Cannabis Legislation Bringing Changes to Augustana


Executive Director of Student Life, Randal Nickel, was interviewed earlier last week about the upcoming laws and campus rules that are being implemented around cannabis, and how students, staff, and faculty will shape the revision of the substances policy in January 2019.

Nickel would like you, dear readers, to know that if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or any kind of input about cannabis on campus, you can email or set up a meeting with him to discuss it further.  

What are the policies on cannabis on campus and in Camrose?

As we mentioned in the email, October 17 was legalization day in Canada. We thought that at Augustana it would make sense to take a look at substances as a whole, not just at cannabis.

The cannabis bylaw in Camrose has become part of the smoking bylaw. So recreational and medical consumption of cannabis will be allowed typically where smoking is allowed. Except where there are some guidelines around no smoking or baking or usage a certain number of metres around schools, parks, that sort of thing.

On campus, because we want to include it with looking at what our tobacco and alcohol policy is, what we’re doing right now is we’re getting feedback from students, staff and faculty, about what everyone would like to see the campus policies be. Until then, there will be no recreational usage on campus allowed. We anticipate that process would be done in the fall, hopefully with the implementation of a new policy, a substance use framework policy, in early 2019.

How will students be able to find out about the bylaws and process on campus?

Partly through your article, and then there’s web pages that is for UAlberta as a whole. It differentiates and identifies what the policies and procedures are on each campus. We will align ourselves with those policies and the bylaws in Camrose, We will be putting the information out via the Students Association as well. Next week there’s also a range of activities, information displays. We’ll also go out on the TV screens, and the weekly newsletter too. Students Associates will have some social media presence as well.

What kind of supports will you have in place if someone wants to get help?

I think there would be access to community based support, as well as on campus. Primarily through the nurse navigator role, who has access to medical and non-medical supports. There are local addictions counselors that we can connect people too, as well as separate HR policies that will be developed across UAlberta. They’re in development right now, but right now the focus is on campus, primarily around students.

How will students be informed about how they should care for themselves while doing cannabis ? For example, how to come down from a bad trip.

There are some low-risk cannabis usage guidelines through Alberta health services that we will be disseminating, having online, as well as other kinds of copies in those info displays this week and beyond. Just to ensure that that will be available, I assume we’ll be putting them on the health and wellness section of our webpages, and also accessible through our Nurse Navigator, as well as through residence services, Students’ Association, offices, that sort of thing. Just to make sure that it’s widely visible.

How will this policy for all substances be enforced?

What we will do, with the alcohol as well, we’re trying to reduce instances where student staff have to patrol enforce these laws, rules, with their peers. UAPS (University of Alberta Protective Services) does play a role in enforcing these policies and procedure when they’re finalized on campus, but we also hope that through the public health, through the support for everyone who wants to use for whatever reason, or doesn’t want to use for whatever reason, that will limit the amount of issues that are brought up where we would need to enforce these kinds of rules.

We’ll also be asking for student, staff, and faculty input, probably starting next week as well with the google form. It is anonymous, that everyone can put around what are their thoughts, concerns, suggestions, about what the policies could look like for cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco. Some might use cannabis, and not want to use tobacco, and vice versa.

What changes will come into effect in January, with the policies regarding alcohol and cannabis will be reviewed and revised?

I definitely don’t want to predetermine the outcome, because we want to take the feedback that we get seriously. I think the only predetermination is that it includes that sort of health and wellness focus, and that services are available. So we want to make sure that whatever that policy looks like, that will be the foundation of it. On the specifics, i think we will explore what the feedback is, and then connect it with those principles of health and wellness, and support available harm reduction for people Then make decisions based on that feedback on what makes the most sense for the campus, and then implement it, because it’s all new. Particularly when it comes to cannabis. If there are changes to the alcohol policy, that will be new as well. Chances are, we won’t get it 100% right. We want to be able to implement, find ways to address issues, shortcoming, or shortfalls. Maybe 2019, the entire year, we can sort of assess where things are at, because that’s when edibles will become legalized as well. By the end of 2019, we’ll hopefully have policies and procedures in place that will work.

Is there anything you want the student body, the faculty, or the staff to know about the policies, or anything regarding the legalization of cannabis?

