The Grand Prix – Toiletized!

BY AMITAV BANERJIDagligtale Staff Writer

Augustana has a lot to offer its students, such as small class sizes, personal relationships with professors and additional staff, as well as free Booster Juice once a semester. We pride ourselves on the personal relationships we are able to build with our friends and professors at Augustana to the point they are with us throughout the most intimate parts of our life as we grow, and as we poop. Most of our washrooms allow our classmates and peers to listen in when nature calls, so where should we go to get the best experience as we say goodbye to food’s evil cousin?

Before we start, let’s go ahead and flush down the stigma accompanying this topic. The truth is everyone poops, and everyone drives down Hershey highway, including your friends, family, professors, and Hutch. It is a shared experience and while it might be a little unpalatable, dropping the morning missile is something that connects us all. This shared experience can only be truly appreciated when it occurs in the absence of anxiety. You shouldn’t feel pressure or stress while letting out the soft serve because the objective is to relieve in peace and not create diamonds. After extensive research, I would like to present to you my guide to eliminating poopxiety at Augustana.

  1. The Library – 0/5

The library washrooms are the worst place on campus to “throw mama from the train.” Having a washroom in the middle of the quietest place on campus seems like an intentional design flaw. As students are zoning in to finish their papers and study for classes, they get to listen to a racket of sounds that end with the hand dryers. While they may be convenient, convenience doesn’t do much when it comes to eliminating poopxiety.

  1. Main Floor Forum – 1/5

This washroom is probably the most bizarre washroom I have come across at Augustana. It is extremely small for a washroom that is located in one of the busiest places on campus. Its only redeeming quality is you might find relief in all the noise coming from the forum, which isn’t always guaranteed.

  1. Founders’ Hall – 3/5

Founders’ Hall is the most well renovated and lavish building on campus. It is beautiful and so are the washrooms. Every painting, every award in that building tells a story and so does every sound. You may think you have found a private paradise in the Founder’s Hall washroom, but everyone else in the building would beg to differ. The sound seems to defy the laws of physics in this building.

  1. Gym/ Locker Room – 2/5

Good news: if you are an extrovert, this washroom is for you, but it is quite terrible for eliminating poopxiety. While these washrooms are well lit and clean, they usually get flooded with students returning from a PAC class or athletes.

  1. Classroom Building – 4/5

This washroom is usually great for squeezing a loaf. It has plenty of room and due to its inconvenient location, you usually end up missing a good 10 minutes of class.

  1.  ASA Office – 4.5/5

No, I do not mean that you are allowed to poop in the ASA office. If you have any urges to do so, please talk to a representative and use the washrooms in front of the ASA. These washrooms are well lit, clean and not crowded. In addition, they also have a secret washroom down the hall from the ASA office. The only problem is this ‘secret’ washroom isn’t really that secret. Everyone knows about it and chances are you will run into someone you know.

  1. Roger Epp Board Room – 5/5

These washrooms are the best place to bomb swirl harbor. They are rarely ever used, give guaranteed privacy, smell like happiness and always have lotion. The next time you feel the need to bust a grumpy, treat yo’ self and use the washrooms by the Roger Epp Board Room.  


“Hello Brother”

BY FEISAL KIRUMIRA / Community Submission  

“Hello brother” – these are the first and last words a Muslim man at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand said to Brent Tarant, a 28 year old self-identifying Islamophobe and white extremist, before the latter opened fire and killed him. To date, we know that Brent Tarant murdered 50 people and injured 50 more. The victims included children, the old, and women and men who, in the eyes of Tarant, deserved to die because they were Muslims, refugees, migrants, and yes, not white.  

As a Muslim, I find it extremely difficult to put into words the gut-wrenching pain that tears through the very core of my being when I think about what my sisters and brothers endured in those horrifying moments. I no longer ask myself where the hate towards Muslims comes from because we all know where it comes from, but we are too scared or preoccupied to face it. How can the hate stop when even the media continues to refer to the mass murderer Tarant as a “suspect” as if by some miracle he may turn into an angel who did not commit the atrocity? If this had been a Muslim migrant who killed 50 people in a church, would we be talking about a “suspect”, even he streams his killing spree live on social media? How can the hate stop when the first reaction by a police commissioner is to temporarily close all mosques in the country? Why is it that after a terrorist attack, say by Muslim extremists on non-Muslims, the first response is to show strength and resilience? Why not in response to the Christchurch massacre? This Islamophobic bias runs so deep that an Australian senator, Fraser Anning, had the audacity to claim that immigrants were to blame for the Christchurch massacre. A courageous teen, who in my opinion is an unsung hero, calmly took out his smartphone and filmed the senator while he smeared an egg on the his head.

