard with the Windsor case,” she said. “We haven’t had that experience, I think Windsor being close to the border, it’s a little more challenging.”

However, she added the NCAA not recognizing CIS restrictions on recruiting existing players is concerning.

And the NCAA hasn’t been entirely quiet around Carleton, as multiple American schools have offered coaching positions to Dave Smart, the Ravens men’s basketball head coach. Smart told the Toronto Star in 2015 he could never accept the position because he wouldn’t be able to break the news to the team he recruited.

Brenning said the other reason Smart has always decided to stay is because of the training the coaches are allowed to do with the players. She said he likes being able to work with them year round, which wouldn’t be allowed in the NCAA.

“In the States, it’s very restrictive on how much coaching [you can do] year round,” she said.

Carleton has also seen the opposite happen, as NCAA players decide to transfer and play for the Ravens. Some of these players include Kaza Kajami-Keane, starting point guard for the men’s basketball team who played at Illinois State and Cleveland State, as well as Chad Manchulenko, wide receiver for the football team who transferred from Simon Fraser University, the only Canadian school in the NCAA.

Manchulenko said he wasn’t recruited by the Ravens, but knew a lot of coaches and players from Team Ontario and other football-related events.

One sport that does not have to worry about NCAA interest is men’s hockey. This is due to the majority of players coming from the Canadian Hockey League, which forfeits their eligibility to play in the NCAA, according to the association’s rules.

But this hasn’t stopped outside interests. Marty Johnston, head coach for the Ravens men’s hockey team, said every year he has to discuss with his players the possibility of playing in minor professional leagues.

Johnston said this isn’t about the players being stolen—it is about their future.

“There are times when it is the best case for them to go and there are times when we try to give them advice to stick it out and get the degree,” Johnston said.

He said opportunities from the outside are presented every year, and he only wants what’s best for the player.

“It’s our job to help them as people first and look at our own interests second, it shouldn’t be the other way around,” Johnston said.

Kwesi Loney, Ravens men’s soccer head coach, said he cannot recall a situation similar to Osborne’s happening at Carleton.

Loney said the CIS doesn’t redshirt players that come from the NCAA, which makes the transition back to Canada easier.

“Kids like going to US schools on a scholarship, being promised this and that, and then getting there and realizing it wasn’t exactly what it was cracked up to be, and then coming back,” Loney said.

“I think at the end of the day it’s always what’s in the best interest of the student athlete,” he said.

Brenning said the situation with Osborne was surprising and worth watching due to the amount of American schools who play preseason games at Carleton. However, she said she isn’t worried about the competition.

“We’ve won 12 championships, we have many athletes playing professionally over in Europe, so I think coming here they know they’re going to get their degree and get a chance to play,” she said.