Well, I’ve already been quite repetitive, I think, in my answers regarding that health and safety and reduced stigma. I think really focusing on, you know, being non-judgemental as people use or don’t use for a variety of reasons. We want to make sure that that’s the focus. We want to work together to develop something that will work for our campus, and keep people safe and healthy, and able to access support if necessary, and focus on the mission of our organization: have a great student experience in and outside the classroom.

How Racist Will Your Halloween Not Be?


Some people don’t understand cultural appropriation exists and once someone who is a minority explains it, suddenly they’re not friends with you. These cultural appropriators don’t understand that it’s not our fault they like to steal other cultures and expect us to understand and be okay with a whole becoming a joke to them. Now that Halloween’s coming up, we have these cultural appropriators coming to steal the spirit of Halloween once again. I mean if you can pretend to be a part of a minority group for a day, clearly you can have the acting skills to be fake woke too.

To those of you who are acting fake woke, this is for you:

First of all, to those thinking that a costume being online already means people of that group approved of it need to be stopped. Just because you can buy a kidney online, you don’t see the Canadian National Medical Association saying it’s morally acceptable. Cultural appropriation can be confirmed in three steps:

1. Do you know the meaning behind the article of clothing you are wearing?

2. Did you buy it from the group in question?

3. Are you wearing it to act as or mimic a group for a holiday meant for scary or ridiculous attire?

So now, for all you cultural appropriators out there who say they just love *insert culture here* so much, what is your criteria for how you pick and choose what part of the culture you appreciate? Why are you here for the stereotypes and imitations, but not when *ahem* racist stereotypes play out *ahem* discussions of slavery offend you, or (my favourite) when reverse racism is an issue. I mean if something offends you, we are willing to listen, but are you will to do the same? Especially when it comes to My Whole Culture? Your feelings may be hurt, but my ancestry and life is being impacted by your intention to celebrate a holiday meant for us all. I mean, if you’re really inclusive let’s celebrate together, not offend each other.  

We know you don’t wake up to be that asshole, but let’s face it, your intent to have fun doesn’t equate to the impact of minorities not having fun. So for this Halloween we got some quick tips for your next costume. You could go as a Kitkat because your friends deserve a break; maybe that moth meme so you can find the light; or even as a playstation so you can keep playing those games.

So the next time you are stacking cups in the cafeteria and you hear someone say something like “I might dress up like I’m going to a lua out for halloween”, you can use your handy three-step tips we gave and not only educate, but pop off if necessary. Now go forth, and pop off with purpose, ‘cause everyone deserves an ally during these trying times of cultural appropriation.  

Why Modern Languages Matter


A while ago, someone I was talking to explained to me a Turkish proverb. A rough translation was:

“When a person knows one language, they have the power of one person. When a person learns a second language, they gain the power of a second person.”

In a sense, when you know another language, you gain the strength of being able to communicate with others; you’re opening yourself to other perspectives and ideas that you may not normally have come across in your own language.

Something that’s important when it comes to languages is that they carry your past, and your culture’s past too. A native language gives you the ability to get to know the intricacies of a culture. You have access to information that you normally wouldn’t have gotten from learning about that culture from the outside. As well, through languages, you create and shape your identity. When you learn a second language, you learn more about yourself by thinking more deeply about how you want to express yourself. Thus, you learn to better communicate with others, and better articulate your own thoughts.

Having a Modern Languages degree is more than just learning a new language. It’s about delving into a new culture, and truly working to understand its point of view. When someone goes into a language degree, they come out with not just communication skills, but with a more open mindset. Graduates are able to enter a variety of fields, because they have more experience with dealing with breaking down their assumptions, have a broader understanding of how society and culture is shaped by language, and also the interpersonal skills built through the tight knit community of the language department at Augustana.

Languages mean everything; they describe us and our identity, allow us to communicate with others, and express our culture and traditions. Graduates of these degrees have the flexibility to work in a plethora of places, and are armed with many applicable skills for the working world. If you’re interested in some language or culture classes offered at Augustana, check out AUGER 335 Contemporary German Culture, or AUSCA 142 Viking Age Mythology offered in English during the winter semester. As well, if you’re interested in learning a language other than English, there are beginner and intermediate classes for German, French, Spanish and Norwegian, which are offered every year.