Embed from Getty Images


I take solace and courage from the words “hello brother” that a Muslim man said to a hate-filled mass murderer. To me, that is what Islam is about. Islam means peace and submission to the will of God. It means retaining your humanity and love in the face of hatred and death. When faced with the passing of a loved one, we say “In a lilahi wa ina ilayihi raj oon” meaning “ We belong to Allah, and to him is our ultimate return”.


Introducing Your ASA Candidates

BY KIRANDEEP SINGH / Dagligtale Staff Writer

With the ASA elections, it is important to become educated on our candidates’ platforms and hear their views on meeting our needs as students. We conducted an interview with Richard Li, who is running for VP Finance, and Rebecca Nicholson, who is running for VP Communications.

Nicholson believes she is bringing experience and passion to the association. “I’ve done a lot of leadership work in the past. I was a part of the Girl Guides of Canada for 12 years so I have a lot of experience in leadership positions.” She is passionate about communication between the ASA and the student body. “Communication” was a part of my platform going into being an off-campus rep. I wanted to bridge the gap between on-campus and off-campus living.” She believes she has a good start with communication as off-campus rep but could do even more as VP Communications. “The VP Communications also play a pretty important role in preparing before elections.” They set up potential candidate forums and work with the campus and Student Union to get out the vote campaign. Despite running uncontested, Nicholson believes she deserves to win the ASA election because of her passion. “I want to make students aware of what we do and I wants student’s to know what our role is. I think more students should become involved and should want to be a part of the ASA.” One of Nicholson’s goals include advocating for more councillor’s at the school. She aims to find ways to helps students deal with stress and personal issues. “Augustana is missing something and I hope to work and improve on that next year.”

Li aims to bring sustainability and experience to the ASA. “I haven’t been VP Finance before but I am willing to offer my time and my willingness to learn from the students.” Like Nicholson, Li is also running uncontested in the ASA election. He believes that it is the student’s right to vote him out if he fails to engage the students. “Even though I’m running uncontested, it is more about whether I am fit to complete this role. I’m still going to run as if I’m versing someone else.” He believes that the current ASA is well-prepared in the needs of students but there is room for improvement.”I feel like the ASA has done a decent job in the past year and I hope to make it better.” He believes that more people should be running and getting engaged. “We get a lot of suggestions and I think more students should be taking initiative and trying to make change.” He encourages that students provide feedback so the ASA can better support their needs. “I feel that there is a disconnection between the ASA and students and that is something I would try to bridge to the best of my abilities.” Accessibility is something Li hopes to work on as well. Going through social media and hearing from students, he believes accessibility and the willingness to listen is something the ASA needs to work on. “The ASA should represent the students and I know that there are students who feel the ASA doesn’t.”


Jennae Matzner, who is running for VP Student Life, was not available for an interview.

ASA Report Cards: How Did Your Executives Do This Year?


With election season fast approaching, we were inspired by The Gateway, the student newspaper of the University of Alberta, to evaluate the performance of our ASA executives throughout the past year. Since it is impossible to evaluate each individual executive based on every facet of their time in office, these evaluations are based on major points on each of their initial platforms, responsibilities in their respective job descriptions, and interviews conducted with each executive. The grading rubric, which was borrowed from The Gateway, is available at the end of the article.

Taylor Johnson – President

Grade: C+

The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the Augustana Students’ Association and is assigned with administering the affairs of the ASA internally and externally. They are tasked with decision making on the behalf of the ASA and are responsible for leading the ASA effectively and efficiently. Taylor Johnson, the current ASA president, was contacted for an interview regarding this article, but ultimately canceled and did not reschedule with us. Her platform is also not available online. Due to these inconveniences, Johnson’s performance will be assessed based on her job description and her fall AGM report.

According to her AGM report, two of Johnson’s main platform points were to improve communication and collaboration with the University of Alberta Students’ Union, and to facilitate a feedback survey regarding the 3/11 calendar. With regards to her first point, she is to ensure that the concerns of Augustana students are being taken into consideration at North Campus. In her AGM report, Johnson mentions that she is satisfied with the amount of conversation and collaboration between the ASA and SU. However, she does not clarify the topics of these conversations, or what these collaborations will achieve for the Augustana student body. She also states that she has been working hard on the 3/11 feedback survey and that it was her main ongoing project at the time. The survey was to be sent out last January. She does not mention any other major projects that are meant to happen during the course of the year.

Also according to her AGM report, Johnson is a voting member of various committees and working groups on campus. These include the Sexual Violence Prevention Working Group, the Substance Use Framework Working Group, the Building and Sustainability Committee and the Student Life Awards Planning Committee. She mentions that her rationale for decision making on each committee is ensuring that the decisions made are in the best interest of the student body and she supposedly converses with students to receive feedback regarding the committees she sits on.

Johnson seems to have fulfilled a solid portion of the roles mentioned in her job description, but I fail to see any significant changes that were made on her part as the president of the ASA. The unavailability of her platform and her cancellation of our interview also add to my uncertainty of the quality of her performance, as well as demonstrate a lack of transparency on her part.

Naomi Mahdere – Vice-President Academics

Grade: B-

The Vice-President Academic advocates on behalf of the student body and is concerned with the overall administration of the Augustana Students’ Association. The VPA is also the ASA’s means of communication to the University of Alberta Students’ Union. Naomi Mahdere ran on three main objectives. The first was transparency on behalf of the ASA, which included providing an online space for document sharing between the ASA and the student body. Another objective was improving accessibility and programming, especially with regards to group-specific academic needs and concerns. Her last objective was concerned with mental health, with a focus on policy changes to ensure that the university provides the student body with appropriate resources and accommodations.

Concerning the first point on her platform, Mahdere was not able to achieve the level of transparency she had anticipated, especially regarding an online space for document sharing. For the second part of her platform, she hoped to focus on underrepresented groups such as students in athletics and kinesiology. She worked to move “After U”, the post-graduation workshops, towards more program-specific topics to help underrepresented student groups in their respective fields. Regarding the last point on her platform, Mhadere was unable to fulfill her promise of ensuring that an acknowledgment would be added to course syllabi, informing students of resources available to them, as well as guaranteeing a redefined definition of a “justifiable cause” that would include mental health.

It is the responsibility of the VPA to review and revise ASA policies and bylaws and contribute a considerable amount of time to various committees. Mahdere revised several bylaws and policies, including the sexual harassment policy, which she had made a mission of hers at the beginning of her tenure. She also sat on various committees such as the I-Week Planning Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Agenda & Priorities Committee.

Although Mahdere feels that she has fallen short on transparency and communication, she believes that she worked towards objectives that were not on her initial platform, but were of great importance to her, especially regarding diversity and inclusion. She also believes that some of her efforts were futile because the objectives she advocated for would not be voted on by other members of the executive team. Overall, she has fulfilled her roles as a VPA with regards to her job description but has fallen short on achieving most of her campaign promises.

Jennae Matzner – Vice-President Student Life

Grade: B-

The primary responsibility of the VP Student Life is to plan and execute activities that contribute to student life. Jennae Matzner made several promises when she ran for this position. These included promoting existing ASA events such as the Bashes, Formal and Casino Night; increasing student awareness and participation with these events; helping new students transition smoothly to Augustana while spreading awareness for the ASA; engaging new students in annual social events; promoting and helping clubs with their funding; and creating and managing an event to promote mental health awareness while also showcasing the student body’s talents.

The annual events such as the Bashes and the Move-In Day, which are parts of the VPSL’s job description, went well for the most part. The First Class Bash was hindered by some unexpected costs, which affected the quality of Winter Formal later in the year.

Matzner worked on policy revisions with the Clubs Budget Committee to make club funding more fair, as there was a rise in the number of clubs applying for funding this year. She also worked to make Club Fairs more engaging by encouraging clubs to have more interactive booths that would be more attractive to students. Despite this, she feels that she has not been able to adequately help clubs with their governance and event planning, since she has focused mainly on annual events. She also worked closely with the ASA president on the recent alcohol policy change by conducting surveys to get feedback from students.

With regards to the last point on her platform, Matzner was not able to create the event she had hoped to. However, she mentioned that the ASA is in the process of creating a Wellness Week Committee and that this idea could be implemented into the wellness weeks in the coming years.

Matzner has done her job and fulfilled her duties consistently, but was unable to meet some of her initial goals, mainly the creation of an entirely new event to increase mental health awareness and showcase talents among the student body.

Nnenna Achebe – Vice-President Finance

Grade: B-

The Vice-President Finance is tasked with managing the Augustana Students’ Association budget, as well as handling revenue generation and fundraising. Nnenna Achebe ran with three main points on her platform. These included improving the ASA’s financial transparency, advocating for clubs on campus, and taking an active part in the promotion of diversity amongst the student body through the ASA.

Working to improve financial transparency, Achebe sought to make the budget easier to

understand by creating appendix sections for the Student Engagement Fund and for Investments‘ expenditures. She also made her weekly budget update presentations in the ASA office simpler to comprehend, which students were free to attend. Due to her background in club governance, Achebe planned to take an active role in helping various clubs on campus. She did this by encouraging clubs to collaborate on events in order to maximize participation and help each other with funding. Achebe was also concerned with the lack of dedicated club space on campus, which prompted her to work towards developing this as a long term goal. Even though she does not see this as a short-term objective, she believes it can be developed after her tenure by future VPFs.

Another one of Achebe’s initial goals was to improve financial literacy on campus, by educating students about bursaries, grants, payments, credit cards, etc., but she was unable to achieve this to the extent that she had hoped. She believes that this was her biggest downfall.

With regards to advocating for diversity and inclusion, Achebe planned on working with the Diversity Working Group initially, but failed to attend meetings or participate in activities and events. However, she worked with the I-week Planning Committee and helped in organizing the Tournament of Nations.

Achebe managed to fulfill a majority of her roles as the VPF but failed to adequately improve financial literacy among the student body in ways that she had hoped. While fulfilling her duties towards the I-week Planning Committee, she did not make significant changes to the promotion of diversity on campus.

Alex Ho – Vice-president Communications

Grade: C

The Vice-President Communications is responsible for communicating the interests and services of the ASA to students, operating all ASA avenues of communication effectively, and advertising their activities to the student body. Alex Ho made two primary campaign promises: he planned on increasing volunteer and leadership opportunities for students and creating a centralized space where students would be able to find volunteering opportunities. He also planned on continuing the work against sexual violence, increasing support for the LGBTQ+ community, and advocating for overall wellness throughout the year, as opposed to the usual one wellness week per semester.

Even though he had plans to increase volunteer opportunities for students, Ho did not gain the traction he had hoped. The “centralized space” in which the students would be able to find volunteer opportunities has also not been put in place, but Ho says it is a work in progress in the form of a website, which unpublished. For his second campaign promise, Ho submitted a proposal to transform the Pride Committee into an existing entity within the ASA, and also helped in reviving AQUA, the Augustana LGBTQ+ club. He was also a member of the Sexual Violence Prevention Working Group, which dealt with sexual violence prevention at an administrative level. Ho was unable to fulfill his last campaign promise of advocating for overall wellness. Even though the traditional wellness weeks happened as they do every semester, he failed to achieve his goal of spreading overall wellness that is felt throughout the academic year.

Other than individual campaign promises, the VPC has other major responsibilities. One of these is to advertise the ASA and its activities to the student body. Ho tried to improve engagement between the ASA and the students this year through photo contests and other interactive activities. The VPC is also responsible for not only utilizing all modes of communication used by the ASA, but ensuring that they are used efficiently and effectively. Ho has done an acceptable job with Facebook, keeping engagement high, but has unfortunately neglected other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. The ASA column in the Dagligtale was also neglected by the VPC for the most part.

Ho, while having fulfilled some of his roles as VPC and achieving one of his campaign promises, has fallen short on other major responsibilities, specifically neglecting social media presence and communication.


A-range: This person has fulfilled the promises they campaigned on, has created tangible change during their tenure and has shown a commitment to improving the lives of students. Their GPA is looking good.

B-range: This person has done their job consistently well, but has not made any remarkable changes, or has fallen short on important goals they set out in their platforms. They’re doing fine, but it’s nothing to phone home about.

C-range: This person has done their job sufficiently, but has failed to make significant progress in the areas most relevant to their portfolio, or has essentially abandoned a major part of their platform. They’re still passing with a safe buffer though, and Cs get degrees!

D-range: This person has done a very lackluster job, and has not sufficiently fulfilled their campaign promises or the responsibilities of their position.

F-range: This person has not done their job, has not represented students and has not fulfilled their campaign promises whatsoever.


Discussing Changes to Augustana’s Substance Use Policy

BY KEN WINDER / Dagligtale Staff Writer

With the legalization of marijuana in Canada as of Oct. 17, 2018, students, the majority of whom are the legal age, are beginning to question the substance use policy of Augustana. North Campus allows students to both consume alcohol and cannabis on campus, albeit with limitations. Augustana, however, has a hard ban on both substances with students being taken to task if found in possession or consumption of them whilst on Augustana grounds.

An interview with Executive Director of Student Life, Randal Nickel, Feb. 8, shed some light on what changes will occur to the policies regarding alcohol and cannabis.

Currently the Augustana campus is not aligned with any of the U of A’s policies regarding alcohol and cannabis use on campus for students. Why is that? When is Augustana’s policies  expected to change to reflect the views of the University of Alberta?

I would say that the reason for that is sort of historical differences here that have carried through when we became part of the U of A. We started last fall, Fall 2018, on doing that consultation about what we, the students, staff, and faculty, would like to see. The recommendations that we’re making align us much more closely with what North Campus has. That plan will be that we will be able to provide our recommendations and things like that in time for room draw this year, which is later in March, so that all students can make an informed decision on whether they want to live on or off campus.

Who are developing these recommendations?

I’m tasked with the review of the policy and the recommendations coming forward and I’ve asked Rob Ford to be really specifically looking at what that’s going to look like in residences. We had a broader committee that included students, staff, and faculty representation that was working before Christmas, in [the] fall, that took the survey data, North Campus policy, Camrose City by-law, and what other universities are doing, and reviewed all of those things and then we came forward with these recommendations that we feel we should align more with the North Campus policies. We are currently preparing some specifics on what that will look like.

When was the survey that you collected data from?

The survey was open for about two months, from September to [the] end of October, and we had about 140 submissions. Basically it asked the same question for three things: what advice or what would you like this working group committee to take into consideration around alcohol policy, cannabis policy, and tobacco policy for the campus? We got a lot of feedback on that that identified a range of things and we learned a lot from it, too, about some of the unintended negative consequences of our current policy.

I think we have heard that before but this gave us the opportunity to again validate that the policy, the way it is now, is having some negative impacts on students. Some of those negative impacts were not feeling able to or free to seek help if necessary. We know that we’ve heard in the consultations that some students, if substances become have a negative impact on their life, won’t come forward necessarily because they’re afraid of the consequences [or] that the focus will be on the breaking of the alcohol policy [and] not the need for help right. We want to eliminate that. We want to have our policies here so that we [can]provide reliable information about both health and safety so students, staff, and faculty will have a trusted place [where] they can look for information on alcohol/cannabis, the impacts, and healthy uses of them, so that there’s no stigma or barrier in place if someone needs help. Those are some of the things that, by reviewing these policies, are the focuses we’re having so that when we make our recommendations [they] would be front center.

When and how is the current alcohol policy expected to change?

We are looking at alcohol and what the current policies are and changing them for residences with the possibility of providing both the opportunity to have alcohol in residence and to have substance free areas. Those are the principles that we’re working on because the feedback that we got highlighted that there are some students that live on campus because alcohol is not allowed. There are other students who don’t live on campus because of the current alcohol policy. We want to balance those needs and make sure that public health, safety, and harm reduction are our key principles. I can’t really give the specifics of what the policy will be yet other than to say, “Yeah, we’re balancing the public health and safety of everybody that lives here and goes to school here.” We’re also changing the access for services and make sure that there’s no barriers and stigma to it.

In regards to the cannabis policy, currently the stance is none. The current U of A policy is no smoking or vaping in any facility, except in designated spots. Will Augustana be similar perhaps?

We’re again using the health and safety aspects by simply aligning it more with responsible usage. There are the medicinal uses of cannabis and we don’t want to put barriers up for that. As for the recreational use, we’re moving forwards in that direction to where I think we’ll align ourselves with what North Campus is doing. We’ve started to look at the campus to say, “Are there areas that could potentially be consumption areas for cannabis?” We’re working on that right now.

Will there be a change to the current tobacco policy where the policy is no smoking in public spaces except five meters away from a door or window.

We’ve been looking at that. We’ve got some feedback asking us to consider whether there should be areas that are tobacco and cannabis smoking and vaping free. We haven’t made any decisions there. But also the recommendation, similar to North Campus, is to find some designated areas or zones where you can smoke.

Do all three policy changes still have to go through Faculty Council?

We’ve presented sort of the principles to the Dean and he’s in agreement with the principles of public health and safety around the harm reduction aspect. I think by including harm reduction, it means that that our current policy needs to change. That’s where we’re focusing on and we do feel it’s important to align ourselves more with North Campus as part of the UofA.

The exact specifics then we’re still working on but want to pass that through Faculty Council, so that they’re aware where we’re moving, and then through students at the Town Hall. Hopefully after that, we’ll be able to announce official things so students can make their decisions for room draw.

At this point, that’s why we don’t want to say it’s going to be this, this and this yet, but the principals are there and are our recommendations; we are developing what is going to specifically look like. I think what we’re doing will have a positive impact on our campus and the students.

Where are you currently in the policy change process?

We’ll be working on specific information on a sort of Town Hall at dinnertime in the cafeteria on Mar. 4. Right now, it looks like information will be announced about programming changes, like the alcohol policy, changes in food services, fees for next year, a few other things that we’re working on for residences, and then opening up for questions and feedback on what we’re working on.

The primary target is those living on campus but we want to find a way as well to welcome if there are students from off campus that want to come to that. We’ll be advertising that coming up soon.

Edited for length and clarity.